23 July, 2023
It’s time to take your team’s experience analytics up a notch. Whether you already have a session replay tool on your radar or shopping around for a new one, you’re in the right place.
We’ll walk you through our top 5 picks for the best session replay tools out and drop down prices, benefits, and overall rating by users. And as a recap, we'll get you up to speed on the what and why of session replay. The best session replay tools to identify and fix mobile app UX issues are Quantum Metric, UXCam, Embrace, Glassbox and Contentsquare.
source: quantum metric website
Type: web-first tool with some mobile app analytics features Good for: user journey mapping and user analytics Cost: No free trial, prices not listed
G2 Rating: 4.7/5
Analysts and engineers agree: Quantum Metric delivers great results with minimum dev effort. Its session replay feature irons out issues, bugs, and API responses in minutes. This enterprise-level software isn’t cheap, and it’s also not for the faint of heart (read: non-technical). So why did it make the list?
Pros: The software is really good. Quantum Metric gets high scores across the board from users rating their customer support and technical integration capabilities. If you want session replay analytics and limitless potential in terms of data, Quantum Metric is for you.
Cons: This is a data-heavy software, so look somewhere else if you want topline data to share with the powers that be. You’ll need an analyst on standby to use/explain Quantum Metric to your team. Plus, your non-technical team members will need to invest time and effort into learning their way around the tool.
Quantum Metric may work best for enterprise-size companies with dedicated analyst teams for experience analytics. If your company is tech-heavy and willing to invest time and energy into a web-first tool, consider Quantum Metric.
Type: mobile-first user experience analytics solution Good for: mobile-focused businesses interested in user behavior Cost: 14-day free trial with 100K sessions with full features. The free plan includes 10k sessions, 10k video recordings, and 100k custom events. Growth and enterprise packages don’t list prices
G2 Rating: 4.7/5
UXCam was born as a mobile app session replay tool before it expanded its product suite to features like heatmaps, user behavior pattern analysis, and crash & issue analytics. The UXCam SDK is currently the most widely adopted experience analytics solution in the mobile app space. About 70% of apps that have adopted next-generation experience analytics, have UXCam installed. Unlike other tools on this list that started out as web and adapted to mobile, UXCam has been 100% mobile-first since day one. Think of it as the Hotjar for mobile apps, but so much more.
Pros: Session recordings are one of UXCam’s core features. The software gets glowing reviews in terms of ease of use, great results, and customer support. Engineering managers, PMs, and UX designers all report that the session recording feature almost instantly highlighted room for improvement and critical bugs. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg in terms of app improvement (we’re talking heatmaps, funnels, and lightweight SDK).
Cons: You can’t limit the number of sessions recorded. Users report recordings taking a bit to load (though high-level session metadata is always available). If you want to use features beyond session recordings, you must upgrade from a free account.
UXCam’s pretty much the whole package regarding mobile app analytics. Get the software for the session recordings, and stay for the customer insights available across a variety of features. Try UXCam for free now — with 100,000 free monthly sessions and unlimited features.
source: Embrace website
Type: mobile-first app monitoring and dev analytics tool Good for: fixing crashes and technical issues Cost: free 14-day trial. Pro and enterprise packages don’t list prices. G2 Rating: 4.3/5
Embrace is a mobile-only app monitoring and dev analytics platform with integrated session replay software. PMs and engineers tend to like this tool a lot because it’s known for excellent crash monitoring. UX designers and marketers like it too…but might be left scratching their heads as to why there’s no heatmap function. Session replay software aside, Embrace is many things, but it’s not a full-fledged experience analytics tool.
Pros: The lightweight SDK makes integrating Embrace with existing tools hassle-free. The user timeline makes it easy for anyone (dev-ops experience not required) to problem-solve without er, hacking the mainframe. Bugs get squashed and code errors get reported in minutes.
Cons: It’s not a plug-and-play software. If your team doesn’t invest time in building out dashboards from the get-go, you won’t benefit from the full extent of Embrace’s capabilities.
While Embrace’s session recording software will provide your team with insights into mobile app users, the software as a whole is more focused on crash analytics. Consider it if your tech is buggy and understanding user behavior isn’t a strong priority.
source: Glassbox website
Type: web and mobile app experience analytics Good for: journey mapping, user monitoring, conversion rate optimization Cost: No free trial, prices not listed. G2 Rating: 4.7/5
Glassbox provides web and mobile app experience analytics. The software is known for its AI-driven visualization and analytics tools. For readers familiar with Sessioncam (previously focused on digital customer experience), it was acquired by Glassbox in 2020. Today, Glassbox is geared toward enterprise-level companies.
Pros: UI is easy to use, eg. session recordings are ranked with a “struggle score,” which helps highlight bugs and errors. Product managers, marketers, devOps, and support teams should all be able to engage with the tool and gain applicable insights from the data.
Cons: Glassbox is geared toward enterprise companies and comes with a price tag that mid and smaller-sized companies may feel hesitant about. Free trials aren’t offered. Users report session recording replay as laggy and a bit clunky.
Glassbox offers a handful of valuable experience analytics features. If your enterprise-level team needs session replay software for both mobile apps and the web (and your budget allows), Glassbox is an excellent choice.
source: Contentsquare website
Type: web and mobile app experience analytics Good for: Great data visualizations and drill-downs Cost: No pricing listed, no free trial
G2 Rating: 4.6/5
Contentsquare is a digital experience analytics platform that focuses on the how and why of customer behavior. In September 2021, the French web and mobile insights platform acquired HotJar, a household name in web analytics. Their core customers are large enterprises, which may explain why you won’t be able to find their pricing page.
Pros: Contentsquare is most loved by UX teams for its color-coded zone-based heat mapping. The zoning tool lets users check the performance of hero banners and feature pages. Users can see which site visitors find their website engaging and helpful besides just seeing what’s making them frustrated.
Cons: If you’re not a frequent user of the tool, it can be a challenge to pull out insights quickly. There’s a learning curve for the workspace module if you’re not used to creating your own dashboards. But they’ve got a great customer service team to help with setup.
If you’re a well-seasoned organization with a big budget — and know exactly what metrics you want out of an analytics tool, Contentsquare is for you.
Consider this section a quick refresher on session replay software. Give it a skim and make sure you have a thorough understanding before digging into our recommendations below.
Session replay tools reproduce user interactions on a website or mobile application. Instead of viewing separate data points like mouse movement, tapping, clicking, page visits, scrolling, etc., session replay reproduces what the user did on your site or app.
Everything from glitches to successful conversions are captured and can be reviewed at any time. These sessions provide companies with insights into the user experience. It’s one thing to see data points in a chart — it’s another to watch a user get frustrated and drop off before converting.
Session replay software can be a standalone product or be included as a feature in user experience analytics software. There are two broad categories of session replay tools: session replay tools for web and mobile and session replay tools for mobile-only.
Session recording or session replay software is a comprehensive way for product managers, UX designers, developers, and marketers to better understand users. This type of analytics tool is important because by reproducing user experiences, team members can witness user pain points firsthand and leverage learnings to build a better product.
You can do a lot of cool things with session recordings. Here are a few:
For an in-depth look at mobile session recordings, check out this guide.
You’d think they would, but…Google Analytics doesn’t have session replay. They do have sessions! And a lot of other great features. While GA is a must for any tech stack worth its salt, it’s best combined with a UX analytics tool for insights into your users not available with other forms of tracking.
This way, raw data from user behavior metrics, traffic sources, demographic, and geographic information can be put into context. And your team will have a better understanding of user sessions and identify where improvements can be made.
To learn more about session replay and other experience analytics topics check out:
Audrey is a content marketing manager and copywriter with eight years of experience conceptualizing and creating strategic editorial content for direct marketing and social media channels.
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