Product

What is Heap Analytics? Heap.io Overview

Kshitija Desai
July 11, 2022

Now more than ever, marketing analytics is essential to B2B organizations. A robust analytics framework — whether marketing analytics, product analytics, or analytics for other data-driven functions is a comprehensive approach to understanding customers better, plugging gaps in the sales funnel, identifying pain points in the customer journey, and improving digital engagement. 

B2B marketing teams rarely have the resources to build out this framework to collect, analyze, and present data in house. This is where analytics software comes into play. When it comes to analytics tools, there is no such thing as one-size-fits-all.

Various platforms have emerged, providing customizable services for brands across various business models (SaaS, B2B, B2C, etc.). Knowing which tool has the potential to provide the most for your brand and its growth is necessary. 

In this blog, we discuss product and web analytics software Heap analytics, a popular tool for customer and performance insights. While Heap does cater well to lots of organizations, it also lacks a few essential features for marketers. This review helps compare the services Heap offers, what's needed and what's not, and whether it is the right choice for your brand. 

Read on! 

What is Heap Analytics? 

Heap was founded in 2013, in San Francisco, and since then has become one of the top product analytics software for brands across various niches. 

Heap collects data from every part of your website and collates it into easy-to-grasp data analysis with the help of line graphs and funnels. Heap focuses on customer engagement and activity, highlighting areas in the customer's journey that are not-so-smooth - actionable insights that every brand must own. 

What does Heap do well?

Real-time tracking 

Real-time data collection and analysis are perhaps the biggest advantages of Heap, with marketers being able to view reports of visitor activity in real-time. 

This feature can be particularly useful after a change in the website's UI or a new marketing campaign. Tracking activity in real-time can provide immediate insights on what's going well, whether there are any glitches in the customer journey, and quick updates on campaign performance across the website. 

Retroactive analysis 

Heap carries out retroactive analysis, which means they track every click, every action that your visitor carries out on your website, without you having to instruct it to do the same. 

This feature saves an enormous amount of time and effort, and provides a large data library for reference, at any point in time. From the time you integrated your website with Heap, you can take a look at all of the activity your site's seen and derive insights accordingly. All of this without having to manually set up Heap to track each type of user activity! 

Multiple devices 

It's no surprise that users interact differently with a website on a mobile phone than they do on a desktop or laptop. Optimizing one's website for various device types is a great way to ensure a good visitor experience, without losing your viewers to glitchy interfaces or incomplete website layouts. 

Heap's software helps track website performance across various device types, to help you understand where improvement is needed. Marketers can benefit greatly from this feature because solid insights guarantee an effective action plan, which in turn leads to better customer engagement. 

Events + Filters 

Customizable building blocks are the greatest tool for any marketer, as each brand has unique goals that it wishes to fulfill via an analytics tool. For example, while one brand might want to use Heap to identify friction in the sales funnel, another might want to understand its website heat map after a marketing campaign, and simply improve website traffic. 

Heap offers features called "Events" and "Filters", amongst others, that help you visualize your customer journey exactly the way you want it, from Stage X to Stage Y, for example. 

Why Heap May Not Be The Best Choice

While Heap comes with lots of effective analytics features, there are a few disadvantages that every website owner must keep in mind while opting for Heap or any other analytics tool. 

Costs of Data Storage 

For a tool that tracks every single movement across your website, including footer buttons, web page scrolls, hovers, etc., storing all of this data can be a hassle due to its size. The more data you have in your store, the more complicated it can get while calculating costs of data privacy and protection, storage and archiving, as well as backing up data after regular intervals. If you're prepared to store large amounts of website data, Heap may be a good option. 

Website Analytics vs Performance Analytics 

When opting for an analytics tool, it is important to know whether it provides all of the insights that you need. It may be fruitless to pay for a tool, such as Heap, that focuses only on website traffic, user activity on said site, and conversions when you need a tool that can track overall brand performance and growth across channels like 

  • paid ads on platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Google, Linkedin 
  • organic reach on search engines and social media platforms 
  • Other brand touchpoints 

Tricky UI 

Not all marketers are tech wizards, and Heap's UI, although greatly interactive and comprehensive, is difficult to master. The learning curve for anyone wanting to manage their site's Heap dashboard well is quite steep, a reason why a lot of marketers opt for analytics tools that are beginner-friendly, user-friendly, and easy to learn, such as Factors and Oribi. 

Why Factors.ai over Heap?

Product Teams vs Marketing Teams 

While Heap is an excellent tool for all professionals solely involved in product development, research, and/or website tracking, Factors is better suited for marketing teams. Factors offers insightful data through attribution, the perfect tool for any marketer looking to track brand performance across diverse channels, not just a website. Furthermore, Factors helps connect campaign data, while Heap does not. Understanding where your campaign worked well and where it didn't makes for powerful insights for future efforts. 

Comprehensive Tracking 

The single-biggest advantage of using Factors as your analytics tool is that Factors tracks a comprehensive amount of data across multiple channels. While it may seem easy to attribute your brand's success to how your website performs, your customer engagement is dependent on various other touchpoints that they encounter on their journey. Factors help track your brand's performance at every step of the customer's journey, identifying where your brand performs best, and where it needs optimization. Heap does not track any data beyond your website, and this incomplete data about your customers can lead to faulty insights. 

Customizable Features 

While Heap is great for Marketing teams solely focusing on website growth and performance, Factors offers an array of services that can be customized and tweaked according to a brand's holistic needs, such as custom metrics, dimensions, KPIs, properties, and events. These are a must-have for every marketing team! 

Cost Effectiveness

When it comes to Heap pricing, Factors offers a more cost-effective solution for companies looking to track their performance not just across their website, but across their digital and physical marketing efforts.

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