Cross-Platform Analytics Guide for SaaS Companies
Tracking cross-platform analytics is essential for product teams to see a complete view of customer behavior.
In our guide, we explore:
- What exactly cross-platform analytics is and its importance
- How it works
- How to collect and analyze user behavior across platforms
- Ways to leverage the data collected
- And, useful tools for analyzing cross-platform data
Ready to dive in?
- Cross-platform analytics is the activity of tracking and analyzing user behavior across multiple platforms or devices.
- It gives product teams a holistic view of user interactions with the product and helps them better understand their needs and pain points.
- Tools like Google Analytics or Amplitude allow you to track user behavior across all platforms. Alternatively, you can use separate tools for each platform and import the data into an analytics or BI tool for analysis.
- Event analytics is the most straightforward way to track user behavior on websites, as well as web and mobile apps.
- When tracking user behavior on different platforms, it’s important to be consistent. For example, all names referring to the same event should be exact regardless of the platform.
- Heatmaps are a quick way to visualize user engagement with the features and elements of the UI.
- Session recordings show you every single action users take on the website or inside the product so that you can improve user experience and remove friction.
- Funnel analysis helps you find friction points in the user journey which you can then remove.
- Thanks to churn analysis, you can understand why users cancel their subscriptions and leave your product.
- Collecting data in this way allows you to create consistent and frictionless experiences for users as they move between the platforms.
- Userpilot is a product growth tool with superb analytics features for tracking consumer behavior inside web apps.
- If you want to see how its integrations help you conduct cross-platform analysis, book the demo!
What is cross-platform analytics?
Cross-platform analytics is the process of tracking user behavior across multiple platforms or devices.
SaaS customers are likely to use more than one device to access the product. So apart from desktop PCs, they may use mobile phones or tablets for on-the-go experience, or laptops for remote work.
Why is it important to track cross-platform analytics?
In short, cross-platform analytics allows product teams to see a complete picture of user behavior across all channels. This enables them to identify trends and patterns that may not be visible when analyzing customer data from each platform individually.
How does cross-platform tracking work?
There are two main approaches to cross-platform data collection.
First, you can use a single analytics tool that allows you to track user data across all platforms. With tools like Amplitude or Google Analytics, you can collect data from web apps, native mobile apps, or your mobile site into one single platform.
Alternatively, you could use different tools to track users on each platform individually. Then you either import the data manually into a business intelligence (BI) tool like Looker or Tableau or an analytics platform like Segment.
This approach may be a bit more complex and require technical expertise. However, as you’re using dedicated analytics tools for each channel, you’re likely to get more granular product and marketing business insights.
How to collect and analyze user behavior data across multiple platforms?
Let’s have a look at a few ways to collect and analyze user behavior data across various platforms to inform product management decisions.
Track user behavior data with standardized events cross-channel
Events are all the actions that users take, be it inside your app or on your website. This could be signing up for your product, making a purchase, or navigating to a page.
Events are fairly easy to track as many tools enable you to simply tag them without writing any code.
When tracking events on different platforms, consistency, and standardization are essential.
So if you give a name to an event on one platform, make sure you use the same name across all other platforms. In this way, you will avoid confusion and mistakes once you merge the data into one place.
For web applications, Userpilot lets you track custom events code-free.
Monitor heatmaps to identify areas of high engagement
Heatmaps are an excellent tool for tracking user engagement on the website or in-app.
What’s a heatmap?
It’s a visual representation of all user interactions with the product. One look is enough to see where on the page or app user interface your users click or tap the most.
This can help you identify the most valuable features as well as friction points and ways to optimize your UI to improve user experience and help them achieve their goals in less time.
Watch session recordings to track user flows
Session recordings are another way to track how users engage with your product.
As the name says, these are recordings of user activity on the website or inside the product. By replaying the recordings, you can see every user’s click or scroll, where they hover, for how long, and more.
Session recordings help you optimize the UI of your app or website to ensure that users easily find what they’re looking for. It can also help improve feature discovery and their adoption, remove friction from the user journey and boost conversions.
Conduct funnel analysis to identify friction points in the user journey
A funnel is a sequence of steps leading to an important event. For a SaaS website, these would be the steps users take to sign up for the product:
- Visit the website
- Click the ‘sign up’ button
- Provide the email address and personal details
- Click ‘Complete’
- Log into the product
Funnel analysis allows you to track how many users progress from one step and how many drop off. If lots of users take a lot of time to complete a step or fail altogether, it means there’s too much friction over there.
That’s where you should focus your efforts to improve conversion rates.
Perform churn analysis to understand why customers leave
Churn analysis helps teams identify the reasons why users stop engaging or cancel their plans.
How do you do it?
- Segment the churned users.
- Look at their feature usage data to identify patterns. Did they activate all the features that are relevant to their use cases?
- Check their NPS and CSAT scores and the feedback they’ve submitted.
- Look at the support tickets they raised and how they were dealt with.
- Analyze their exit survey responses.
What can you do with the behavioral data collected from different platforms?
The insights from cross-platform analytics are only worth as much as the actions that they inform. How can you use them to improve the product experience? Let’s check out a couple of ways.
Optimize the complete customer journey
For example, if users fail to complete the sign-up process on your website, you may be able to simplify it to increase conversions. If they are having problems navigating your web app, product analytics could show you how to optimize its UI and improve its usability.
This will help you improve the essential product management metrics like activation and adoption, and reduce the churn rate.
Create a consistent omnichannel experience
Understanding user expectations and pain points when interacting with different versions of your product enables you to create consistent experiences across all channels.
Thanks to that, your customers will know what to expect from your product at all touchpoints of the journey and will be able to achieve their goals.
For example, if they need support, access to the help center should be equally easy in both web and mobile apps.
However, the content of the support modules may be different for each app because users face different challenges. It may also be presented in different ways to reflect the unique characteristics of the medium.
The best cross-platform analytics tools for SaaS companies
Now that we know how to track user behavior across different platforms and how to use it, why don’t we check out a few analytics tools that will help you achieve this?
Userpilot is a product growth platform. Apart from user sentiment and engagement layers, it also offers solid analytics features. This makes it an excellent tool for tracking user behavior inside web applications.
What are the analytics features?
- Advanced user segmentation
- Code-free event tracking (including custom events)
- Feature usage tracking (you can easily track clicks, text inputs, and hovers from its Chrome extension)
- Goal tracking
- Funnel analysis
- Real-time reporting
- Integrations, including two-way integration with HubSpot, and one-way integrations with analytics tools like Amplitude, Mixpanel, and Heap for easy analysis of the data from different platforms
Amplitude is a powerful standalone analytics platform.
Amplitude’s cross-platform functionality allows you to track user progress along the customer journey regardless of the platform they use for individual steps.
In other words, it doesn’t matter that the user completes one step on the website, another one in the Android app, and yet another one in the web app from their MacBook. Amplitude tracks it all and presents all the data in one place for easy analysis.
Here are the main Amplitude features:
- Cohort analysis/user segmentation
- Milestone analysis for goal tracking
- Funnel analysis and conversion drivers
- Impact analysis for testing the effects of changes that you introduce
- Root cause analysis
- Custom dashboards
- Custom reports
- Pathfinder to map out the paths leading up to events
- ‘Amplitude_ID’ identifier for accurate identification of daily active users across platforms
- Real-time data reporting.
The lowest Amplitude plan, Starter, is free, so you can try it out without making any financial commitments.
Google Analytics is one of the best-known website analytics tools out there.
However, not many people realize that Google Analytics isn’t limited to tracking web traffic only. While this was the case with Google’s Universal Analytics, its latest edition, Google Analytics 4 can track app events too.
This makes it a comprehensive cross-platform analytics solution.
Some important GA features include:
- Real-time web activity tracking
- Code-free event tracking with Google Tag Manager
- Event filtering by category, action, and label
- Audience reports – data on your website visitors, including demographics
- Acquisition reports – breakdown of acquisition channels, like, organic vs direct vs referral
- Behavior reports – insights into visitor interactions with your website (e.g., pageviews or events)
- Goal/Conversion tracking
- Custom dashboards
- Integration with Google Ads for tracking the performance of marketing campaigns.
Google Analytics is completely free if you don’t need advanced features like attribution modeling.
Cross-platform analytics enables product teams to understand how users interact with your product at all touchpoints of the user’s journey.
Thanks to them, you are able to optimize the customer paths for different segments and deliver a consistent user experience regardless of the platform that they choose. This translates into higher user satisfaction and lower churn rates.
If you want to see how Userpilot can help you track user behavior in web apps, book the demo!