Pendo vs Userpilot: Which Offers The Best Value For Money

Pendo vs Userpilot: Which Offers The Best Value For Money

Pendo vs Userpilot? Which one is the best user onboarding tool?

If you’re not sure which of them offers more value and better functionality, stick around.

In this article, we’ll go in-depth and have a look at the most important features each platform offers.


  • Userpilot is a code-free product experience software, which gives non-tech teams the ability to create powerful contextual onboarding experiences
  • Pendo is a digital adoption platform with great analytics and a range of user onboarding features
  • Pendo alternatives include Userpilot, WalkMe, Appcues, Gainsight PX, Mixpanel
  • G2 reviewers praise Userpilot for the quality of product support, and the ease of use and administration. They believe it meets the needs of their business better than Pendo
  • Pendo guides consist of tooltip-like sequential experiences while Userpilot allows you to design interactive onboarding flows
  • Pendo does not let you trigger guides to user segments segmented by custom events, or trigger guides in response to in-app events.
  • Userpilot supports 6 UI patterns (tooltips, hotspots, banners, modals, slideouts, driven actions) and 4 actions, whereas Pendo has only 3 user interface elements available for building guides (lightboxes, banners, tooltips) and 1 action
  • Pendo checklists are available in the Pro plan only and they are a part of the Resource Centre, which limits their usefulness as onboarding elements
  • Userpilot also allows you to create multiple checklists that can be triggered for various user segments in any order. The checklist analytics are superior to those of Pendo and they can be triggered on any of your web app’s pages
  • Userpilot Resource Centre is fully customizable, easy to navigate, and allows module grouping and searches of external sources.
  • Pendo included a Resource Centre feature, but is only available in the higher plans and offers limited functionality and customization options
  • Pendo is known for its good and easy to use analytics tools like Paths, Retention, and Funnels. As of Q1 2023, Userpilot will have the same analytics features, with more robust functionality.
  • Userpilot’s analytics update in real-time, it takes Pendo 1 hour to update its analytics dashboard. This means you have a big data lag to start with – which may skew your decisions.
  • Both products allow feature tagging to track user engagement with UI elements.
  • Userpilot allows goal tracking and A/B testing to measure the effectiveness of in-app experiences.
  • Pendo has limited user feedback functionalities: you can create basic polls-only and need the higher plans for NPS tracking.
  • Pendo promotes its PES (Product Engagement Score) metric which doesn’t take into account user sentiment.
  • Pendo’s Free plan offers limited functionality while the pricing of the higher plans is ambiguous. You need to get a custom quote and reviews say it can even get to as high as $55,000/year.
  • In contrast, Userpilot offers an affordable starting Starter plan ($299/mo) and a transparent pricing structure.
  • Userpilot customer support offers live chat and customer success calls in all plans, while Pendo offers live chat only in the highest Enterprise plan and no customer support whatsoever in the Free plan.
  • Pendo supports integrations with lots of great products but the number of those available even in the more expensive plans is very limited; the constantly growing list of all Userpilot integrations is available in all plans without limitations.
  • Call us biased, but we truly believe you will get more value for your money by using Userpilot. Want us to show you around? Get a Userpilot demo here

Let’s start with the basics.

What is Userpilot used for?

Userpilot is a product adoption tool for building onboarding experiences. In short, it allows non-technical teams to design and trigger in-app onboarding flows customized to the user persona and their stage in the user journey.

What does Pendo do?

Pendo is also a product adoption platform. It allows product teams to analyze user behavior in their app and design user onboarding experiences to increase user engagement and boost new feature adoption. Like in Userpilot, there is no coding required.

The main difference between Pendo and Userpilot is the functionality each platform offers and of course, pricing.

Neither Pendo nor Userpilot are tools that cater to employee onboarding.

Who are Pendo’s competitors?

Userpilot is not Pendo’s only competitor. Other user onboarding software you can look at include:

In this article, we are going to compare Pendo to one of its main competitors, Userpilot.

Pendo vs Userpilot: What G2 reviews say

G2 is probably the best review and software comparison platform out there at the moment.

Let’s see how Pendo stacks against Userpilot according to their users.

Pendo vs Userpilot according to G2 reviewers
Pendo vs Userpilot according to G2 reviewers

The general conclusion is that the G2 reviewers prefer the user experience offered by Userpilot and believe it offers a better value for their money.

One of the areas where Userpilot gets better reviews is the ease of use and administration.

Userpilot is easy to use
Userpilot is easy to use

“The greatest thing here is how easy it is to use. When taking over the processes related to Userpilot at my company, I could get into it in a few hours.” – Konstantin L

Reviewers also believe that Userpilot’s quality of product support is outstanding.

Users are really happy with Userpilot product support
Users are really happy with Userpilot product support

“For the things I didn’t know how to do, I got the best support. Their support is always available if you need it. A fast response time, and informative training webinar sessions. I’m a fan.” – Jose I.

Finally, G2 users preferred the feature updates and roadmap of Userpilot over Pendo’s.

Pendo vs Userpilot key features for user onboarding experiences

Both Pendo and Userpilot allow you to leverage user onboarding experiences to improve user activation and reduce churn.

Let’s have a closer look at the main features both offer:

Pendo vs Userpilot Guides and product tours comparison

Pendo Guides and Userpilot Flows are one and the same thing, and many users call them product tours.

They are sequences of UI patterns onboarding elements, like tooltips, modals, or hotspots, linked together to offer in-app guidance to the user in completing a task.

So which one is better?

To start with, Pendo allows you to build only 3 guides in the free trial. Is this enough? Well, perhaps, but there are no restrictions with Userpilot which offers unlimited flows.

Next, Pendo product tours look more like multiple tooltips (just check their own product tour that has 7 tooltips). They do the job but they seem to be a bit cumbersome compared to the fully flexible interactive onboarding flows that you can design in Userpilot.

Pendo product tour
Pendo product tour

When it comes to user segmentation, Pendo offers a number of options but a lot of them are not behavior-based.  In fact – you cannot trigger Pendo’s in-app guides to user groups that have been segmented by a custom event (an action they took inside your app)! You cannot trigger Pendo’s guides in response to an event either. The usefulness of targeting users based on user attributes only (their OS version, account ID, or browser) seems limited.

Interesting segmentation options in Pendo
Limited segmentation options in Pendo

Compared to Pendo, Userpilot allows you to trigger the experiences based on more relevant characteristics like user engagement, custom events, form responses, and even NPS scores.

Behavioral segmentation in Userpilot
Behavioral segmentation in Userpilot

Userpilot also allows you to trigger in-app guides (flows) and tooltips based on custom events in real time! I.e. – when a user performs a certain action (e.g. clicks on the ‘buy now’ button) – you can trigger in-app experience based on it (e.g. a popup with a discount voucher.)

UI patterns

Userpilot offers 6 UI patterns and 4 Driven Actions, while Pendo supports only 3 UI patterns and 1 action.

Let’s look at what these are.

Userpilot divides in-app guides that you can create with those user interface elements into Flows and Spotlights.

Start creating in-app experiences by choosing Flows or Spotlights
Start creating in-app experiences by choosing Flows or Spotlights

Spotlights are static experiences like native tooltips, hotspots, and banners.

Spotlight in Userpilot
Spotlight in Userpilot

Flows are interactive and consist of onboarding elements like modals, slideouts, tooltips, and driven actions that you can combine and trigger to the desired user segment.

Flow patterns in Userpilot
Flow patterns in Userpilot

Pendo’s limited onboarding elements are lightboxes (which are similar to modals), banners, and tooltips.

UI elements in Pendo
UI elements in Pendo

What is missing in this list (apart from slideouts, driven actions, and hotspots) is checklists.

They are available in Pendo, and we’re going to dive into deeper detail in a moment, but it’s important to remember they are not a part of Guides, so they cannot be triggered inside your app to specific user segments.

Pendo vs Userpilot checklists comparison

Checklists are powerful onboarding features to look for in a user onboarding software.

Both Pendo and Userpilot offer them to their customers.

But here’s the catch.

Pendo checklists are available only in the Pro plan, which according to online reviews starts at $2000-5000/year for one product.

Userpilot doesn’t restrict the number of checklists in any of its plans, starting plan costs $249/mo.

Checklists functionality

As we mentioned above, Pendo’s checklists are not a part of the product tours, but rather the Resource Centre. This means that the user has to click on the help button and choose the checklist they want to follow.

Pendo checklists are available through resource centre
Pendo checklists are available through the resource centre

In contrast, Userpilot’s unlimited checklists can be triggered for different user segments in a preferred order.

Userpilot checklist configuration
Userpilot checklist configuration

With multiple checklist functionality so you can create different checklists to guide users from one milestone to the next in their journey.

Build unlimited tasks with several trigger options in each task: run a flow, direct users to a URL or run a JS script.

Or, just mark tasks as complete from the start so the user is more enticed to start.

Userpilot allows marking tasks as complete from the start
Userpilot allows marking tasks as complete from the start

Overall, it seems that Pendo dropped the ball by not adding checklists to their free plan (at least one) and not including them in guides.

Checklists analytics

Pendo is known for its great analytics overall (we’ll get to this in a bit) but this doesn’t seem to apply to checklists. We can speculate that not developing in-depth checklist analytics could be the consequence of Pendo not considering them an important onboarding tool.

Userpilot provides very detailed checklist analytics. It allows you to track the live performance of all your checklists together, each of them individually, as well as each task.

In-depth checklist analytics in Userpilot
In-depth checklist analytics in Userpilot

Pendo vs Userpilot resource center

The resource center is considered an in-app guide in Pendo.

It’s not quite clear if you can get it on the Team plan or if you need to upgrade to Pro or Enterprise. Accessing it can be potentially quite expensive and its customization options are limited. It looks fairly plain too.

Plain-looking Pendo Resource Centre
Plain-looking Pendo Resource Centre

Userpilot resource centre is easy to navigate and fully customizable and available in all plans.

Resource Centre in Userpilot
Resource Centre in Userpilot

Pendo’s resource center offers limited functionality compared to Userpilot.

For once, in Pendo you can search only inside the resource center while in Userpilot you can also search external sources like your knowledge base, Zendesk or Hubspot.

What’s more, Pendo doesn’t allow grouping modules so users have to scroll down a very long resource center if you add multiple resources there. Module grouping is possible in Userpilot.

Content Groups in Userpilot Resource Centre
Content Groups in Userpilot Resource Centre

Next, while you can add videos to Pendo’s resource center, in Userpilot you can also play them in-app directly with a click.

You can play in-app videos from Userpilot Resource Centre
You can play in-app videos from Userpilot Resource Centre

Finally, Userpilot offers extensive resource center analytics, whereas Pendo doesn’t.

Resource Centre analytics in Userpilot
Resource Centre analytics in Userpilot

Not convinced Userpilot offers more value than Pendo? Get a free personalized demo and we’ll be happy to show you around.

Pendo vs Userpilot analytics

It’s to time to compare Pendo to Userpilot when it comes to analytics!

Pendo’s built a great reputation for its in-depth analytics tools.

Paths, which show the different routes into or out of a specific event (and again – you may be familiar with them from Google Analytics)., help to identify user behavior patterns. Pendo also allows you to track retention rate over time with its Retention functionality, while Funnels come in handy when you try to identify drop-off points in the user journey (and look similar to the familiar funnels in Google Analytics).

Paths in Pendo
Paths in Pendo

The tools Pendo offers are quite advanced but are they good enough to justify the price tag?

What’s more, Userpilot offers some functionality that Pendo doesn’t.

In Userpilot, you can set goals and tie them to in-app flows and experiences to measure their effectiveness. Userpilot also allows you to carry out experiments (A/B testing), which Pendo doesn’t support (more about it in a sec).

Track UI engagement

Both Userpilot and Pendo support feature tagging. It allows you to track users’ interactions with user interface elements, and find out which features are most popular, and which may be underutilized.

The functionality is unlimited in Pendo, while Userpilot allows you to tag 25 features in the lowest Traction plan.

Feature tagging in Userpilot
Feature tagging in Userpilot

Goal tracking for user onboarding tasks

A goal can be used to track when users reach specific milestones, showing you an overview of how many users are at each step in the journey.

Moreover, understanding goal adoption helps identify the key features that make a product more sticky. It also helps in setting a clear path of where it needs to drive its end-users.

In-app experiences play an important role in increasing feature adoption and user engagement, so they should be tied to a goal to better understand how they’re performing.

Userpilot allows you to set goals and easily analyze the results thanks to a clear visualization of the data.

Goal tracking in Userpilot
Goal tracking in Userpilot

Pendo doesn’t have this functionality and it is not a part of its short-term roadmap.

A/B testing of user onboarding flows

A/B testing allows you to conduct experiments to test the effectiveness of your onboarding experiences.

This is also something you don’t get in Pendo.

To set up A/B testing in Userpilot you only have to select the option in the flow’s settings like below.

A/B testing is included in all Userpilot plans
A/B testing is included in all Userpilot plans

Where Pendo’s analytics fail

Apart from limited functionality in the free plan collecting user feedback is where Pendo falls short.

First, while Userpilot’s analytics update in real-time, it takes Pendo 1 hour to update its analytics dashboard. This means you have a big data lag to start with – which may skew your decisions.

Secondly – you can add basic polls into guides but to collect more feedback data like NPS, you need to upgrade.

One of the reasons why NPS may seem marginalized is that Pendo has developed its own proprietary metric Product Engagement Score (PES), which is a combination of adoption, stickiness, and growth.

This sounds fancy, but is it really worth the upgrade?

Automation and behavioral analytics are invaluable for SaaS companies, but there is still a lot to be gained from talking to the customer directly. Pendo could definitely do better in this area.

Userpilot vs Pendo pricing

Which of the products gives you a better bang for your buck? Well, the question is not as straightforward to answer as it may seem, because Pendo doesn’t list prices.

Instead, the company gives you custom quotes depending on your business, which start at $2000-$5000 for a single product and around $15,000 for the enterprise plan (or so we hear).

Pendo pricing plan doesn’t list prices
Pendo pricing plan doesn’t list prices

Pendo’s free plan offers:

  • 1 Web app key
  • 1 Mobile App Key
  • Up to 1,000 monthly active users (MAUs)
  • Unlimited feature and page tagging
  • Use of in-app guides

This offer is very limited to be useful in building proper user onboarding experiences.

Userpilot pricing is transparent and offers more than enough functionality even in the starting Starter plan ($249/mo).

Userpilot pricing

Userpilot pricing

Userpilot vs Pendo customer support

Userpilot offers live chat and 3 customer success calls to all their customers, also during the free trial. Its users can also access an in-app resource center with documentation videos and tutorials.

Userpilot Customer Service
Userpilot Customer Service

Pendo offers no customer support in the Free plan. It is available in the paid plans, but live chat and faster response SLAs (Service-Level Agreements) come only with the Enterprise plan.

Pendo Customer Service
Pendo Customer Service

Userpilot vs Pendo integrations

Pendo has been on the market for quite some time and it has built an impressive list of integration options. The catch is that you have to pay for them as they only include 1 on the already expensive Pro plan and 3 on the Enterprise plan.

Userpilot has integrations with a few useful products you may already be using, like Amplitude, Mixpanel, and Heap.

There are also new ones in development, including Hubspot, and they’re all available in the lowest Traction plan!

Userpilot integrations
Userpilot integrations

Conclusion: Which should you choose?

Both Pendo and Userpilot are great user onboarding tools.

Pendo has brilliant analytics but otherwise offers limited functionality for a user onboarding platform and its pricing plans aren’t very transparent.

Userpilot offers more value for money compared to Pendo, giving you access to a range of features that allow you to build comprehensive onboarding experiences.

If you’d like to check out how Userpilot can help you design great user onboarding experiences, get a demo!

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