Looking into digital experience analytic tools and confused by all the marketing speak? We break down the clear differences between Decibel and FullStory. In the end, there is no competition.
It can prove tricky to distinguish between fact and fiction when evaluating digital experience analytics solutions. At first glance, providers may appear nearly identical, all with the intention of solving the same problems in very similar ways.
But when we look behind the curtains of each vendor’s offerings and functionalities, the differences between each solution become ever clearer.
Given the business critical nature of understanding exactly how users behave and act across websites and apps, you simply cannot afford to approach optimization with the wrong technology. After all, the quality of online customer experiences directly impacts your ability to improve conversion rates, drive revenue, and earn customer loyalty as a result.
With that in mind, there are key differences between Decibel and other providers in this space. This guide is designed to cut through the noise and investigate the details behind the 4 most common reasons enterprise brands choose Decibel over FullStory specifically. The truth may surprise you!
Enough preamble: let’s get into the good stuff.
FullStory does not offer an experience scoring metric.
A single, reliable experience scoring metric may be the most empowering tool for effectively measuring and benchmarking the quality of user experiences on your website or app. And while Decibel delivers on this innovative capability, FullStory simply doesn’t offer their own.
Decibel’s technology measures everything that happens when people use websites and apps. We capture and process every moment of interaction within a visitor session to deliver experience metrics across categories like mouse velocity, movement, focus, attention, and more.
Decibel’s data science team developed world-class algorithms to uncover hidden insights and patterns that reveal the quality of user experience at scale. These well-trained machine learning models process all this information to output a set of unique digital insights that help define what makes a good and bad experience in the digital body language observed.
All these unique insights ultimately feed into the Digital Experience Score (DXS®), the first ever universal metric that measures online customer experience at scale.
Released in 2015 after extensive testing & validation, DXS® delivers an objective score – from 0-10 – of every customer experience across websites and apps. It best serves as a strategic reporting and benchmarking metric, as well as a diagnostic tool to pinpoint and prioritize the most urgent experience issues plaguing your website or app.
“DXS® is a quantifiable score that we can easily communicate to all levels of the company – from C-level down to the developers. We use it to confirm the areas of our website that are performing well – or easily identify pain points that we otherwise might not have known about.” – Tim Murphy, Leader of Global eCommerce Shopper Experience at LEGO
Behind DXS®, there are five unique experience pillars: engagement, frustration, navigation, along with technical and form experiences. These pillars offer digital teams a more granular view of the quality of your website or app while revealing opportunities to improve digital experience that can raise your bottom line.
Together, DXS® and its experience pillars provide enterprise digital teams with an actionable roadmap to address the most critical issues across their websites and apps without any second-guessing. DXS® is at the heart of Decibel’s entire digital experience analytics solution, and it ultimately empowers enterprises to truly understand every users’ online journey.
Both Decibel and FullStory track user behaviors and online interactions, however, the depth and breadth of this experience data differs greatly between each solution.
Aside from lacking an experience score altogether, FullStory’s digital experience analytics track just a handful of basic behavioral metrics like rage clicks or error clicks in the categories of friction, engagement, and performance. Meanwhile, Decibel’s digital experience analytics measures upwards of 150 digital experience metrics and behaviors while rolling them all into a single datapoint with DXS®.
From tracking mouse velocity and movement to page counts, load times, and focus rates, Decibel’s digital experience metrics account for virtually every experience data point imaginable – even the most subtle ones. And a user’s digital body language will never go unnoticed with behaviors like multi-clicks, scroll engagement, mouse reading, and bird’s nests at the core of Decibel’s behavioral metric as well.
With a bevy of digital experience and behavioral metrics at the forefront of Decibel’s solution, digital teams can truly understand every user’s state of mind and the pain points customers face online.
When it comes down to it, FullStory’s digital experience analytics just scratch the surface of behavioral and experience data, while simply leaving too many crucial knowledge gaps in comparison to Decibel.
You may wonder if an experience scoring metric is actually all that accurate, so Decibel recently published a detailed whitepaper on the science and strategic-thinking behind DXS®.
In fact, the Digital Experience Score has proven itself to be a trusted, science-driven, and continually validated metric and is currently being used by hundreds of leading enterprise organizations to measure the quality of digital experiences across their websites and mobile, as they happen.
For example, Constellation Energy, a leading US utility company, was able to tie a 0.5 increase in their website’s overall DXS® to a resulting 23% increase in overall online signups – and a massive 45% increase in mobile signups.
And, by optimizing based on DXS®, international travel leader TUI, was able to increase revenue by a significant 5% site-wide across all devices. In fact, in a separate study with TUI, researchers predicted a $30M revenue increase per year with a DXS® improvement of just 1 point.
“With DXS®, we can focus on customer issues highlighted by low scores and feed those hypotheses to product teams for development and testing. DXS® provides a scientific and measurable way of continuously improving our CX levels.” – Hirra Sulanki, Head of Digital Analytics, TUI
Building on the initial scientific foundation for DXS®, Decibel continuously tests and tracks new data sets and metrics to expand an already extensive suite of behavioral indicators. So, the expected results of Decibel users will continue to only get better and better as our data science advances.
While an experience scoring metric like Decibel’s DXS® sounds useful in theory, has it been proven to work in practice as a predicter of conversion and revenue for top enterprises?
Decibel conducts validation studies internally with our data science and insight teams, as well as with 3rd party vendors, to validate the impact and correlation of DXS® to relevant customer metrics. These validation studies are 100% data driven, blending both customer data and Decibel metrics to ensure that what we say we are measuring is accurate and true.
The studies consist of analyzing millions of unique sessions using logistic regression models to validate the correlation of DXS® to the probability of conversion and the impact on revenue and other KPIs of the business. The outcome is a model that allows the customer to make smart decisions based on analytics custom to their business.
One such example of a recent validation study is with London-headquartered high street fashion brand, River Island. In this study, researchers found that improving DXS® by 1 point would increase conversion probability by 43%, which in turn would potentially drive an estimated monthly increase of $4.2M in revenue.
Missing an all-encompassing experience metric like Decibel’s DXS®, FullStory leaves out a crucial piece of the puzzle that enables lucrative yet integral digital optimizations at the enterprise scale.
FullStory lacks effective usability at the enterprise scale.
Now, what separates mid-market solutions from enterprise grade solutions? Usability and scalability.
Most enterprise digital teams have millions of users visiting their website or app every month. With such a high volume of user sessions to analyze, time-saving functionalities and features have become unofficially mandatory innovations for digital experience analytics end-users.
While an experience scoring metric proves invaluable for measuring user experiences at nearly any scale, like Decibel’s DXS®, there’s more to it than just that. You need a suite of analytics features and forensic tools that empower you to investigate user experience issues without wasting any precious time.
When it comes down to scaling experience insights at the largest level, FullStory simply misses the mark when stacked up against Decibel.
With billions of user behaviors and actions unfolding across millions of user journeys, you’ll need digital experience analytics that automatically surface experience issues and optimization opportunities for you – and that’s where Decibel beats FullStory.
FullStory’s core solution offering is built off a concept of an experience analytics search engine – like Google but for searching through user sessions. With a custom dashboard of your preferred metrics and a list of experience categories, digital teams must decide which topics to search or add to dashboards or funnels– like form abandonment or rage clicks. Then, teams must manually sift through these segments of visitor sessions and watch the results of every session replay in hopes of finding a common experience issue worth bringing to the optimization stage.
While this functionality (searching and segmenting) works effectively on a smaller mid-market scale for companies with fewer site visitors, enterprise teams with millions and millions of user sessions taking place over the course of any given month simply don’t have the time to dedicate towards this labor-intensive search process.
On top of it all, digital teams must already know the issues, opportunities, or events they need to investigate, then make the tough call on issues that warrant top priority. But shouldn’t your digital experience analytics solution do the legwork of searching and prioritization for you?
Unlike FullStory, Decibel’s industry-leading prioritization engine mitigates any possibility for end-user error with AI surfacing the most critical experience issues plaguing your website or app.
And to eliminate any hesitation when it comes to optimization, Decibel’s Prioritization Engine automatically orders experience issues and optimization opportunities by urgency with factors like frequency and impact weighted heavily. Whether you’re trying to find the most common experience issues versus dig into a specific category of problems like spiking checkout abandonment or low returning user loyalty, automated insights ordered by impact simplify your investigations.
So instead of trying to hypothesize potential issues sabotaging your conversions and calculating the importance of experience issues yourself, Decibel will direct you to those most pressing matters that will revamp user experiences, uplift conversions, and spark customer loyalty.
As these automated capabilities continue to prove as must-have innovations for digital teams, it ultimately separates Decibel from FullStory as the clear choice for enterprises. Decibel takes much of the legwork and guesswork out of your optimization efforts.
FullStory’s analytic tools operate with limited data and functionality.
There are two fundamental experience building blocks that can make or break successful conversion optimization at the enterprise level: user journeys and online forms. The former represents every user’s ‘path’ to conversion (or abandonment), while the latter acts as the ‘gateway’ to conversion – together both require special attention to trigger experience-based conversions.
From learning exactly how every user session unfolds to identifying signs of an effective versus lackluster form, your team needs to rely on tools that glean data you can put use as you look to optimize the most popular online journeys and forms.
Among the many features and capabilities in the space of digital experience analytics, form analytics and journey mapping standout as must-have tools for turning exceptional experiences into lucrative conversions.
Side-by-side, FullStory’s version form analytics honestly comes up quite short in comparison to Decibel’s offering. You can use FullStory to identify sessions in which there were abandoned forms – but, then you then you have to watch back those sessions to try to figure out what went wrong in those sessions on your own.
As mentioned, FullStory’s digital experience analytics are largely predicated off a search engine-like functionality, which requires you to know exactly what you’re looking to watch and spend more time manually searching through those sessions.
If you already know about existing form-based errors and issues, this may work well at first as you can search keyword categories like “form abandonments” to locate session related to form experiences.
Now, what happens if you’re totally unaware of a spike in poor form experiences? After all, not all issues result in easily detectable abandonment, they may just create a subpar, friction-filled experience – like a broken autofill function forcing manual form completion for repeat buyers. Without an automated alert notifying you of these issues, they can go unnoticed for far too long.
But even if practitioners are well aware of form issues due to surging form abandonment rates, FullStory’s form analysis is rather clunky. To locate the specific points of frustration – whether it’s related to a broken submission button or form display issue – FullStory requires end-users to sift through and watch hours of sessions manually. And even then, you’re not guaranteed to find patterns or events tied to specific form issues. That’s potentially hours of your day wasted.
On the other hand, Decibel’s Form Analytics tackle these end-user obstacles head on. Powered by DXS®, Decibel utilizes its machine learning algorithms to provide a unique Form Experience Score (FXS) for every form on your website or app, allowing digital teams to focus on forms that require the most urgent attention.
Decibel generates a unique dashboard for each online form, allowing for rapid diagnosis of performance and issues. This helps you gain insight into which design types and page elements impact engagement, abandonment, errors, and completion – on both the form and field level, allowing for granular diagnosis. In fact, Decibel is the only player in the digital experience analytics space with this dual capability.
Unlike FullStory and its more manual functionality, Decibel instantly analyzes every form-based session replay and automatically surfaces any encountered error or experience issue taking place on those pages. With Decibel’s Prioritization Engine, instances of frustration and friction costing conversions are ordered by impact to simplify your optimization checklist.
While both FullStory and Decibel can generate useful form insights, it’s clear the automated insights and granular form an field-level reporting of Decibel makes investigating and optimizing remarkably less tedious for you and your team.
Visualizing user journeys is one of the most trusted ways to find problematic bottlenecks and common experience issues. And although FullStory offers Conversion Journeys as a journey analysis tool, it fails to meet full enterprise expectations.
Within FullStory’s Conversion Journeys, you can manually build and set funnels based on potential journeys leading to conversion. In fact, you must create all new funnels from scratch within Conversions and specify every series of events – in the specific order – that you want to analyze. First of all, this process – like others in FullStory – requires plenty of end-user legwork without any guaranteed results if your users don’t perfectly follow the funnels you’ve built. And if you’ve got a robust website with a wide range of potential journeys (like most enterprises), then you’ll be swamped with this tedious labor that may or may not work.
To add to this, FullStory’s journey-mapping capabilities are strictly conversion focused. While this may work well for ecommerce sites, even then, not every user journey is intended to convert.
From online content to customer support resources and much more, non-transactional experiences can indirectly impact conversions over time. Without a funnel or mapping tool built to track any user journey (conversion-centric or not), you’ll be left in the dark concerning the high-frustration sticking points undermining the quality of those end-to-end journeys.
Common thinking around user behaviors and user journeys suggest online visitors follow familiar, known, and predictable paths. However, when you look at the journeys users actually follow, the reality is very different and outcomes can be complicated. Luckily, Decibel’s Journeys capture this reality with our unique sunburst visualizations.
Decibel’s sunburst visualizations automatically show the actual paths that visitors take through your site or app. Journeys shows complex, large data sets in an easy-to digest-format, in order to quickly pinpoint bottlenecks, uncover previously unknown routes, and identify the fastest and most effective paths to conversion. With customizable visualizations, you can really get even more granular by focusing on specific journey segments like device type, time periods, page groups, and many more. For example, easily view how the paths of mobile traffic differ than that of desktop traffic to pinpoint varying ways of improvement.
In addition to visualizing the flow of traffic across pages and page groups, Decibel also shows the Digital Experience Score (DXS ®) for each journey – an easy way to evaluate journeys both at scale and at each step along a user’s path.
And, when you’ve identified specific conversion paths for further analysis, Decibel makes it easy. Beyond sunburst visualizations, Decibel’s funnel analytics provide a more traditional look at defined paths to uncover barriers to conversion – uncovering key drop off points and barriers to conversion.
User journeys are complicated and rarely perfect or straightforward, which makes an extensive journey-mapping tool like Decibel Journeys all the more powerful. While FullStory uncovers insights regarding conversion-centric journeys, its one-dimensional and tedious nature simply doesn’t scale for all digital teams.
FullStory fails to integrate with essential enterprise grade solutions like Adobe.
No single analytics solution or data-driven tool is enough to perfectly help you and your team optimize every digital experience on your website or app.
While some solutions may play larger roles than others in your experience investigations, integrating complementary solutions can make a whole world of a difference – especially for enterprises.
So, when it comes to digital experience analytics, far-reaching integration capabilities with well-trusted tools can take insights and optimizations to another level by adding must-have context to digital experience data. But those without them? Well, they’ll just hold your team back.
From common web analytics and voice of customer solutions to personalization, testing, and marketing automation tools, the more well-rounded your CX and MarTech stack, the better off you’ll be when it’s time to optimize your website or app. And for those must-have enterprise-grade integrations, Decibel and FullStory work on noticeably different levels.
Functioning more as a mid-market solution best used by smaller ecommerce brands, FullStory offers various integrations beneficial to that niche, but even then, their integrated capabilities aren’t nearly as robust as Decibel’s.
FullStory is compatible with many of the same popular tools that Decibel connects with, like Google Analytics. Yet in many other cases, FullStory’s integrations lack in-depth, bi-directional services ‘out of the box’ that Decibel currently offers. And in the case of the widely popular Adobe Experience Cloud, FullStory doesn’t integrate at all with its complete suite of tools, including the widely popular Adobe Analytics. This puts them at a massive disadvantage for enterprise.
On top of that, FullStory often puts the onus onto you, as the client, to implement many new integrations you may seek – another potentially laborious task on your team’s end to worry about. So, make sure that is part of your initial conversation with Fullstory: how much support are you going to get from them during onboarding and implementation? At this point, integrations with FullStory sound like a heavy lift that may not even generate thew additional insights you seek.
On the other hand, Decibel’s Integrations cater to digital teams by offering a wide range of integration possibilities with far-reaching capabilities. Purpose-built for large scale enterprise functionality, Decibel’s technology uses a flexible, fast, open API, enabling you to pull and push experience data to any technology in your CX or MarTech stack.
Decibel’s experience intelligence can be shared across your entire MarTech stack with established, bi-directional and real-time integrations – empowering advanced personalization and optimization. Most notably, Decibel is the only digital analytics solution with a premiere partnership with Adobe. This means, if you are an Adobe user, you can expect deep bi-directional integrations across your suite of Adobe Experience and Marketing Cloud tools, like Analytics, Launch, Campaign, and Target.
Including many of the same highly coveted integrations FullStory offers, Decibel goes a step above by offering a more comprehensive ‘out of the box’ functionality with analytics partners. For the cherry on top, Decibel rolls out the implementation for these must-have integrations for its customers. After all, you and your team have enough on your plate.
And unlike FullStory, Decibel offers extensive integration with Adobe’s entire suite of analytics solutions. In fact, over 60% of Decibel customers rely on Adobe tools, which makes this type of integration non-negotiable for many enterprises.
So, while Decibel and FullStory both offer a bevy of practical integrations, the degrees in which both solutions function ‘out of the box’ and their depth of integration offerings simply don’t matchup – Decibel is the clear winner here.
As you would expect, there are far more than 4 reasons why Decibel is the preferred choice over FullStory (and others in the digital experience analytics market).
As a potential buyer and end-user, it’s more than worth going beyond the “marketing speak” and pretty UI to look at what’s under the hood. Invest in the solution that has the complete range of functionality needed to uncover the good, bad and more deeply hidden issues of your digital offerings along with the proven science and metrics to earn your respect and trust.
When going head-to-head with FullStory, Decibel users feel confident that they have access to the most advanced and only validated analytics available today and are partnered with an organization invested in an innovative roadmap and deep, ever-evolving enterprise partnerships.