2019 Pendo Alternatives: 10 Reasons to Choose Gainsight PX Over Pendo Image

2019 Pendo Alternatives: 10 Reasons to Choose Gainsight PX Over Pendo

Evaluating software is tough. I’ve gone through the process more times than I can count.

In the era of the subscription economy, there are tons of choices in every category and they all claim to be the best—so how do you decide? The only advice I can give is: read the reviews, read the comparisons, read the case studies, and demo everything. Sure, it sounds like work. But you know what’s worse than spending time on demo calls? Buying the wrong software and getting stuck with a product that doesn’t serve your needs.

So with that in mind, I wanted to provide a take on Pendo alternatives. This post focuses on 10 areas of Gainsight PX compared to Pendo—but don’t stop the process after you’ve finished. Schedule a demo of Gainsight PX or create a free account and see for yourself if this post is more than just marketing fluff. Beyond that, give Pendo a call, and all the other Pendo competitors, because the only way you’re going to truly know which product is right for you is if you put in the work.

10 Reasons why Gainsight PX is better than Pendo for your SaaS business

Now, let’s dive into 10 advantages of Gainsight PX vs. Pendo.

1. Gainsight PX is purpose-built for product experience

A critical but often-overlooked trait of software is: Was it originally built to do the thing I’m buying it for? In the case of Gainsight PX, the tool was conceived, developed, and went to market to enable teams to collect rich data on their product, engage users (whether they’re logged in or not), collect feedback, and help you build a better overall product.

Pendo was originally created as a web analytics tool. For that use case, it was great. Since then, Pendo has bolted on more product experience features to the core infrastructure, but at the cost of quality, speed, and performance. Think of it like someone adding a big racing spoiler to a ‘92 Honda Civic. Can you call it a race car? Technically, but under the hood, it has the same engine as before.

2. Gainsight PX offers greater speed and performance compared to Pendo

Being “purpose-built” might sound like another buzzword, but when you see the difference in each product’s speed and performance, you’ll reconsider.

The technology at the root of Pendo, meant to track pageviews, doesn’t scale the way Gainsight PX’s next-generation architecture does. To put it practically, we queried identical sets of data on both platforms. Can you guess which took longer? Gainsight PX took seconds and Pendo took three minutes.


Not just that, but Pendo can actually negatively affect your product’s performance. Gainsight PX and Pendo both require you to add snippets to your code. However, Pendo injects engagements directly into your tool’s cache so they can be fired when needed. The problem with that? As you add more and more engagements, the more you’re loading into the cache. This equals longer load times for your users. It’s like forcing a webpage to load dozens of high-resolution images on the off-chance it needs to display just one.

With Gainsight PX, engagements work in real time. Instead of preloading everything into the cache, each engagement is loaded the instant it’s needed.

3. Gainsight PX is easier to setup than Pendo—no coding skills required

When we talk about how Gainsight PX can do a number of things Pendo can’t, we like to point out that it doesn’t come at the cost of ease of use.

You don’t need to know how to code to use Gainsight PX. The software is built with tools like Product Mapper™ to instrument user behaviors without needing code (that said, if you want to get crazy, you can do even more complex instrumentation with code).

What-you-see-is-what-you-get (WYSIWYG) editors, native email functionality, and more, all mean that set-up is simple. But don’t take my word for it, create an account and poke around yourself.

4. Gainsight PX has more ways to engage your users

It’s great that Gainsight PX is purpose-built, faster, and easier than Pendo, but what does that mean for functionality? Well, Gainsight PX can do more than Pendo. One big example is our in-app engagement functionality. This is where you’re actually interacting with your users as they’re inside of your product. With Gainsight PX, you can utilize:

  • Guides and walkthroughs to introduce new features or onboard a new user into the platform.
  • Dialogs to display relevant messages when a user triggers specific behavior.
  • Sliders to offer help or provide guidance on a particular process and increase usage.
  • Hotspot beacons to draw the user’s eye and illustrate the proper click path.
  • Native email functionality to engage users and bring them back into the product.


Pendo can do guides and NPS emails, but not much else. If you buy Pendo and you’re looking to engage your users, you’ll probably wind up needing an additional tool.

5. Gainsight PX lets you collect more feedback from users

With Gainsight PX, you get a whole range of survey options to generate feedback right inside of your app. Pendo can do a bit of this, but they’re limited to a few options. Here’s a quick breakdown of survey options for Gainsight PX compared to Pendo:

Gainsight PX


NPS Surveys



Customer Effort Surveys



Customer Satisfaction (CSAT) Surveys



Custom Surveys



You can use guides as a workaround, but there’s no native option for this

Multi-Question Surveys



App Store Ratings



Robust Survey Analysis



For NPS only

6. Gainsight PX has superior reporting compared to Pendo

Pendo alternatives like Gainsight PX can bring a lot to the table when you consider how much more data is being collected. Just think about all the different survey options we just went through—if Pendo can’t perform a function, there will be no data there to collect and analyze.

With Gainsight PX and Pendo, you’re going to get the same “starter pack” of analytics:

  • User- and account-level metrics
  • Basic feature adoption
  • Funnel and path analysis (how people are moving through your product)

But Gainsight PX kicks things up a notch with:

  • Custom events and attributes: Pendo can’t support granular filters for these critical measures.
  • Cohort retention: Not all users are created equally and not all users have the same objectives or use cases, which is why you break them into cohorts and report individually. With Gainsight PX, you can compare cohorts together (say, adoption for users added last quarter vs. this quarter) and see trending data.
  • Query builder: If you’ve ever tried writing a SQL query or even a long Excel formula, you know it’s not an easy or pleasant experience. But Gainsight PX gives you that deep query capability with a simple drag-and-drop interface.


7. Gainsight PX gets you meaningful insights faster than Pendo

Great, Gainsight PX has more reporting capabilities. Whoopty doo. But it’s just a bunch of numbers, what do you want me to do with it?

Visualizing data is almost as important as the ability to collect it in the first place, and this is where Gainsight PX really shines. Within Gainsight PX, the retention analysis visually displays how users navigate through your application. With Pendo, you’re basically getting a spreadsheet.

By presenting all the data in an easy-to-understand format, and offering the ability to slice and dice by basically any measure you can think of, you’ll be able to make smarter product decisions faster.

A clear product hierarchy is also paramount to accurate analysis. With Pendo you have to tag every tracked element to try and organize the chaos before you can report on it—but with Gainsight PX, you can create a clean, well-organized hierarchy of features and modules. This saves you stress and time.

Hear this former Pendo user’s experience with Pendo’s time-consuming tagging process in our blog post, “Confessions of a Former Pendo User: Product-Mapping Pains.”


8. Gainsight PX lets you engage users in multiple channels

Once you’ve started gleaning insights from your product experience platform, whether that’s Gainsight PX, Pendo, or any other alternative, you need to make use of that information. Part of that is obviously to help you make more informed product decisions—you’re not going to double-down the investment on a feature that has steadily seen its adoption dropping. Or maybe you’re not ready to throw in the towel on that low-performing feature and want to instrument some engagements to try and bring it back to life. With Gainsight PX you can justify these kinds of decisions.

Gainsight PX doesn’t just include the features discussed earlier, but also has tools to engage users who don’t even use your product anymore. With Pendo, if your users abandon your app, you’re stuck rubbing two sticks together and hoping they come back so you can hit them with a guide or two.

With Gainsight PX, you can build and automate email messages directly within the tool, using the same data and segmentation you’re already collecting. This way you can be proactive about preventing users from going inactive, as well as message new features and announcements via email.


Learn more about Gainsight PX’s email engagement abilities in our blog post, “How to Bring Dead Users Back to Life.”


9. Gainsight PX is enterprise-ready

A big consideration of evaluating software is how well it scales. You want to be sure that as your business grows, your chosen solution doesn’t hold you back. In the case of Gainsight PX vs. Pendo, this is another important differentiation.

Gainsight PX was built to scale—so if you have 100 monthly active users or 10 million, your performance won’t suffer. If you have 10 in-app engagements or 100, your performance won’t suffer. If you have one product or 10… you see where this is going.

We noted earlier how Pendo has some inherent challenges when scaling things like in-app engagements and users. Pendo can get clunky and cumbersome as you scale, negatively affecting the performance of your product. It’s important to note that both Gainsight PX and Pendo offer security protections like SOC 2 Type II and GDPR that are important to enterprise businesses.

10. Gainsight PX can integrate seamlessly with a customer success platform

Lastly, and on the theme of scaling your business, it’s becoming more and more critical for your Product and Customer Success teams to work hand-in-hand. It’s Product’s job is to build an app the customer loves, and Customer Success’s job is to make sure the customer is happy and seeing the outcomes they want—which is why it’s so valuable to have tools that can speak with one another.

Not surprisingly, Gainsight PX integrates seamlessly into the Gainsight platform and allows those rich usage analytics to flow directly into it to influence customer health scores, trigger actions, and more. If you use a tool like Pendo, you’re looking at some serious IT resource time or add the additional cost for professional services to integrate your systems.

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Gainsight PX vs. Pendo: The Consensus

At the end of the day, you’re going to have to decide if every point I just made is based on facts, or if I just secretly really enjoy blogging about competitive differentiation in the product experience category 😫.

So, as I said when we began this journey of ours, I encourage you to fact-check me now. Look at the Gainsight PX reviews, look at other Pendo alternatives and Pendo competitors, and spend your time demoing the products. Every business is different, and different tools might work better depending on a number of factors. Good luck!