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Hotjar vs Lucky Orange

Hotjar vs Lucky Orange: which one should you choose?

Behind the scenes
Hotjar vs

Last updated

27 Jan 2022

Both Hotjar and Lucky Orange are useful for analyzing online user behavior: they help you move past traditional analytics so you can understand how and why your visitors behave the way they do on your site and create an experience they will love.

So if you want to:

  • Better understand your users’ behavior so you can improve their customer journey and the overall user experience (UX)

  • Make changes to your website, when high-level numbers from traditional analytics—like traffic and drop-off rates—aren’t giving you enough clarity about what to change

  • Narrow your focus to individual user issues and offer real-time support on your site

  • Discover problems and website bugs, and address live visitors’ concerns via chat

using software like Hotjar or Lucky Orange will help you reach your goals. There are things you can do with one of the tools but not with the other, and vice versa—so it really comes down to what type of information you need, and how you intend to use it. This piece is here to help by laying out the differences and similarities between Hotjar and Lucky Orange. We cover:

TL;DR: what’s the difference between Hotjar and Lucky Orange?

  1. Hotjar is designed to give insights about user behavior and to show businesses selling online how to create a smoother customer journey to improve the overall user experience. Lucky Orange provides behavior insights too, but is more focused on real-time intervention and live support for individual users.

  2. Hotjar offers 365-day data retention and employs a sampling method that allows customers to collect fewer data points at a lower cost, while still capturing enough data to be confident about insights and to make the appropriate changes to UX. Lucky Orange is a real-time usability and support tool, collecting all user data and offering 30-day data retention, which is more helpful for quickly identifying bugs and finding out where support is needed most.

  3. A ‘free forever’ plan lets you use Hotjar’s tools and features for free for as long as you need; business plans start small—from 35 sessions per day—and scale up based on your goals. Lucky Orange doesn’t have a free plan. Their plans scale up too, based on your business’s needs.

Hotjar gives you comprehensive insights into how users behave on your site, which is especially valuable if you are a business selling online and need to understand user behavior to improve the ecommerce customer journey and create a smooth user experience.

Lucky Orange helps online businesses identify issues and give usability support directly to individual users. Their tools are valuable to support teams that need to see what their users are seeing and chat with them in real time.

Brief history and mission of both companies

Headquartered in Kansas and made up of a team of 16, Lucky Orange was founded in 2010 by Danny Wajcman and Brian Gruber, two small business owners with backgrounds in sales and web development. They entered the market when there was very little behavior analytics or optimization software available for small and midsize businesses (SMBs). With Lucky Orange, Danny and Brian wanted to offer conversion optimization software that would be accessible to SMBs with little technical knowledge, to help them improve conversion on their websites.

Lucky Orange describes its product as realtime analytics and usability software designed to capture all user data. With features like live chat, co-browsing, and ‘Keep me tracking’ (which allows Lucky Orange to automatically upgrade your plan based on the number of pageviews your site gets), Lucky Orange is geared toward intervention and individualized support.

Here’s a peek at Lucky Orange’s ‘Live Visitors’ tab, where you can ask live visitors to chat, identify individuals by name or IP address, co-browse in real-time, and provide support and instructions to users:


Hotjar came on the scene in 2014 and also wanted to better understand user behavior, but with the goal of improving the overall user experience instead of providing individualized user support. Hotjar’s five founders made a conscious decision not to build a support tool that would require capturing everything about every user, which led to the sampling model we use today.

Hotjar gives your team—no matter its size!—insight into everything you need to understand your users and create an experience your customers will love. Our data sampling approach is in direct contrast to Lucky Orange (or other software you may have been considering, too, like FullStory), and helps to explain the difference in the price and scope for each tool: Hotjar lets customers collect fewer data points at a lower cost, while still capturing a large enough portion of traffic to be confident in your discoveries—and to improve UX (and increase conversions) as a result. Hotjar’s approach also allows us to offer a ‘free forever’ plan, which has been available since day one.

🛡️ Hotjar has taken steps across the entire company to ensure our full compliance with the GDPR. We’ve improved anonymity within our analytics tools, and have made changes that allow you to tailor how you request consent within our feedback tools.

Hotjar is completely transparent in our approach to business and customers, and we’re a fully remote company with a team of over 100 people distributed across 25 countries. We provide service from around the globe—Hotjar’s support is reactive no matter where you are (you don’t have to wait until we’re awake in your time zone).

This is from one of our team meet-ups at Mount Teide, Tenerife, in 2018

Get the insights you need to create experiences your users will love

Hotjar is built to give businesses selling online valuable insight into user behavior. Used by UX teams, marketers, product managers, and site owners, Hotjar can help you determine which are the right changes to make to improve the overall user experience. When Hotjar is used as a companion to traditional analytics tools (such as Google Analytics), you can learn not only what your users are doing on your site, but why.

Lucky Orange also gives site owners insight into user behavior, but is geared more toward support teams and site owners who want to focus on individual issues, apply immediate fixes, and offer real-time support to their users.

If you’re a business selling online and you want to improve the overall user experience and create a smoother online journey for your customers, you’ll need to:

  1. Put yourself in your users’ shoes to experience your site from their point of view.


    There’s no better way to understand what the user experience is like on your website than to see it through the eyes of your potential customers.

  2. Figure out where your users are dropping off (and why).


    Once you uncover insights on the trends and pain points your users are encountering on your site, you can make the right changes—the changes that will have the most impact.

Here are a couple of ways to do it:

Put yourself in your users’ shoes: experience your site from their point of view

The best way to understand the how and why of user behavior is to experience your site from the users’ perspective. Tools that can help you do this are:

  • Heatmaps, which help you understand what users are actually doing on individual pages: you can see which features and elements they click on, how far they scroll down the page, and where they move their mouse on the screen.

  • Session recordings (also known as session replays or visitor recordings), which let you see how real people navigate through your site: you can see where a user moves, clicks, and scrolls across multiple pages, and watch how they interact with different page features and elements.

#An example of UX tracking showing user clicks and scrolling in a Hotjar recording
An example of UX tracking showing user clicks and scrolling in a Hotjar recording

Behavior tools and data retention

While both Hotjar and Lucky Orange have heatmap and recording tools, the key differences are the way user data is collected, and our companies’ data retention policies:

  1. Hotjar samples data from anonymized users and retains it for you to refer back to for 365 days. This is perfect for keeping an eye on overall trends or common pain points over a period of time. Lucky Orange collects all data from all users all of the time, with 30-day data retention. While this is less than ideal for spotting long-term patterns and trends, it’s helpful from a support standpoint and for identifying individual user issues so you can provide real-time support.

  2. Hotjar’s tools create snapshots of specific pages or experiments you want to see, and you decide what data to collect based on what's most relevant to you. Hotjar’s data allocation is spread out across each day and month, so if you have a traffic spike, your data allowance won't be used up all at once. Hotjar’s model of sampling data when there's a spike is a big part of what allows us to offer plans at such affordable prices (not to mention our ‘free forever’ plan!). Lucky Orange is continually tracking all user data and supports features like ‘Keep me tracking’, which will automatically upgrade your plan so if you reach pageview limits before the month ends, you won’t lose any insights (but you will need to up your spend).

  3. With Hotjar, you can view heatmaps and watch replays of anonymized users browsing your site across multiple pages, but not in real time. Hotjar’s tools offer a reconstruction of the event, and user names and IP addresses are suppressed by default. With Lucky Orange, you can view live screen recordings, meaning you get to watch users browse your site in real-time—another feature that’s well-suited for providing individualized support. Lucky Orange customers have the option to anonymize users, but users are identified by their IP address by default.

🔥 Hotjar takes privacy seriously: our software suppresses information like credit card and phone numbers by default, and you can block (or allow) other specific fields or elements as needed.

Figure out where your users are dropping off (and why)

When you learn the trends and pain points your users are experiencing on your site—and can understand where and why they’re bouncing or exiting—you can make the right changes to improve their customer journey.

In addition to heatmaps and session recording software, these other tools can help:

  • Forms analysis, which helps you analyze the performance of forms on your site and understand which field(s) is proving problematic for your users to complete

Hotjar's forms tool

  • On-site surveys which can help you learn directly from users about what types of improvements or changes they’d like to see, including what they love (or hate) about your site’s functionality and usability. You can use surveys to set up an NPS poll to measure customer satisfaction, and to determine where and how to make improvements to your site or to specific pages.

An example of on-site survey

Hotjar and Lucky Orange both offer forms analysis and on-site polls, but knowing what’s right for you depends on the type of information you need, and how you’ll use it. The key difference between these tools is you: what do you need to learn from your users, and why?

  1. If you’re interested in learning about macro trends on your site from a large range of users over a long period, and you want to


    understand user behavior with the goal of improving overall user experience and increasing conversion rates, Hotjar’s tools might be for you.

  2. If you’re interested in learning more about micro-trends, you want to


    discover bugs and issues to be addressed in real-time, and you want to provide live support to your users, Lucky Orange’s tools may be the way to go.

4 reasons our customers choose Hotjar

1. Go beyond the numbers: build on traditional data to better understand user behavior

Hotjar helps you build on traditional data like traffic, pageviews, and bounce or exit rates by showing you how and why users interact with your website. When you use Hotjar and Google Analytics together, you’ll have everything you need to learn which changes to make to your site.

In a Capterra review, Jason B says that Hotjar "acts as a perfect complement to Google Analytics," giving "a level of depth that Google Analytics can't provide."

In another review, Rob C says that “having Hotjar provides us with an awesome additional tool to better understand what it looks like when people are actually browsing our site.”

Rob goes on to say that Hotjar gives them “amazing insight into exactly how people are looking at our website, packaged in a way that people without patience for numbers-driven analysis can understand and act on.”

2. Hotjar is designed to help businesses selling online build a better customer experience

Your customers develop opinions and make decisions about your business based on how they interact with—and what they experience—on your website. Hotjar can show you how to improve the customer journey and create a better overall user experience.

This Capterra reviewer who works in ecommerce says that Hotjar “makes it extremely simple to identify potential problem areas in the user experience that you, being familiar with the site, might miss.”

📚Read more: learn how Hotjar can help you improve the ecommerce customer journey with these practical tips, including examples from online retailer MADE.com

3. Hotjar is simple to get approved and scales with your business

Hotjar is easy to get approval and buy-in, and to get up and running quickly:

  • Our ‘free forever’ plan lets you use Hotjar’s tools and features for as long as you need

  • Business plans start small (starting at 500 sessions per day) and you can upgrade anytime: Hotjar’s plans grow with you

Ratish K says in a Capterra review that Hotjar “helps our business grow and provide our customers with GREAT CUSTOMER SERVICE!” Their company “upgraded to a Plus plan once [their] website started getting some good amounts of traffic.”

In another review, Renea H says that they were impressed by how many “major companies… have deployed Hotjar.” The number of companies already trusting Hotjar made Renea start asking questions relevant to their business’s needs and goals, and they were “able to say ‘yes’ to all of these [questions].”

4. Easy to install, set up, and understand

Hotjar aims to be easy for anyone to set up, use, and understand right away, while still providing the depth and value that the most advanced users need. All it takes is adding a snippet of code to your site, and you’re good to go.

In a review on TrustRadius, Willy B gives Hotjar 5 stars (and a 10/10 score) and calls it "easy to implement, even for non-techy users. A ready out of the box type of solution where implementation is done via GTM."

So, is Hotjar for you?

Hotjar is for you if:

✔️ You are a business selling online

✔️ You want to create a better overall user experience and improve conversions

✔️ You want to understand the how and the why

✔️ You need to get set up quickly and easily and start seeing insights right away

✔️ You want to be able to compare data for up to a year

✔️ You want the option to try for free for 30 days, and then only pay for what you need as your business grows (or stick with the ‘free forever’ plan)

Hotjar is NOT for you if:

✖ ️You need a live chat or real-time support tool

✖️ You want a tool to replace Google Analytics

✖️ You want a tool to run A/B tests

We hope this piece has answered your questions, and that you’ve found what you need to choose the tool that’s right for your business. If you’re still unsure, give Hotjar a try using our ‘free forever’ plan. Set-up is easy, and you can start learning from your users right away!

Ready to start using Hotjar?

Get started for free today and start learning what’s happening on your website in an easy, visual way.