Session Replay Tools: is Hotjar or Clarity a good choice for your business?

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Need help deciding which Session Replay tool is best for your business? Is Hotjar or Clarity sufficient or do you need a more advanced tool? This article will answer those questions and ensure you get value from your Session Replay tool.

Whilst working as a Conversion Manager for an online gambling company, one of my responsibilities was to run Proof of Concept evaluations of Session Replay tools and make recommendations to the business.

Once a supplier had been chosen, I was responsible for managing the implementation, driving adoption and ensuring the tool delivers ROI.

This gave me the opportunity to try many tools and gain valuable knowledge about how they are used in the real world.

Basic or Advanced?

Session Replay tools fall into two categories:

Basic: Low cost or free but only supports core features such as Session Replay and Segmentation. Two of the most well-known are Hotjar and Microsoft Clarity.

Advanced: More expensive solutions also support advanced features such as alerts, load speed analysis, journey analysis, technical errors and conversion analysis. Advanced tools I have used include Content Square, Decibel and Quantum Metric.

From my experience, if your goal is to get actionable insights to increase conversion, the most useful features are Session Replays and Segmentation.

The more advanced features rarely get used or have an impact because more expertise is required to get value from them. Also, most businesses have other tools to meet those needs such as Neustar and Google Analytics.

To summarise, most businesses shouldn’t bother with the advanced tools. They are likely to get the same value at significantly lower cost using Hotjar or Clarity.

With this in mind, I will focus on Hotjar and Clarity for rest of article.

Hotjar vs Clarity

Price: Hotjar is available for free but there is a limit to the number of sessions it will record (only 35 a day), and filters aren’t available on the free package. So, you will need to pay a monthly fee of at least £65 for the tool to become useful.

Meanwhile Clarity is totally free. All the features are available and there is no limit on number of sessions.

Features: Hotjar has Surveys which is a useful feature that Clarity doesn’t support, and there is a direct integration with Google Optimize, so it is easy to use the tool to analyse AB tests.

However, when it comes to the core use case: Segmentation and Session Replay analysis, Clarity wins because it has double the number of filters.

Both tools have useful filters: Entry/Exit page, Rage Clicks, U-turns, Device, Browser. But Clarity has many more such as Dead Clicks, Excessive Scrolling, Screen Resolution, Image Errors, Selected text.

How to get actionable insights from your Session Replay tool

The best approach is to start with conversion analysis in Google Analytics or Adobe Analytics. This will identify where traffic is high, conversion is low and reveal underperforming segments.

If you don’t have conversion data, think about a question you want the analysis to answer or a specific part of the journey to investigate. It is important to narrow your search, otherwise you’ll be looking for a needle in a haystack.

Then in the Session Replay tool, set up corresponding segments to isolate these users and watch the replays to understand why they are struggling.

Watch at least 10 Session Replays and take note of anything interesting that happens.

You should see some issues come up again and again, then you know you have found a common problem and fixing this should have a significant impact on conversion.

Next, share your recommendations and Session Replays with the wider business. Seeing real users struggling is a great way to prompt senior managers to take action. And Tech teams love Session Replays too because they help in reproducing and fixing any defects.


Every online business should be doing Session Replay analysis – it’s a simple but highly effective method for increasing conversion. And if you decide to use Clarity, the only cost is the time it takes to set up the tool and do the analysis.

Thank you for reading, please give feedback on how you get on in the comments below.

If your business doesn’t have internal resource for conducting Session Replay analysis, please reach out and Conversion Uplift will be happy to help.

Useful Resources:

Tomer Sharon’s Rainbow spreadsheet is a great way to visualise Session Replay analysis and help find common issues.

Microsoft Clarity




Quantum Metric

Google Analytics

Adobe Analytics