8 Top Customer Insight Tools & Platforms (2024)

by Josh Howarth
January 17, 2024

Customer insight tools can help your company get a better grasp on what your audience wants—and improve their satisfaction with your brand.

Depending on the tool you choose, you can gather actionable data about customer behavior, purchasing patterns, and friction in the customer journey. You can even figure out the literal real-world path your customers take through a store as part of their purchasing process.

The trick is selecting the right tool for the job—and these eight customer insight platforms are a great place to start.

1. Exploding Topics

Exploding Topics' consumer trend database helps you get a deeper understanding of what your target audience is interested in.


With our tool, you can see the exact topics, companies, and products that are set to take off.


Our users turn this data—which covers over 40 industries—into insights for:

  • Building more effective digital marketing campaigns
  • Improving customer experiences
  • Launching new products and services to meet market demand
  • Keeping tabs on new competitors in their markets
  • Outpacing competitors and grabbing a higher market share

Thanks to our process that blends AI tools with human data analysis, we're able to update our database every day—so you can be confident you're working with the most relevant data possible.

You can view details on many trends for free, right from our homepage. And if you want more insights, you can get access to the entire Exploding Topics Pro database starting at $39 per month (billed annually).

2. Hotjar

Hotjar is a heat mapping tool that makes it possible to see where website visitors are navigating—or bouncing—on your website.


It works for any kind of website, but is particularly useful for e-commerce companies that are interested in improving customer retention and optimizing conversion rates.

You’ll have to add some tracking code to your website in order to use Hotjar—but once you do, you can see data about how users navigate through your site. This includes:

  • Heat maps that help you visualize which pages and products get the most clicks
  • User paths through different pages
  • Actual recordings of website visitors’ clicks as they navigate your site
  • Zero-party information captured through integrated Hotjar surveys

With this customer data, you can then:

  • Refine your website's UX/UI
  • Reduce bounce rates by redesigning pages or moving content
  • Offer perfectly timed pop-up offers
  • Improve overall customer experience
  • Optimize your winback emails to reduce churn

You can capture up to 35 user sessions daily for free. To capture more data, you’ll need to opt in to a paid Hotjar plan starting at $39 per month (or $32 per month when billed annually).

3. Mixpanel

Mixpanel is a data analysis tool that can help you visualize a customer's journey from the time they found your site to the point at which they complete a conversion.


When using Mixpanel, you can drill down into your data and see insights about:

  • Where your users are located
  • The platforms and devices they use to access your site or app
  • How they landed on your content (directly, through a link, via winback emails, and more)
  • Which types of users are more likely to make a conversion, and when
  • Potential points of friction for users
  • When a user last interacted with you, and the actions they took

With this data, you can then:

  • Create complete customer journey maps to improve segmentation
  • Improve customer retention and loyalty
  • Boost your personalization efforts
  • Track changes in performance by location and season in order to improve marketing campaigns

If you've used Google Analytics, then Mixpanel's core measurement metrics—users, events, and properties—will be familiar.

When using Mixpanel, though, you're able to integrate data from multiple sources. You can do this using the platform's API and third-party Mixpanel integrations. This can give you a broader picture of all the ways users find and engage with your websites and apps.

Mixpanel's starter account allows you to track up to 20 million monthly events for free. If you need to track more events or want to unlock additional data analysis features, you can do so with a paid Mixpanel plan starting at $20 per month.

4. Typeform

Typeform is a dedicated survey tool that makes it easy to collect customer feedback and other zero-party data from your users.


With Typeform, you can:

  • Build custom surveys that present questions one at a time
  • Customize the design of each survey
  • Share surveys as a link
  • Embed surveys on your website
  • Record videos that walk customers through the survey in real time

While some of the other audience insight platforms on this list include surveys as an option, having a standalone survey tool can give you more control over your forms’ look, feel, and data collection.

Typeform allows limited free survey creation so you can experiment with the tool and see if it’s right for you. If you decide you’d like to use Typeform regularly, plans start at $29 per month ($25 per month if billed annually) for 100 monthly responses and unlimited survey forms.

5. Numerator

The Numerator service gives retail and online businesses easy access to information about their target markets.


The company does this by assembling focus groups of consumers who resemble your target audience.

The focus groups’ similarity to your user base means you can use Numerator to gather demographic and psychographic market research data. This info can then help with:

  • Pinpointing customer needs
  • Confirming that your customer segmentation is accurate
  • Developing new customer personas
  • Predicting purchasing patterns based on channel
  • Identify new channels for sales and marketing
  • Plan new ad campaigns
  • Improve overall customer satisfaction with new offerings

You can also compare Numerator panel insights to your own CRM data. This may be useful for making sure that your marketing is on track, or modeling how your marketing campaigns could influence consumer behavior.

Access to Numerator’s services is based on your needs, so you’ll need to get in touch with the company for a product demo and price quote.

6. Flame Analytics

Flame Analytics is like Hotjar in that it delivers information about your customers’ usage habits and shopping patterns—but this time, it’s in physical spaces.


By leveraging visit counters, in-store Wi-Fi connections, CCTV cameras, and bluetooth beacons, Flame Analytics can help you see:

  • How many people and cars are arriving in your store or parking lot
  • The paths shoppers take around your establishment
  • Wait times at cash registers

You can also use this same system to connect with your customers in a few different ways:

  • Collect customer information in exchange for free internet access
  • Send visitors real-time deals via app notifications or text messages
  • Create targeted marketing campaigns related to a visitor’s earlier behavior at your establishment

There are a variety of different ways you can set up and use Flame Analytics as part of your retail market research efforts. As such, interested users have to contact the company for a custom price quote.

7. Crisp

Crisp is another retail-friendly insights platform.


While Flame works in spaces that your company owns, Crisp can help you keep track of consumer packaged goods (CPG) sales and inventory across multiple third-party retailers. You can sort your data both by retailer and location, which allows you to do things like:

  • Keep your inventory evenly distributed across retailers and markets
  • Adjust for changes in seasonal demand
  • Build a marketing strategy that reaches consumers in areas where you need to sell more product, or have more inventory available

Crisp works with 29 retailers that offer a mix of online and in-store sales. Because Crisp doesn’t work with every store, you’ll need to make sure that enough of your distribution network is covered in order to make Crisp worth it.

Like many other customer insights tools, Crisp pricing is custom based on your company’s needs.

8. Hootsuite Insights

Hootsuite Insights delivers details around brand sentiment on social media.


If social media marketing is a big part of your strategy, then Hootsuite Insights can help you:

  • See the most common words used to describe your brand in social media posts
  • Monitor the top brand links shared by users
  • Identify the right time of day to enter into social conversations with your target customers

You can then use this information to refine your marketing strategy and connect with influencers who may be good brand promoters.

It’s important to remember, though, that Hootsuite Insights only looks at conversations on social media platforms. If you want to know more about industry and company trends across the internet at large, then a tool like Exploding Topics might be a better fit.

Hootsuite Insights is available at an extra cost as an add-on to Business and Enterprise plans. These tiers start at $739 per month, billed annually, and you’ll need to contact the Hootsuite sales team for an Insights demo and price quote.


Getting a complete picture of your customers’ thoughts, habits, conversations, actions, and patterns may require the use of several tools—it all depends on your primary goal.

Regardless of what that end goal is, though, the best way to start developing your customer insights strategy is by understanding your audience’s interests. And you can start doing this now with Exploding Topics.

When you start with an Exploding Topics Pro subscription, you can begin to understand what your target audience is talking about and interested in online—across the whole web, not just social media.