Appcues vs Intercom: Overview & Alternatives

Intercom and Appcues are two popular software tools for product adoption. But which one is superior? We take a look.
Published on: Nov 21, 2023
Last updated: Jan 25, 2024


  • Choosing the right customer engagement software is crucial for enhancing customer experience, with Appcues and Intercom being two prominent options.
  • Appcues is a user onboarding and experience platform that focuses on guiding customers through a product's features to optimize user experience and boost engagement.
  • Appcues features include user onboarding, feature adoption, insights into user behavior, NPS and surveys, announcements, and mobile adoption capabilities.
  • Appcues is praised for its intuitive flow builder, non-technical user empowerment, strong targeting, actionable insights, and seamless integrations.
  • However, some drawbacks of Appcues include limited customization, onboarding issues, management console concerns, and a comparatively limited number of integrations.
  • Intercom, on the other hand, is an advanced customer messaging platform with a broader focus on product adoption, customer support, CRM, and messaging across channels.
  • Intercom's features include product adoption tools, AI-powered customer support, CRM capabilities, customizable messaging, and various integrations, including Fullview for cobrowsing and session replays.
  • Intercom's pros include its comprehensive platform with diverse integrations, simplified implementation, and the fusion of AI and human interaction for a personalized experience.
  • However, Intercom has some drawbacks, including scalability issues for larger organizations and limited automation capabilities.
  • The main differences between Appcues and Intercom include pricing, reviews, use cases, features, Fullview integration for cobrowsing and session replays (unique to Intercom), and the industries they primarily serve.
  • Alternatives to Appcues and Intercom include Pendo, WalkMe, UserPilot, Whatfix, and UserGuiding, each offering unique features and capabilities for improving digital experiences.

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Choosing the right customer engagement software can feel like a giant puzzle. Do you go with Appcues or Intercom? How do they actually compare? With so many options out there, it's tough to know where to start.

But have no fear — this post is here to help simplify things. We'll scrutinize Appcues and Intercom side-by-side, exploring their features, pricing, reviews, and more. You'll get the insider's guide to how these tools stack up, along with some solid alternatives to consider.

Why does this matter?

As of 2023, 53% of customers consider the customer experience they have with a brand just as important as the price or product itself.

Therefore, the software you use to connect with customers and offer whatever experience you offer is serious business today. Choose right, and you could supercharge your customer engagement. Choose wrong, and, well...let's just say you'll be missing out.

Appcues vs. Intercom: At a glance

Get your popcorn ready - we're about to speed through a visual showdown between Appcues and Intercom. This graphic lays out the critical differences between these tools at a single glance.

You'll get a rapid-fire tour of their key features, pros, cons, and more. Like clashes between superheroes, we'll spotlight where these platforms shine and where they stumble. Consider it your instant guide to picking the best solution for your customer engagement needs.

So kick back and enjoy the ride. This comparative graphic will spotlight the core contrasts between Appcues and Intercom in a flash. Let's roll!

What is Appcues?

Imagine having an expert guide to shepherd your customers smoothly through your software product. This guide enhances their journey and ensures their success every step of the way.

That's what Appcues functions as.

Appcues is a revolutionary user onboarding and experience platform designed to navigate customers through your product's terrain. It optimizes user experience and boosts engagement.

The magic of Appcues is its focus on customer success, support, and product teams. Its tailored tools empower these teams to craft engaging experiences without tons of developer resources. Gone are the days of customers getting lost in complex interfaces. With Appcues, you're providing not just a map, but a fully equipped GPS to master your product with ease.

In short, Appcues is your sherpa to guide customers to success, no mountain-climbing gear required. Its tools help teams streamline user onboarding and ongoing support so users love your product.

Appcues Features

Appcues packs a punch when it comes to features that enhance user experiences. Its toolbox is built to assess behavior, accelerate adoption, and get users to succeed with your product fast. Let's check out the key elements that make up this robust platform:

  • User Onboarding: Appcues lets teams design and roll out slick onboarding flows to help new users see your product's value in minutes. Welcome messages, checklists, tips — it makes onboarding fun and frictionless.
  • Feature Adoption: With clever slideouts, tooltips, and hotspots, Appcues boosts discovery and use of new features. It spotlights untapped potential to keep users engaged long-term.
  • Insights: This feature helps you tap into the data behind user actions. See what makes them tick and adapt your product to their needs.
  • NPS & Surveys: Easily gather feedback with Appcues' in-app surveys and Net Promoter Score tools. User insights = a better product and happier customers.
  • Announcements: Keep users in the loop on new features, updates, or changes using announcements. Great for real-time communication.
  • Mobile Adoption: Recently added mobile capabilities let you build and test custom mobile experiences without major developer resources.

With its intuitive features, Appcues smoothes the path for product adoption and delight. Users love products that feel like they were made just for them!

Appcues Pros

What makes Appcues so well-loved by product teams? Let's look at some of its standout strengths:

  • Intuitive Flow Builder: Appcues gets cheers for its super simple flow builder. Users can whip up slick experiences right inside the product, fast-tracking value.
  • No Techie Skills Needed: Appcues sets itself apart by empowering non-developers. You don't need to code to create and manage in-product experiences. Huge win.
  • Strong Targeting: Businesses can micro-segment users and craft tailored experiences for each group. Personalization is a big engagement booster.
  • Actionable Insights: Appcues equips you with insightful analytics on user actions and preferences. This intel is gold for data-driven decisions.
  • Seamless Integrations: Appcues plays nice with platforms like Segment, Mixpanel, and Google Analytics. More tools = more power.

With strengths like these, it's easy to see why Appcues is a hit with customer success, support, and product teams. It makes enhancing user experiences fun and frictionless.

Appcues Cons

Appcues is a powerful platform, but no product is perfect. Let's look at some of the common drawbacks based on user feedback:

  • Limited Customization: Some users want more options to customize banners, pop-ups, etc. The demand is there for truly tailored, unique experiences.
  • Onboarding Needs Work: Folks agree Appcues is user-friendly once you get it. But upfront onboarding and docs are lacking. Step-by-step guidance for beginners could be improved.
  • Management Console Issues: The organizational structure of the console draws criticism for not being intuitive enough. It could be streamlined for better navigation.
  • Limited integrations: Unlike Intercom, which has a vast app ecosystem consisting of 1000s of 3rd party integrations for everything from cobrowsing to session replays to ticket management and more, Appcues lacks a significant number of integrations, which makes it challenging to turn it into an all-in-one platform for customer support and success.

Now, these cons aren't dealbreakers, but it's good to keep them in mind before jumping in. User feedback helps great products like Appcues continue improving. But for most teams, the pros still seem to far outweigh the cons.

Appcues Pricing

Appcues offers transparent pricing tailored to companies at different stages. Here's an overview of their plans:

Essentials Plan: Perfect for startups and small businesses on a budget.

  • Starts at $249/month (when paid annually) for up to 2,500 Monthly Active Users.
  • Includes basics like three user licenses, standard templates, unlimited insights, click tracking, and email support.

Growth Plan: Made for rapidly scaling teams who need more.

  • Starts at $879/month (with annual payment) for up to 2,500 MAUs.
  • Has everything in Essentials plus extras like ten user licenses, advanced targeting, unlimited track events, more integrations, and customer success support.

Enterprise Plan: For major enterprises with multiple products.

  • Custom pricing based on your needs.
  • Includes unlimited licenses, enhanced security, premium support, and more.

Prices and specifics can change, so verify with Appcues' pricing page. But in a nutshell, they scale pricing based on company size and needs. Whether you're a startup or an enterprise, Appcues aims to fit the bill.

Appcues User Reviews

On G2, Appcues shines with a 4.6 out of 5-star rating based on 45 reviews.

Users rave about how it "streamlines user onboarding" with an "easy-to-use interface for tooltips and modals." The "quick support response time" and "continuous improvements" also get shoutouts.

Of course, no product is perfect. Some folks mentioned an "initial learning curve for complex flows" and occasional "design glitches."

But overall, reviews are glowing. Users seem to really appreciate how Appcues removes friction from onboarding and helps them create slick in-product experiences.

Like with any product, it's smart to look at multiple reviews before deciding if Appcues is a fit. But for most users so far, it definitely earns its stars! Checking out the user experience yourself is the best way to gauge if it's right for your needs.

Appcues Use Cases

Appcues powers user onboarding, activation, engagement, and retention for diverse businesses across industries and stages. Its success stories demonstrate the platform's versatility.

Use cases where Appcues delivers results:

  • E-commerce: Printify saw a 10% conversion lift by leveraging data with Appcues.
  • Marketing Automation: GetResponse tapped Appcues to accelerate activation and adoption.
  • SaaS: Companies like PatientSky and Accelo boost conversions and engagement with Appcues.
  • EdTech: n2y reduced support needs by 400% using Appcues for self-service.
  • Project Management: Sitemate went global and doubled engagement in 6 months with Appcues.

Whether you're a startup, scaling business, or big brand, Appcues has a plan that fits. Their pricing tiers ensure companies at any stage of growth can achieve their goals and deliver great user experiences.

The proof is in the results — Appcues powers onboarding and engagement wins across industries.

What is Intercom?


Intercom is an advanced customer messaging platform with a mission — make business personal.

Unlike Appcues, which zeroes in on onboarding and user experience, Intercom plays in a bigger sandbox. Intercom packs a powerful mix of features for product adoption, customer support, ongoing engagement, and even CRM.

In a nutshell, Intercom arms businesses with a loaded toolbox to connect with customers across channels. It's equipped to handle diverse customer communication needs under one roof.

Where Appcues streamlines onboarding flows and in-product experiences, Intercom expands beyond adoption to ongoing conversations. Its wider capabilities empower personalized interactions from first touch to loyal customer.

Intercom Features

Intercom brings a stacked toolbox to support diverse customer communication needs:

  • Product Adoption: It offers slick onboarding, plus tools to keep users engaged long-term like Product Tours. Less support tickets = happy customers.
  • Customer Support: Its AI-powered helpdesk resolves issues fast. The bot "Fin" handles simple queries, so humans can focus on complex problems.
  • CRM: Intercom handles customer data management. Personalization and optimization made easy.
  • Messaging & Omnichannel: Customizable messaging and support across channels like email, SMS, mobile, etc. Be there in the moment of need.
  • Integrations: It plays nice with other tools to enhance capabilities. One highlight is an integration with Fullview for cobrowsing and session replays.

Bottom line - Intercom aims to be an all-in-one customer communication command center, far more capable than alternatives like Appcues and Zendesk. Their features span the customer lifecycle from onboarding to loyal brand advocates.

Intercom Pros

In spite of similarities, there exist key areas where Intercom outshines Appcues:

  • Comprehensive platform with diverse integrations: Intercom manages every facet of the customer lifecycle within a unified platform, eliminating the necessity for additional tools. It also provides integrations with various third-party applications/programs like Fullview.
  • Simplified implementation: Intercom boasts user-friendliness, easy adoption, minimal training requirements, and swift setup and implementation.
  • Fusion of AI and human interaction: Intercom presents an all-encompassing solution by seamlessly combining AI-powered and human-centric customer service, resulting in a more efficient, authentic, and personalized experience.

Intercom Cons

Despite its advantages, Intercom does have some drawbacks:

  • Issues with scalability: Larger organizations may find Intercom lacking in scalability, but it proves sufficient for smaller enterprises either as a standalone CRM or in conjunction with a simpler, lower-cost CRM.
  • Limited automation capabilities: While Intercom includes basic automation features, it falls short in efficiently streamlining processes and workflows.

Intercom Pricing

Intercom structures its pricing across different plans, each catering to specific service levels:

  • Essential Plan: Priced at $39 per seat per month, this plan includes Intercom’s shared inbox, AI assistant, and basic chatbots. Notably, it lacks features like multiple team inboxes, advanced workflows, and a multilingual help center.
  • Advanced Plan: Valued at $99/month, the advanced plan unlocks enhanced customization and extensive reporting features. It offers three playbooks and accommodates up to 20 seats. However, compared to the Expert plan, it does not include workload management or multiple help centers.
  • Expert Plan: Tailored for sizable businesses, the Expert Plan provides dedicated support with a customer success manager, implementation manager, and more.

Intercom User Reviews and Ratings

Boasting nearly 3,000 positive reviews and a 4.5 out of 5-star rating, Intercom earns acclaim for its user-friendly yet potent interface. Users particularly commend its intuitive design and vast app ecosystem.

Intercom Use Cases

Intercom’s capabilities span from transforming customer service to fostering stronger customer bonds and driving proactive engagement.

Whether you're a startup, a scaleup, or an enterprise giant, Intercom stands ready to revolutionize your customer service game. Offering a versatile solution, Intercom profoundly impacts customer experiences, irrespective of your business's size or shape.

Appcues vs Intercom: The Main Differences

Appcues and Intercom both aim to improve product experiences but have different approaches. Let's contrast the core differences:

  • Pricing: Appcues starts at $249/month while Intercom's product adoption add-on starts at $199/month (plus existing Intercom subscription).
  • Reviews: Intercom has more (it's been around longer), suggesting it's more mature and road-tested vs Appcues.
  • Use Cases: Appcues focuses on onboarding and tours. Intercom goes broader with support, CRM, messaging.
  • Features: Intercom has borderless video messaging. Appcues offers a robust UX toolkit.
  • Fullview Integration: This is unique to Intercom and allows agents to initiate cobrowsing calls with screen control and watch recordings of user sessions in their app straight from Intercom.
  • Industries: Appcues centers on SaaS/web apps. Intercom serves more verticals.

As you can see, Intercom plays in a bigger sandbox, while Appcues goes deeper on focused UX tools. However, it can pay off to check out the reviews yourself to weigh the pros and cons for your specific needs.

Best Alternatives to Appcues and Intercom

Appcues and Intercom might be big names, but they're not the only options out there. Sometimes an alternative solution is a better fit for your specific needs and budget.

Whether you want more specialized onboarding capabilities, a platform that blends product tours with live chat, or one focused on conversational support, there are some solid alternatives worth a look.

The most popular tools don't always win. Maybe you want more customization, better pricing, or features that perfectly match your use case. Don't just default to the two giants — explore your alternatives first.

Let's check out the top contenders that could give Appcues and Intercom a run for their money. An underdog solution might just become your new MVP!



Pendo offers an all-star lineup of features to level up digital experiences for both customers and employees.

With tools for user onboarding, in-app support, product-led growth, and beyond, Pendo aims to be your one-stop shop. Key features include:

  • Analytics: Get the insider intel on user behaviors to rapidly improve experiences.
  • In-App Guides: Personalized onboarding tips and assistance right in your app. No more frustrating new user experiences!
  • Session Replay: Watch exactly how users navigate your product. Make smarter, data-backed decisions.
  • Feedback: Real-time user feedback flows right into your planning. Build what your users want.

A major perk of Pendo is its reputation for being easy to use and install. Even with its powerful capabilities, it's designed for non-technical folks. Your engineers can focus on building an awesome product while you enhance the experience.

There’s even a free trial to get started trying the platform out for yourself, with the first premium-tier package available upon request.

If you want robust digital experience tools in one seamless, user-friendly package, Pendo could be your winner. However, it’s worth noting that unlike Intercom, Pendo doesn’t have a third-party cobrowsing integration.



WalkMe makes software adoption effortless with a Digital Adoption Platform powered by insights, guidance, and engagement.

The goal? Intuitive experiences where users intuitively take action and businesses fully realize their software investments. Key features:

  • AI: Predictive analytics from AI create highly personalized, engaging experiences.
  • Omnichannel: Users move seamlessly across channels while maintaining context. No frustrating handoffs.
  • In-App Guidance: Intuitive assistance throughout your app improves adoption and satisfaction.
  • Employee Hub: Centralized task management and communication to streamline workflows.
  • Experience Creation: Build tailored journeys driving engagement and conversions.

Reviews praise WalkMe's intuitive guidance and extensive personalization capabilities. However, some note that fully leveraging all its robust features involves a learning curve.

Regarding pricing, there’s a free version to get started, with three premium tiers, the first starting at $800 per month. However, it’s not an easy structure to follow, and you’re best off reaching out to the sales team for an accurate quote.

If you want to remove friction and connect digital experiences end-to-end, WalkMe could help users seamlessly adopt your software.



UserPilot aims to pump up product growth through better engagement, feedback, and onboarding. Their mission? Create seamless experiences, boost adoption, and drive expansion revenue.

Let's tour its key features:

  • Product Analytics: Track and analyze product usage to unlock customer insights.
  • User Engagement: Keep users hooked with campaigns and in-app messaging to showcase value.
  • User Feedback: Microsurveys capture user sentiment for more informed product decisions.
  • User Onboarding: Personalized onboarding reduces time-to-value and feature discovery.
  • In-App Support: Immediate help boosts satisfaction and self-service and evaluation abilities.

UserPilot integrates well with your existing tech stack for easy data sharing. Users report better onboarding, increased activation, and higher retention. It may take some time to master its robust capabilities based on reviews.

Pricing-wise, you’re looking at $249 per month (billed annually) for the starter tier.



Whatfix aims to streamline the customer journey and boost software adoption across platforms with analytics and slick UI.

For businesses seeking productivity gains, lower support costs, and happier users, Whatfix offers:

  • Personalization: Custom onboarding, guidance, and real-time support for individual users.
  • Omnichannel Adoption: Consistent experiences across web, desktop, and mobile. No confusing hand-offs.
  • Automation: Streamline repetitive tasks to increase efficiency. Do more with less effort.
  • Analytics: Understand user behaviors through comprehensive analytics. Gain that insider intel.
  • Content Creation: Easily create and publish engaging content formats. Adapt to user needs.

Whatfix claims impressive gains like 72% greater productivity, 50% faster time-to-productivity, and massive training cost savings.

If you want to simplify software adoption across channels, Whatfix could be the ticket.



UserGuiding allows you to create beautiful product walkthroughs and onboarding without any coding, helping users engage better and adopt new features.

Its personalized experiences target user pain points to deliver the right guidance at the right time. Key features include:

  • Product Walkthroughs: Craft step-by-step guidance to help users navigate your product with ease. No more confusion!
  • Onboarding Checklists: Guide users on the key steps to ramp up quickly.
  • Resource Centers: House all your support content in one spot for smooth self-service.
  • In-App Messaging: Send the right messages at the right times to boost interactivity.
  • Customer Feedback: Collect insights into user sentiment with in-app and NPS surveys.
  • Analytics: Monitor performance and refine your onboarding for maximum impact.

With its no-code platform, UserGuiding means easy setup without heavy dev lifting. Customers have seen awesome gains like improved trial conversions, activation rates, durations, and adoption.

Pricing isn't listed publicly — contact them for custom quotes, since each package is customizable to you and your business needs. Basically, they’ll set you up.

If you want to onboard users without coding headaches, UserGuiding could be your new BFF. Say goodbye to frustrating user experiences!


After this deep dive, you're now armed with insights on Appcues, Intercom, and leading alternatives like WalkMe, UserPilot, Whatfix, and UserGuiding.

Each platform brings something unique to the table. The key is finding the one tailored to your needs. Do you want robust analytics? Lean onboarding? Enterprise-grade capabilities? Keep your business goals and specific use cases in mind.

But the work doesn't end after you pick a platform. You need to measure performance, level up your customer support, and truly understand your customer base if you want to succeed long-term.

That's where a tool like Fullview comes in. Fullview equips you with detailed session replays to track user behavior, full cobrowsing capabilities, console logs, and integrations with leading support software like Zendesk, Intercom, and Salesforce to supercharge your customer support experiences and cut down on time-to-resolution.


Shifa Rahaman

Content Marketing Manager


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