- Cobrowsing (which stands for collaborative browsing) refers to a video conferencing feature that allows two or more people to actively browse the same screen while on a call together.
- There are multiple use cases for cobrowsing. Customer support is one of the main ones, but sales and onboarding are common use cases too.
- Our industry matrix, pictured below, is handy to understand the state of the cobrowsing industry in 2023.
- The 6 best cobrowsing apps in 2023 are Fullview for customer support, Upscope for sales, Cobrowse for small teams, Cohere for automation, Surfly for e-signing and Glia for e-banking.
We've covered what cobrowsing is before, but as a quick refresher:
Cobrowsing (which stands for collaborative browsing) refers to a video conferencing feature that allows two or more people to browse the same web content while on a call together.
In contrast to screen sharing, cobrowsing involves streaming code as opposed to pixels, which means a couple of things:
- It is much less data-intensive to stream code, which means that cobrowsing is much more lightweight to implement and use on web apps.
- Because you're streaming code, all the people on a cobrowsing call can interact with web elements.
- That means they can click on hyperlinks, navigate and submit forms together.
- Because it is constrained to one specific browser window, cobrowsing is much safer to use than remote access.
Cobrowsing is ultimately designed to yield a host of benefits for your company, including a personalized experience for each user, which is in contrast to a lot of current customer support solutions that rely heavily on automation. This sort of personalization has been shown to work exceptionally well for customer retention. In fact, recent studies have found that businesses utilizing cobrowsing, and other visual engagement apps and tools, have seen an 83% increase in year-on-year revenue growth.
Cobrowsing in action
Just to set the scene: you're a support agent and a user writes in with a support request on your support software.
You review the request and quickly realize that it involves fairly complicated troubleshooting.
You begin a series of back-and-forth messages with the user, but it isn't going well. After trying to explain over and over again that the account settings page they're looking for can be accessed by clicking on the gear icon at the top right of the homepage, you think to yourself that there has to be a better way.
And there is!
If you had Fullview's integration for your support software, you would be able to get full context into a support ticket in seconds and could then start a cobrowsing call with a user to solve the issue twice as fast!
You could quickly and easily:
- Review that user's latest sessions
- Look at the console information panel to see what was happening under the hood on the user's side
- Escalate to a cobrowsing call if the issue was too complex to solve over chat
- Gain control of the user's browser window and click on the gear icon to get to the settings page yourself
- Solve the problem quickly and efficiently from there
Fullview seamlessly integrates with Zendesk, Intercom, Salesforce and other support software. You can learn more about those on our integrations page.
We've also detailed several other examples of cobrowsing in this article.
How to choose the right cobrowsing software
With more cobrowsing vendors on the market than ever before, how do you choose the best one for you company?
We'll give you an overview using a cobrowsing industry landscape matrix. Then, we'll take a detailed look at some of the best cobrowsing apps today.
We've covered the best options across a wide range of budgets, highlighting their features and limitations along the way. We’ve also indicated what tools suit which use cases the best.
Cobrowsing industry landscape
Cobrowsing technology has been around for a while, but in the last couple of years, there has been an explosion of vendors in the market, so we thought we'd put together an industry landscape matrix to make the picture a little clearer.
As you can see, we've broken this landscape down into four different quadrants:
- Customer support
- Sales & retail
- Banking and insurance
- Small teams
In each quadrant, we've listed up to two different platforms after evaluating them for performance and relevance. All these platforms are explored in more detail in the sections below, but at a glance:
- We believe Fullview comes on out on top in the customer support category because of its ease-of-use; robust integrations with other platforms like Intercom, Zendesk and Salesforce; its full suite of products including session replays and console logs; and its competitive pricing plans.
- Surfly wins the sales and retail category because of its e-signing capabilities.
- Cohere is the only solution listed for small teams, but don't discount it too quickly! It is a handy tool for small companies looking for a no-frills cobrowsing solution, even if its relative paucity of features makes it unsuitable for more advanced use cases.
- Glia comes out on top for banking and insurance because of its comprehensive data security policies and multichannel capabilities.
Fullview - An end-to-end solution for support and product teams
- End-to-end solution for support and product teams
- Fully GDPR compliant
- All data stored within the EU
- Better, faster cobrowsing with rrWeb
- Complete overview of user interactions with cobrowsing and session replays
- Eliminates siloes between customer-facing and product teams
- No downloads
- One of the only solutions that automatically pulls user data into an agent’s Fullview dashboard with a simple API integration
- Easy user lookup, with offline, online and idle status tags
- See console information like user journey, network and device info in-call for easier debugging
- Robust integrations with platforms like Intercom, Zendesk, Salesforce and more!
A cobrowsing app that has everything you need in one place, Fullview will help your organization create a smooth customer support process for your end-users, while also destroying silos between your customer-facing and product teams.
With cobrowsing, you're bound to avoid the stress of constantly deciphering customer support requests that have little to no details attached. Instead, your support efforts can be channeled towards actionable solutions. Rather than taking customer requests out of context, Fullview.io helps you stay on track.
Cobrowsing with Fullview is superior because it has a smooth and intuitive user experience. Everything you need can be spotted at a glance with an intuitive and clean UI. You can also help customers out with the annotation tools, giving you the chance to illustrate specific scenarios better. It also has an in-call chat feature.
Because of our recent switch to rrWeb, starting a cobrowsing session with your users is easier than ever before. Previously, users had to choose which tab or window to share when a cobrowsing session was initiated; now, it starts immediately within the tab your app is open on.
This means three things:
- User privacy is protected, because you’ll ONLY be able to cobrowse and screen control within your own app.
- The process is much simpler and smoother, because users often get confused when asked which tab or window to share. This leads to some frustration while they scan the list looking for the right one.
Cobrowsing with Fullview is easy to start and doesn’t require any downloads. Once you’ve installed Fullview’s API, your users are automatically pulled into your Fullview dashboard. From here, you can see which are online, idle or offline, look up users using a name or email, and initiate a call with one click when you find the user you want to cobrowse with.
As one of the most secure cobrowsing tools available, Fullview takes data privacy to a whole new level and is fully GDPR compliant, with all data stored within the EU. Support agents can also customize privacy controls and blur out sensitive data.
In the bigger picture, Fullview is a well-rounded solution that is an end-to-end platform for customer support and product teams. Beyond cobrowsing alone, it offers tools such as session replays and console logs for vital contextual information and in-app calls to communicate within a single window.
Fullview offers both free and premium plans. As a GDPR-compliant solution, none of your data or sensitive information will be leaked or tampered with.
- rrWeb cobrowsing
- Session replays
- Console information, including user journey, network and device information
- Annotation tools
- In-call chat function
Fullview Live Free
5 cobrowsing calls per seat per month and 1 integration is included in our free plan.
Fullview Live Pro | €59/seat/month
Unlimited usage and integration with existing tools and unlimited cobrowsing calls. 14 day free trial.
Fullview Live Enterprise | Custom Pricing
We also offer bespoke plans for enterprise clients tailored specifically to their needs, so get in touch.
- Cobrowsing solution for sales teams
- Reporting and audit tools
- Personal Upscope call link
- No free plan
- Slightly on the expensive side
Upscope is an interactive cobrowsing solution that can help increase your closing rates and improve your sales funnel. It is designed to be used by even the least tech-savvy prospects, allowing you to control the reins on all sales-related matters.
With one click, you can get access to your prospect’s screen, which is great if you notice them getting distracted during calls and want to make remote selling more engaging and interactive.
Without a download requirement, you have a good chance of convincing your prospects to hop onto a cobrowsing session. All it takes is a simple request, and you're securely connected to their browser.
Your prospects will be able to see your cursor and the steps you take within your product. To elaborate on what you're doing, you have access to drawing with a pen tool.
- User management
Upscope | $30/Month | 14 Day free trial
Advanced user management, live chat support, cobrowse on third-party websites, see and draw on the user's screen, and more.
Enterprise | Custom
Everything from the Upscope tier, along with REST API, agent and admin training, dedicated account manager, 24/7 emergency line, technical support, and more.
- Dedicated cobrowsing solution for smaller teams
- Also supports mobile cobrowsing
- Supports self hosting
- Relatively limited features set
If you're looking for a no-frills cobrowsing solution for relatively simple customer support, Cobrowse.io is a solid choice — especially if your support team is small and isn’t looking for a tool with session replays and console logs just yet. With this app, you'll gain access to your customer's screen without needing to install any plugins or extensions.
Controlling your customer's screen with cobrowse.io is easy to initiate, requiring only a simple authorization step to request remote control. You can then begin guiding your users and speaking to them through a phone call within the browser. Text-based communication is also an option for more flexibility.
$18/ month per named agent (licence cannot be shared) – Websites Only
$38/month per named agent (licence cannot be shared) – All Platforms
Starting at $4500 + licence pricing per year
- AI-powered tools to automate certain support interactions
- No session replays
- No console logs
- No transparent pricing information
Cobrowsing with Cohere is pretty simple and relatively easy to navigate. With a simple click, you can get things started. It's easy to avoid the hassle of downloads or other frustrations that might come up.
In addition to cobrowsing, cohere.io includes customer experience-focused features that will help with automating manual tasks during your customer interactions using AI. It’s best if your company is not focused heavily on creating personalized customer support experiences and wants to automate your CS workflows.
- AI-powered automation tools
No pricing information is listed on their website, though they do have an ROI calculator.
- Supports e-signing
- No implementation needed
- Can start cobrowsing session via unique link
- No transparent pricing plans
- No session replays
- No console logs
Surfly supports e-signatures, making it ideal for cobrowsing situations in which documents need to be reviewed and finalized. The app has a smooth navigation experience that is bound to impress users.
Surfly does not require any changes to your tech stack in order to be utilized. Instead, you can use it from the moment you sign up, eliminating any need for implementation or other requirements. A simple URL is all it takes, and sharing it with someone will give them the option to join you in a cobrowsing session. Please note, however, that this approach has the drawback of not pulling user data into your dashboard, meaning you cannot look users up or see what their online status is, unlike with Fullview. This also means that they don’t support user session replays.
Surfly allows you to record the events of a meeting, giving you a complete overview of what happened, including audit logs, signed documents, and a record of actions performed.
Upon checking recently to update this article, we found that they no longer list transparent pricing information on their website.
- Best for video banking
- No session replays
- No console logs
- No transparent pricing plans
Glia is a cobrowsing solution especially suited to video banking. As more and more banking interactions move online, it is imperative for banks and other financial institutions to think of better ways in which to collaborate with clients virtually. Cobrowsing can provide context, clarity and meaningful experiences when implemented as one part of a bank’s larger digital banking strategy, which is what Glia helps with.
- AI chatbots
Request a Demo
Glia doesn't have a standardized set of tiers for users to purchase, but it offers a live demo that can be accessed by contacting the company.
Here are answers to come common cobrowsing questions.
Can I cobrowse online for free?
If you're on a tight budget but still want to give cobrowsing a go, what options do you have?
Unfortunately, not a lot of the apps listed here have forever free plans — except Fullview, which gives you access to five cobrowsing calls per support agent per month on its free plan.
That being said, some, like Upscope, do offer free trials.
How can I implement cobrowsing?
Typically, as in the case of Fullview, cobrowsing is implemented through a few lines of code you need to copy and paste into the <head> tag of your web app.
The process takes no more than 15 minutes and, once installed, your users will not have to download or install anything on their end. All cobrowsing calls happen straight in your app and users just have to accept the call when an agent initiates one.
Once you've installed it, all your customers will be synced to Fullview and you can see who is online, idle or offline in your web app at a glance. You can then initiate cobrowsing calls with users who are online.
How is cobrowsing different from screen sharing?
Screen sharing and cobrowsing share some similarities, in that two or more people can see the same browser window. However, unlike screen sharing, you can actually interact with the same web content in real-time with cobrowsing using multi-cursor screen control, meaning two or more people can click on hyperlinks, navigate on a web app or website, fill and submit forms, etc.
The technology behind cobrowsing and screen sharing is different: screen sharing involves streaming pixels while cobrowsing involves streaming code.
Is cobrowsing safe?
Yes, in general, cobrowsing is very safe as it only gives other people control over one particular browser window rather than an entire system (as with remote control technology, for example). However, like anything else, it's important to choose a vendor with a robust and transparent security policy.
Cobrowsing is a great way to increase sales, provide customer support and improve user engagement by providing real-time help to your customers.
The best part is that there are many cobrowsing apps to choose from. We've outlined the main features, pricing plans, and what sets each app apart so you can make an informed decision about which one is right for your business.
Have you tried cobrowsing yet? If not, what are you waiting for? It could be the difference between making a sale and losing a customer. If you have any questions about choosing the best cobrowsing app for your business, contact us today, and we'd be happy to help.