Many eCommerce companies use the Shopify platform to run their business. And with good reason. Shopify has a huge market share in the US and abroad and has seen its revenue increase by over 50% from 2020 to 2021. In the past year, 44 million customers made purchases from Shopify merchants. It’s, therefore, no wonder that so many eCommerce sellers choose Shopify as the platform to power their business.
With its slick and professional, out-of-the-box design options and seamless integration with many apps, Shopify is the top choice of many eCommerce sellers. However, regardless of the platform’s many impressive features, one thing sellers cannot lose sight of is customer service.
A great website design and easy-to-navigate store are crucial, but so is the manpower needed to manage the customer experience.
Thankfully, there are many live chat apps available on the market today that integrate easily with Shopify, helping elevate your customer experience from good to great. Let’s have a look at some of the top live chat apps for Shopify and see how they compare.
What is Live Chat software?
Live chat software is instant messaging software that includes helpdesk support and analytics functionality. You can use this to immediately connect your business and help desk teams directly with your store visitors. Live Chat software can come with lots of features that can help drive customer satisfaction and keep business costs down. Live Chat software can connect with your business’s inventory, customer records systems and order databases.
Businesses tend to use Live Chat software on their eCommerce or Shopify store. Using Live Chat can boost your business, increase customer engagement, make for happy customers, and nurture customer satisfaction and customer loyalty. Live Chat support can also drive productivity and foster the empowerment of chat agents.
Live chat for the win
Using a live chat app has become a popular form of customer service. Rather than telephoning a call centre or sending an email to ask a question about a product or service, a live chat app allows potential customers to find the answers to their questions right then and there – on your website.
This is great for eCommerce sellers, as it means that the customer stays on your website, doesn’t navigate away, and has their questions answered immediately. Keeping everything easy and in one place makes it more likely that your web visitors will make a purchase.
Using a Live Chat increases customer satisfaction and reduces cart abandonment, as you can see in our video:
Chatbots versus live chat
Live chat software uses instant messaging to allow customers to communicate with a company digitally using web chat. If you’ve visited an eCommerce website in the past year or so, you’ve probably seen a chat pop up in the lower right corner asking you if you have any questions.
That’s a chat feature, although it is important to recognise that there’s a difference between chatbots and live chat. Typically, the right corner chat pop-up will be a chatbot – that is, artificial intelligence (AI) which is programmed to answer customer questions using a knowledge base of information directed at answering frequently asked questions.
Live chat, on the other hand, is where there is a live agent on the other side of the conversation. Many companies offer a live chat app as a customer service feature by requiring the customer visiting the website to open a live chat app window and initiate a conversation.
Both chatbots and live chat are very useful customer service features; they are just different from one another in that one is live and another is not.
How does Shopify support live chat?
Shopify offers live chat in retailers’ eCommerce stores. That is, if you’re using Shopify to power your online store, you can benefit from one of the many live chat apps that integrate with Shopify to give your customers instant support from live representatives without having to pick up the phone.
Shopify’s live chat software can provide both pre and post-sale support using live chat and social messaging. The fact that Shopify supports live chat means it enables companies to be proactive in their approach to customer service, helping them have their questions answered so that abandoned shopping carts are minimised.
Benefits of using live chat apps with Shopify
As an eCommerce seller powering your store using Shopify, there are many benefits to using live chat software in conjunction with Shopify. For starters, having live chat on your website is like having a customer service representative available for your customers as they browse your website, available to answer any questions immediately. With live chat, a prospective customer is given attention as soon as they visit your website. Shopify live chat apps are great for customer satisfaction.
Here are some other benefits of installing a Shopify live chat app on your online store.
1. Improved customer experience
When customers visit eCommerce websites, as opposed to brick-and-mortar shops, they are “on their own” when it comes to support. They must browse to find what they want and reach out if they have questions.
Shopify live chat apps are great because they eliminate this solo browsing experience by proactively giving your customers support straight away. It’s the equivalent of having a retail associate in the shop saying, “may I help you?” – but digital and more convenient.
When your customers are addressed as soon as they visit your website, it creates a superior customer experience, where each customer knows they are valued and given attention from the outset.
2. It sparks productive conversations with your customers
Shopify live chat apps are a great way to get the conversation rolling with your customers. After all, every customer wants to feel valued and listened to. They want to know that their feedback is being taken into consideration and that their questions are important enough to be answered quickly.
With a live chat service in place, support is instantaneous. Customers browsing your website can get answers immediately, even as they browse different pages.
By enabling conversations, you’re opening the lines of communication with your customers, helping to close sales. This leads us to the next benefit…
3. Greater cart value and increased conversion rates
Providing proactive support to your customers as they browse has been proven to minimise the number of shopping carts that are abandoned. This is very important since research has shown that the average shopping cart abandonment rate is nearly 70%!
By providing live chat, you can significantly cut down on the shopping cart abandonment rate and increase conversion rates because when customers are more satisfied with their experience, they are more likely to complete a sale. The personalised service that live chat affords, including answering granular questions about products, is helpful towards sealing the deal and making sales.
Additionally, because live chat can provide coupons, vouchers, and special discounts in real-time along with giving information about products, it adds value in terms of upsell. Customers might be more likely to purchase more to take advantage of ad-hoc discounts and special vouchers provided by live chat agents.
4. It maximises your customer service team’s time
One often overlooked benefit of live chat software is that it lets your agents do more in a shorter space of time. For example, in a call centre, an agent can only speak to one customer at a time. Whereas staffing live chat, an agent can be supporting multiple customers at the same time by responding to several different chats at once. In this way, live chat is a more efficient way of providing customer service. And as we all know, time is money!
Best live chat apps for Shopify
Now that we’ve gone through all the benefits, let’s look at the best live chat apps available today that integrate with Shopify. Here's a selection of 13 Shopify live chat apps.
1. eDesk: Live Chat & AI Helpdesk
eDesk is a trusted name in eCommerce customer service solutions. We offer Shopify users a fully customisable chat widget which integrates seamlessly with email, social media and the web so that each seller’s communications are streamlined into one place.
We integrate with Shopify to provide Live Chat and Helpdesk support, which can be linked to its suite of eCommerce services. So, if you’re already using our help desk software, adding live chat support to your Shopify website is an ideal way to go the extra step in building relationships with your customers.
Our Live Chat tool lets you quickly answer customer queries directly from your website, build credibility, get to know your customers and, importantly, dramatically increases your chances of making a sale.
Key features include:
- White label feature lets you brand your live chat widget
- Return requests made easy
- SLA support
- Unlimited rules
- Top-notch customer service, including phone support
- Chat prompts and useful links
- Chat insights
- WhatsApp native integration
Live Chat is free with all our pricing plans, starting at just $59/month.
2. Apple Business Chat for Inbox
Apple Business Chat for Inbox lets you connect with customers in your Shopify store through Apple Messages, making mobile shopping easy and convenient. You can accept payments, schedule appointments and ask questions all through Apple Messages. This is very handy for the world’s 1 billion iPhone users.
Mobile commerce has never been easier with Apple Business Chat’s familiar, intuitive interface. While it doesn’t offer much in the way of customisation and can be a bit tricky to connect to Shopify, it’s included free of charge in your Shopify plan and includes the following benefits:
- Apple Pay integration
- Inquiry management in Shopify Inbox
- Customer cart tracking
- Analytics and order fulfilment integration
- Limited chat customisation
Apple Business Chat app is free for Shopify users.
3. Live Chat by Combidesk
Combidesk offers a Shopify live chat app for users that is centred around an informative dashboard with customer data, including chat history, visitor priority and shopping cart contents. It offers powerful metrics and reporting so that sellers can stay better informed about the activities and preferences of their customers.
Combidesk offers a professional look and feel, along with automatic installation. Key features include:
- Customisable chat widget
- Live visitor monitoring
- Chat history details
- Message templates
The price is competitive too: Live Chat by Combidesk for Shopify starts at $5/month, with a 14-day free trial.
The Jivochat Shopify app offers an easy-to-use interface for both customers and agents. It integrates with any device, making it easy for customer service agents to handle multiple chats, monitor visitor activity and measure performance through detailed reports.
Jivochat also offers good customer support to sellers, helping you troubleshoot any issues. However, its free plan is quite limited in terms of features, so the Professional Plan (priced at $19/month) is recommended.
Jivochat’s Professional Plan contains powerful features, including:
- Mobile, desktop and browser-based apps
- Proactive live chat
- Visitor information
- Template responses
- File transfer
- Supports an unlimited number of live chats and websites
5. Omega – Messenger & Live Chat
You’re probably familiar with Facebook messages (Messenger) for chatting with friends and family members, but did you know it can be used for business as well? For brands wishing to leverage the familiar and easy-to-use interface of Facebook Messenger on their Shopify website, the Omega Messenger app for Shopify is a great option.
Facebook Messenger for Shopify is easy to install by simply downloading the app from the Shopify app store, connecting it to your business Facebook page and customising styling.
Because its format is so specific, it doesn’t lend itself well to customisation, though this may not be an issue for most users since the whole point is to mimic the ease of the consumer use of Messenger.
Its features include:
- Custom chat icon and colour
- Device targeting
- Page targeting
- Custom widget positioning
- Custom CSS
The Facebook Messenger Shopify app is available in two plans: a basic (free) option and a Premium option for $4.99/month.
6. Tidio Live Chat
Tidio Live Chat supports real-time conversations with customers, as well as offering chatbot support out of hours. Its tools help automate interactions, saving your customer service agents valuable time. Tidio provides access to live chat, email and messenger communications in one dashboard so that your team can access all customer communications in one place.
Its key features include:
- Live chat, email and Messenger conversations all in one place
- Chatbot option for 24/7 support
- Ability to see customers’ real-time typing
- Customisable design for its widget
- Multi-language support
- Additional email marketing solutions
- Free mobile app for iOS and Android
Tidio has a limited free plan. Its paid plans start with the Communicator plan at $19/month, and the Chatbots plan at $49/month
7. Chatra Live Chat
In addition to providing live chat support, Chatra’s live chat Shopify app offers group chat, chat notes and multi-lingual support. It has an easy-to-use, intuitive interface, along with user-friendly features that include:
- Online & offline chat widget
- Email helpdesk
- Chatbot option for out-of-hours support
- Targeted message and triggers
- Real-time visitor insights
- Conversation history
- Analytics and reporting options
Chatra’s Shopify app is offered at the Free, Essential ($19/month) or Pro plan ($29/month) levels. It offers a free 10 day trial on the paid plans.
8. Pure Chat
Aimed at small and midsize businesses just starting with live chat, the Pure Chat Shopify app has been designed to be easy to install. To get started, just download it from the Shopify app store, sign into your account, and its widget will pop up on your page. Pure Chat allows you to customise its look and feel from its easy-to-use dashboard. It comes with a number of integrations and features, including:
- Unlimited number of live chats supported
- Real-time visitor analytics
- Analytics reporting options
- Detailed chat history information
The Pure Chat app for Shopify is free to try for 30 days. After that, you’ll need to choose from one of its two plans – Growth or Pro, which are priced at $49/month or $99/month, respectively.
9. Zendesk Live Chat for Shopify
Zendesk’s live chat app for Shopify lets you enable live chat into your eCommerce solution. A helpdesk software, Zendesk makes it possible to centralise all customer interactions – social media, phone email, messaging and live chat – and contextual data live into one place.
Zendesk offers automations, chatbot support, triggers (such as when a customer is likely to leave the site) and reporting.
Key features of Zendesk Live Chat for Shopify include:
- Chat queue management
- Template responses
- Performance metrics
- Knowledge base management
Zendesk’s Shopify app can be installed for free, but the live chat feature is only available as part of its Suite Team plan, priced at $49/month/agent. Additional plans include Suite Growth and Suite Professional, priced at $79 and $99/month/user, respectively.
10. Tawk.to Live Chat
Tawk.to is a live chat Spotify app that enables your customer service representatives to chat with website visitors and customers in one centralised dashboard. Tawk.to offers a knowledge base and ticketing system that you can also integrate into your Shopify store.
It has an intuitive interface, which is easy to install and use. Tawk.to’s key features include:
- Support for over 45 languages
- Built-in knowledge base
- Real-time visitor monitoring
- Message templates
- Unlimited agent support
- Chat history
- Integration with iOS and Android apps
Tawk.to is completely free to use, with no limit on agents, chat volume or the number of websites you add its chat widget to.
Reamaze is a live chat app for Shopify that offers some practical functionality. In addition to providing live chat capabilities, Reamaze also provides a help desk and an FAQ knowledge base.
It also includes useful automated messaging, which can be used to engage with customers’ common questions. You can set rules around how you want to use the automated messaging and triggers to enable chatbot functionality.
Reamaze key features include:
- Customisable live chat options
- FAQ knowledge base in the chat widget
- Centralised communication that draws together instant messaging, SMS and VOIP
- Chatbot option
- Multiple store management
Reamaze starts at $29/month and offers a 14-day free trial.
12. WhatsApp Chat – Live Chat
Many people around the world already use WhatsApp in their daily lives to connect with friends and family on a regular basis. This easy-to-use interface is now also available for Shopify.
The WhatsApp Chat app for Shopify connects directly with customers on your website and best of all, it can be set up in under five minutes. The app comes pre-configured with CTA buttons, message templates, and more. Simply connect to your phone number, and you’re good to go.
Key features include:
- Integrates with mobile or desktop
- Aligns with your business WhatsApp phone number
- Custom button size, colour, icon and position available
WhatsApp Chat for Shopify is free to use, with an advanced option for just $2.95/month offering additional icon options.
eDesk integrates natively with WhatsApp on all pricing plans, so you can easily see all your customer communications alongside order details, in one place.
13. Channel.io – Live Chat & Chatbot
Channel.io is an all-in-one business messenger that combines live chat, customer relationship management (CRM) and team chat all in one. It connects easily with your Shopify store and connects powerful external messaging platforms, including Instagram DM, LINE, Kakao Talk and more.
Channel.io also lets you track your chat history and has no capacity limit. Key features include
- Three features in one: live chat, CRM, and team chat
- Engages customers in real-time chat while automatically linking customer data
- Offers free team workspace with no capacity limit
- Tracks customers by segment
- Manages chat history by topic
Channel.io offers a basic free plan, with paid plans starting at $30/month and going up to $70 for its most advanced plan.
Choosing the right app for your Shopify store
With so many great options available on the market, it can be difficult to make a decision about which one to choose! They are all good options, so it’s most important to choose the one that is right for your business. Here are some factors to consider when contemplating all of your business needs and making the right decision.
1. Consider your business operations
Every business looking to bring in live chat functionality is doing so to improve their customer experience. But you must also consider who else will be dealing with live chat in your company.
For example, do you have a team of developers that can help you with more complex customisation and integrations? If not, then perhaps an easy-to-install live chat app is right for your business. If you do have lots of back-end support, however, a more complex, customisable app might be right for your business.
Similarly, if you already have a 24/7 customer service team in place, then live chat should be easy to integrate into the workflow. However, if you have a limited number of agents, all in one time zone, for instance, you may wish to select an app that also offers chatbot integration for the times when your team is out of the office.
2. Your company’s other tools and integrations
You may already be using a help desk or CRM that you wish to integrate with a live chat app so that all of your customer communications are in one place. If that’s the case, then definitely look at one of the live chat apps for Shopify that are purpose-built to integrate with other softwares.
Also, consider your social media presence. If you’re a direct-to-consumer (DTC) that has a healthy sales pipeline from social media, you may wish to integrate Instagram DM and Facebook Messenger into your live chat app so that customers can connect with you through channels that are most convenient for them, in a place that’s centrally located for your business.
3. Grow with your business
Are you a micro business looking to stay that way? Then perhaps a simple, straightforward live chat app for your website is just right.
However, if you are looking to scale your business in the next few years, it might make sense to look for a live chat app for your Shopify store that can grow with your business and at the pace that you expect your business to grow.
All of these are important factors to consider when making the right decision when adding live chat to your Shopify-powered business website.
Online competition can be fierce. With many consumers shopping for deals online and looking at comparison prices, your business needs to go the extra mile to make sure that shopping carts aren’t abandoned.
Live chat can be just the thing to proactively engage with your customers and close the sale. By adding live chat, you add real-time customer support that can make all the difference to that final checkout hurdle.
Want to get started with Live Chat? Get started today and see how you can increase sales and customer satisfaction with Live Chat.