A list of 15 awesome live chat apps to help you convert visitors into customers better using real-time engagement.
Have you noticed this thing they show on many online shops and websites these days?
You’ve seen this tiny chat button on so many websites now that it’s almost ubiquitous to you.
It’s the “live chat for website or online store” plugin that this post is all about.
John wants to buy a Game of Thrones t-shirt and you sell just the thing.
He googles and comes to your store. He looks around, finds what he needs and is about to make a purchase.
But he stops. He wants to know if there’s some discount he can use. So he looks for a way to contact you right away.
Your store has a contact form and you’ve listed an email ID. Great.
But John is not from the 1950s. He’s a millennial. He’s kind of impatient.
So he goes to another store, finds the exact t-shirt (most likely not as good as the ones you sell), and looks to contact the seller to ask for a discount!
And he sees this:
Voila! He starts chatting with a live customer rep and within minutes, he’s purchased the t-shirts from the competitor’s site.
So what made the big difference?
A simple, humble, chatbox.
Customers to any online store feel a lot more better and willing to purchase from it when they are able to chat with someone on the site and know that there’s a real human behind the website.
It’s simple, human psychology that we carry over from our days of shopping in the offline, where salespeople are still important when it comes to conversions.
The humble live chat software is this magical thing that can help your shop increase your conversion.
I can go on and on about why live chat apps are one of the best tools for your online shop – especially if you’re starting out and trying to optimize your store (even if you’re a one-man operation or understaffed to have a dedicated person on chat) but the recent Messenger integration in Shopify and this editorial should explain why a live chat is a must-have for your online shop.
It’s the age of conversational ecommerce.
So what we have here is a list of 15 of the best live chat apps for your Shopify store.Top 15 #Live chat apps for your #Shopify store: Click To Tweet
(Psst: many of them work on other shops and standalone websites too so feel free to go through the list even if you don’t have a Shopify store)
Price: Free, paid plans start at $29
- Most beautifully crafted interface for the chat and for the admin panel (in the backend). Easily the most-minimal live chat plugin.
- Optimized for mobile screens too
- Massive integration with a lot of apps and platforms.
- Not quite a lot of configuration but quick switches to customize the chat window and support for teams.
Price: Paid plans start at $14.99
- Great, minimalist interface with some really cool customization (so you can edit the colors to match those of your website)
- Features a mini dashboard so you get a quick glance of all necessary customer support data
- Happyfox integrates with not just your Shopify store but your Mailchimp account and Google Analytics too
- One of the most lightweight apps/plugins for your store
Shopstorm wrote a wonderful breakdown of how you should level-up your Shopify customer support. They break down customer service to email support, chat and phone options and gathering useful feedback from customers. Check it out here.
Price: Starts at $14 (per agent, per month), with free 14-day trial
- Some of the best collection of triggers so all of your communication is contextual
- Acquired by Zendesk (which is a great customer support company) so there’s some cool development going on with Zopim
- These folks are also working on Facebook Messenger integration
- A quick view of your store’s visitors lets you find out who’s been on the site, for how long and what they are doing
- A robust reporting system to keep track of agents’ performances
- Integrates directly with your Facebook Messenger (for Page)
- Facebook-native UI on the chatbox so there’s very little room for customization. Sometimes looks dated.
- No admin panel hassles – messages go straight to your Facebook Messenger inbox and you can keep track of them easily
- Totally free to use. No limits whatsoever
Price: Free, paid plan at $11 (per agent, per month)
- Triggered chats let you start a chat at a specific event – helps you close a sale or increase conversion by engaging with the customer at the right time
- Add multiple agents to the same chat – helpful when one agent doesn’t have enough information and needs some other agent’s help
- Ability to see what a user is typing (even before they’ve sent it to you). Supposedly, helps you be ready with an answer!
“Live chat” is one of the 5 growth ideas to grow your business, writes Hemani of SETalks. You should definitely check out his post for some creative ways to hack your growth. (One example: gamify your title tags to convert more visitors into customers.)
- Tawk started as a chat app but is developing into a full-fledged help and support system
- Has a saved-replies feature that can be invoked with a “/command” feature (interesting because of the usability)
- Also features a handy “alias” option so one person can have multiple aliases. Useful if your store is a man-show and you handle everything
- Comes with a lot of triggers for contextual chat
- Also introduced a full-fledged ticketing system (totally free)
- Most notably: you can install the system on unlimited websites for free (and unlimited agents)
Price: Starts at $16 (per agent, per month)
- A feature that lets you take a peek at what the visitor is typing (like Chatra above) so you are ready with an answer
- Canned responses to make it quicker to chat with a visitor – a very useful feature if you’re dealing with lots of shipping / discount queries
- Integrates with Facebook
- Surveys to help you analyze agent performance
- You can also show social buttons on the chat screen (but it kind of destroys the look of the chatbox)
“Friction” is what makes users leave your site or not purchase your product. As someone who runs an online shop, your job is to reduce / eliminate friction at every stage of your visitor’s journey through your sales funnel. According to Customer Think, live chat is one of the most important ways to reduce this friction. (more ideas on what causes friction and how to remove it on their wonderful blog).
Price: Free, paid plans start at $12 per user per month
- One of the best mobile-optimized live chat plugins out there
- Also features a Chrome notification plugin
- Has a minimalist design that keeps the chatbox lightweight and not very obtrusive (unlike many others)
- Very contextual chat that makes sure you know who you’re talking to – is it a repeat customer? a repeat visitor? a new visitor? etc.
- You can create automatic responses based on your active chats – makes replying to queries really quick (2 clicks). This AI-like feature learns as you chat more
Price: Free, starts at $15 / month (3 users)
- These guys know how to make a live chat app look delightful
- Features a quick bird’s-eye view of visitors on your site so you know who to start chatting with
- iOS and Android native apps to make sure you’re available for chat even when you’re not on your computer
- 500+ integrations thanks to Zapier
- Visitor tracking
Matt’s thoughts on why every ecommerce site should have a live chat is well worth a quick read. One of the interesting points he makes is having live chat is actually cost-effective compared to having phone support.
Price: Free, paid plan starts at $12.99
- One of the first things I noticed was that Olark integrates with a ton of IM/XMPP clients (instant messaging apps) besides the web app
- Screenshare (called co-browsing) lets your visitor share their screen with you. Agents can take control too
- Proactive chatting with targeted chats (that you can start using triggers)
Live chat is only the first step to what’s moving the world of ecommerce – “Conversational Ecommerce”. Frosmo’s future trends article goes somewhat extensively over how chatbots – the next step after you install live chat plugins and start using them – will shape the world of ecommerce transactions. It’s a fascinating read to help you understand that A.I is really coming into mainstream faster than we thought. One of the live chat apps listed here has a chatbot feature. Find it out ;)
- Another minimalist chat interface with some really cool customization options
- No limit to how many team members you can add
- Keeps a clean track of chat history / previous interactions
- Chat labels to segment the important chats from the others
One of the reasons why Shopify came up with their Facebook Messenger support is the idea of omni-channel support. When you are looking for a live chat system, try to find out if you can fit it into your other channels (marketing, brand building etc.). Social is a great place for this because it has proved to be the favorite support channel for customers. Alexa writes about omni-channel as being one of the ideas to enhance your customer support in her Brainsins guestpost.
Price: $25 per agent per month (14-day free trial)
- Live chat is part of a bigger customer support system, which is great for enterprise level Shopify store owners
- Robust chat system (but with a really minimal and beautiful design)
- Has a lot of embeddable widgets that makes it easy to set up the system and get started right away
- There’s a bit of automation involved so that makes it easy to handle incoming messages
Price: Starts at $7.00
- Can exchange files through the chat box
- Unlimited agents and chats in all plans (including the starter)
- Features a bunch of cool triggers for all those contextual chat initiations
- You can also monitor visitors (where they are, what they’re doing etc.) on the $14 an $99 plans.
- Supports a sizable bunch of language packs including German, French, Dutch, Norwegian, Polish, Russian, and more.
- This one’s not just a live chat plugin. It’s a “chatbot” that learns as you answer queries and handle customer support
- Lots of customization available
- The chatbot employs Natural Language Processing to suggest answers even before the agents
- You can add/remove queries that the chatbot will handle (based on keyword triggers)
In the words of Combidesk, “we believe that ‘just’ a chat integration on your webshop is not enough. As a webshop owner you want to know who you are chatting with, what the customer’s history is and what is he looking for.” This is why, when you are about to get a live chat plugin, you should look for how much data that plugin is able to give you about your visitor. You must know more about your visitor than just knowing that this is a visitor to your site and is interested in one of your products. Combidesk writes more about how you can use a live chat plugin to level up your customer support and sales.
Price: Starts at $4.99 (goes up to $18.99), 30-day free trial
- Probably the only live chat app we tested that has an SMS-notification feature. When you are away from live chat, you get an SMS notification whenever someone on your site wants to chat.
- A basic level of customization but crafted specifically to work great on mobile
- Minimal features to customize or change the behavior… but works good.
Price: Starts at $15.00 per month
To add to this list of excellent live-chat apps, we found another. REVE Chat is a full-scale customer support app that you can add to your shop/website in a jiffy. It comes with some of the most sought-after features bundled right away (for instance, Facebook Messenger integration and Auto-triggers). In the Advanced plan, you also get to interact with your shop/site visitors through live video and audio.
REVE Chat is a full bundle. It has analytics, department management (that helps you redirect queries to the right department), a mobile SDK, and a bunch of other features.
Since every live chat app comes with free trial, why not try every app on this list and find out what fits your store best?