Shopify Ecosystem

The 11 Best Live Chat Software Options For Ecommerce Businesses [2022]

the-11-best-live-chat-software-options-for-ecommerce-businesses-[2022]

Check out the latest and best list of live chat software tools for ecommerce businesses, from free chat apps to all-in-one platforms.

Three-fourths of customers report preferring live chat over any other customer support channel, according to data from TechJury. With the growing demand for live chat integrations and the time- and money-saving benefits for your customer support department, a live chat option is one of the best apps you can integrate into your ecommerce site. 

In this article, we’ll take a look at the most important features to look for in a live chat solution before diving into the top 11 live chat software apps on the market today.

Table of Contents

Features Your Live Chat Software Should Have

There are plenty of live chat solutions available, but not all of them are created equal. To choose the best chat widget for your ecommerce website, be sure to select a solution that includes the following features:

  • Automation and macros: You should be able to automate a variety of daily tasks, like greeting customers, gathering names and product info, or sending follow-up surveys. Automated chatbots, for example, can initiate live chats with customers that meet certain criteria. Look for macros, or templated messages and replies, to help your live chat agents work quickly and efficiently. 
  • Chatbots and live chat options (and the ability to switch between them): By integrating both chatbots and live chat into your ecommerce store, you can automatically resolve most issues while still giving customers the option to connect with a live agent for more complex issues. Having chatbots on your website also allows you to offer 24/7 customer support, and 64% of customers say that 24/7 support is the best feature of chatbots.
  • Real-time analytics: Live chat support solutions that offer real-time analytics enable you to gauge the performance of your customer support reps via metrics such as response time, wait time, and customer satisfaction ratings. 
  • Branding customization: The ability to add customized branding elements to your chat window, such as your company logo or tagline, can give your ecommerce website a more memorable and professional touch.
  • Multiple integrations: The best live chat apps are able to integrate with other apps on your store such as social media messaging apps and delivery tracking apps for a more interconnected and seamless customer service experience.
  • Part of a comprehensive customer service platform: Many live chat solutions are packaged as part of a larger customer service platform that includes features such as phone support and a help desk with a ticketing system. If you’d like to provide your customers with plenty of support options and optimize your CS team’s internal workflows, look for all-in-one platforms.
  • File and screenshot sharing: The ability to share images, video, screenshots, and other files, like user guides or receipts, can make the process of assisting a customer via live chat faster and more efficient. 
  • Audio and/or visual notifications: Audio and/or visual notifications can be used to notify customers when an agent has submitted a response, prompting them to navigate back to the live chat window if they have opened another window during the chat or have otherwise become distracted.

The Best Live Chat Software for Ecommerce Stores

Now that we’ve covered some of the most important features to look for in a live chat solution, let’s take a look at 11 of the best live chat apps and the standout features that set these solutions apart from the competition.

1. Gorgias

Gorgias is a feature-rich helpdesk platform for ecommerce businesses which includes live chat, chatbots, a self-service portal, ticketing system, and data analytics. Its live chat solution offers an impressive range of automation features, macros, and rules designed to streamline and personalize the customer support process for your customers and support agents. 

For example, Gorgias offers the ability to create and automate responses to frequently asked questions like, “Where is my order?” This allows you to automatically resolve up to 30% of customer support tickets. You can also fine-tune your customer service strategy based on the accurate and insightful data analytics. 

Standout Ecommerce Features

  • Connect to leading ecommerce platforms like Shopify, BigCommerce, and Magento and centralize your tickets in one place
  • Leverage machine learning to detect customer intent in chat messages and prioritize your team’s tickets and responses
  • Set up chat campaigns that engage web visitors based on the page they’re on or their time on page
  • Create custom auto-responses, templates, and macros that allow for swift responses to frequently asked questions
  • Easily track support agent metrics such as ticket volume, first response time, and resolutions time

Pricing

Pricing for Gorgias includes multiple tiers, starting at $50 per month billed annually for the Basic plan. Gorgias also offers a customizable Enterprise plan for clients handling more than 5,000 tickets per month.

Who It’s Best For

With a wide range of plans to choose from and affordable pricing, Gorgias is an excellent solution for both small to medium-sized businesses and larger corporations. The live chat app works seamlessly with Shopify, BigCommerce, and Magento.

Since Gorgias’s live chat solution is just one feature in a large customer support ecosystem, it’s also an excellent option for anyone who wants to purchase a fully featured customer service solution. 

2. LiveChat

LiveChat is one of the more popular and well-rounded live chat support options. This application offers key live chat features, like branding and customization; automatic notifications whenever a customer wants to chat, tags, file-sharing; and archive capabilities. LiveChat also offers an integrations store where you can find helpful plugins for your chat window.

Standout Ecommerce Features

  • Add tags to chat conversations for improved sorting and analytics
  • Push longer conversations and more complex issues to a customer support ticket
  • Request feedback from customers in the form of a survey response at the conclusion of their live chat
  • Share files such as screenshots and documents between customers and support agents
  • Add additional integrations to your chat window from LiveChat’s integrations store

Pricing

LiveChat starts at $16 per month per agent billed annually for the Starter plan and moves up to $50 per month per agent billed annually for the Business plan. LiveChat also offers a customizable Enterprise plan.

Who It’s Best For

The per-agent fee structure may not be cost effective for businesses with medium or large customer support teams. If you’re looking for a well-rounded live chat solution and can justify paying a minimum of  $16 per month per agent, then LiveChat is a good option to consider.

Explore our Gorgias vs. LiveChat comparison to see how these two platforms stack up. 

3. Intercom

Intercom is a customer communications platform that offers support, engagement, and marketing tools, including live chat. Intercom’s Messenger tool allows businesses to set up chatbots that target specific audience segments and easily route tickets that require human help to the appropriate channels. 

Standout Ecommerce Features

  • See conversations across all channels in a single inbox 
  • Trigger automatic chat messages when customers meet certain criteria
  • Direct customers to your knowledge base or self-service center using chatbots or apps 
  • Automatically route more complex tickets to a live chat agent
  • Integrate Intercom with 300+ different tools and platforms

Pricing

Intercom splits its platform into three different tools and plans — Conversational Support, Conversational Customer Engagement, and Conversational Marketing — each of which requires you to sign up for a demo or contact Intercom for pricing. The all-in one Starter plan made for “very small businesses” starts at $67 per month billed annually. 

Who It’s Best For

Intercom targets all business sizes, from early-stage to enterprise, and discusses use cases for ecommerce, finance, education, and healthcare industries. 

4. Drift

Like most live chat solutions, Drift offers both automated chatbots as well as live chat functionality. What really sets Drift apart is its focus on B2B and SaaS organizations and its data-driven approach to customer support. 

Drift’s Visitor Intelligence software combines data from your business software (CRM, sales and marketing tools, etc) and databases like Clearbit and Crunchbase to identify web visitors and better personalize interactions. Drift also offers chatbots powered by AI and machine learning to replicate the behaviors and performance of your most effective sales and customer service reps.

Standout Ecommerce Features

  • Connect customers using AI-powered chatbots that that tailor their conversations depending on the web visitor 
  • Eliminate forms for high-value buyers and direct them to the right rep or account manager
  • Automatically collect and analyze rich data on leads and customers who visit your site 
  • Create templates that enable swift response to commonly asked questions
  • Integrate the Drift platform with a wide range of other tools and platforms

Pricing

Drift offers three different plans — Premium, Advanced, and Enterprise — but requires that you contact them for pricing details.

Who It’s Best For

Drift is primarily designed for B2B companies and ecommerce stores, though the company does offer a plan designed specifically for startups as well. It could be a great solution for anyone who wants to utilize the functionalities of AI and machine learning for live chat customer engagement. 

5. Tawk.to

Tawk.to is a solution focused only on live chat customer support and claims to be the most widely used live chat software in the world. With Tawk.to, you won’t get more advanced features such as AI chatbots. Instead, what you’ll get is a straightforward live chat window that allows customers who visit your site to seamlessly connect with a chat agent. 

Tawk.to certainly isn’t as comprehensive as the other solutions on our list. However, it stands out because it’s completely free to download and use. This makes it a great option for anyone who wants to test the waters of live chat for their customer support team without any upfront investment.

Standout Ecommerce Features

  • Integrate a live chat solution into your ecommerce store completely free of charge
  • Answer chats from your Android or iOS mobile device
  • Create response “shortcuts” (canned messages) and direct customers to the built-in knowledge base
  • Hire third-party chat agents at a rate of $1 per hour for additional support
  • Collect basic performance analytics and monitor web visitors in real time 

Pricing

Tawk.to is free to download and use. However, if you’d like to remove the “Powered by Tawk.to” branding from the product, you’ll need to pay $19 per month. Tawk.to also offers you the ability to outsource your live chat support to third-party agents at a rate of $1 per hour.

Who It’s Best For

As a free-to-use solution, Tawk.to is ideal for smaller companies that want to offer basic live chat support without having to purchase a costly subscription. For larger companies, though, a more comprehensive and advanced solution is likely a better choice.

6. Freshdesk

Freshdesk, formerly known as Freshchat, is a solution that offers chatbots in addition to the ability to connect customers with a live support agent. It’s a simple, no-/low-code solution that provides just about everything you could want out of a live chat application, including automated chat routing, chat transcripts, the ability to share files, the ability to create tickets from chats, and beyond.

Standout Ecommerce Features

  • Automatically route customers from a chatbot to a live support agent
  • Integrate with over 1,000 pre-delivered marketing and customer support tools from the Freshdesk Marketplace
  • Share files and screens between customers and support agents
  • Trigger messages or email campaigns based on customer-specific behavior

Pricing

Freshdesk offers plans that range from completely free to use to $69 per agent per month billed annually depending on the number of agents you employ and the specific features that you are looking to purchase.

Who It’s Best For

The free-to-use version of Freshdesk is ideal for smaller businesses that want to affordably test out live chat customer support, while Freshdesk’s paid plans can be great for larger companies that handle more tickets on a regular basis.

7. Zendesk Chat

Zendesk is a live chat solution that’s free to use if you only have one agent speaking with customers. It comes with all the other live chat features you expect from a comprehensive platform, including multichannel support, custom triggers, and the ability to track and monitor visitors on your site.

Standout Ecommerce Features

  • Respond to customer support tickets via web, phone, email, SMS, and social media messaging from a single dashboard
  • Automatically route customers to helpful resources or the appropriate agent via AI-powered triggers
  • Quickly and easily integrate Zendesk with common ecommerce platforms such as Magento, Shopify, and BigCommerce.

Pricing

Zendesk offers several different plans that range from free to $59 per agent per month.

Who It’s Best For

If you only have one agent handling live chat customer support tickets then Zendesk is a great solution to consider since you will be able to access all of its features free of charge. Zendesk is also a great live chat option for Shopify store owners since its Shopify extension is well-polished according to user reviews.

8. Olark

Olark is another “just the basics” live chat tool that is ideal for smaller companies with a limited number of support agents. With that said, Olark does offer some nice features, including triggered messaging, custom pre-chat forms, and offline messaging.

Standout Ecommerce Features

  • Present customers with pre-chat forms that allow you to collect important information and get context before matching them with a live agent
  • Automatically send suggestions or special offers based on specific triggers
  • Offer customers an offline messaging option and follow up at a later time 

Pricing

Olark is free to use provided you only have a single agent and don’t handle more than 20 live chat tickets per month. For the full-featured product, you will need to pay $29 per month per agent. Olark also offers an enterprise-level option called Olark Pro that features variable pricing.

Who It’s Best For

The free-to-use version of Olark is a good choice for especially small stores that only employ a single live chat support agent. While the paid version of Olark does offer some useful features for larger companies, there are better choices available for the cost.

9. Tidio

Tidio is a live chat and chatbot software that includes an impressive range of features in its free-to-use version. While you will have to pay extra for key features such as chatbot templates and live visitor monitoring, the broad toolset that Tido offers free of charge makes it a solid option for businesses that need to stretch their budget as far as possible.

Standout Ecommerce Features

  • Set automated messages targeting visitors based on their activity
  • Store visitor info such as tags, locations, and preferences
  • Create email responses for offline queries
  • Create chatbot templates

Pricing

Tidio is free to download and use. However, you will have to pay extra for any premium features such as the ability to create chatbot templates and the ability to monitor the visitors on your site.

Who It’s Best For

As one of the more capable free-to-use live chat solutions, Tidio is one of the better options for anyone who wants to offer live chat support without having to pay a subscription fee.

10. Zoho SalesIQ

Zoho SalesIQ is a customer engagement tool aimed at marketing, sales, and support teams which also has live chat. The platform includes custom chatbots, advanced monitoring and reports, and the ability to easily switch between live chat and other key support channels. The centralized dashboard lets you track the performance of your live agents with ease. 

Standout Ecommerce Features

  • Create canned replies to frequently asked questions
  • Route live chat sessions to a phone call
  • Integrate with a variety of other customer support tools, including your website’s help desk
  • Monitor the performance of your support agents via a convenient, centralized dashboard

Pricing

The base version of Zoho SalesIQ is free to download and use. There are also paid versions of Zoho SalesIQ that offer additional features, and these paid versions range from $7 per month per agent billed annually to $20 per month per agent billed annually.

Who It’s Best For

Zoho SalesIQ markets its solution to “every type of business,” including finance, ecommerce, travel, real estate, education, and restaurants. The free version holds onto core features and the paid versions are relatively affordable compared to other all-in-one platforms. It’s a great choice for startups and small businesses that are looking to get a lot of customer support tools for minimal cost.

11. LivePerson

LivePerson is an AI-powered communication platform designed to help businesses and government organizations optimize their audience experience. The Conversational Cloud provides a command center to answer questions and engage customers via live chat, as well as help customers on their preferred channels. 

Standout Ecommerce Features

  • Automate many customer interactions using LivePerson’s Conversational AI
  • Connect customers with a live chat agent via a range of messaging platforms, including Facebook Messenger, SMS, and Twitter Direct Messages
  • Construct conversation flows for your chatbots to follow
  • Convert inbound calls to messaging conversations 

Pricing

LivePerson requires that you contact their company for a pricing quote.

Who It’s Best For

LivePerson currently markets its solution to companies in industries such as retail, banking, travel, real estate, insurance, DeFi, government, education, and automotive.

Bring Live Chat to Your Online Store With Gorgias

At Gorgias, we’re proud to offer one of the most comprehensive and feature-rich customer support platforms available today. With Gorgias, you can look forward to AI-powered chatbots and live chat support in addition to an ecommerce help desk and ticketing system. Send out automated updates and messages, automate common customer support tasks, and much more.

Learn more about Gorgias for Shopify stores, Gorgias for Magento stores, or Gorgias for BigCommerce stores to see how you can benefit. 

Special thanks to our friends at Gorgias for their insights on this topic.
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