The Best Live Chat Software for Ecommerce Stores in 2023
Live chat software has quickly become an essential tool for ecommerce businesses. In today’s digital world, customers expect fast, convenient, and streamlined support. To keep up with customer demands, ecommerce stores must offer efficient service options.
To deliver an exceptional live chat experience, businesses must invest in the right tools. Simply adding a chat widget to your website isn’t enough. Your team needs a tool that allows them to manage conversations effectively, provides real-time guidance, and supports customers quickly. Based on our extensive research, LiveChat and HubSpot are two of the best live chat tools for ecommerce.
What’s more, you’ll need to ensure your chat solution integrates seamlessly with the ecommerce tools you’re already using, such as Wix, Shopify, WooCommerce, and so on.
Today, we’re looking at some of the best live chat software options for ecommerce stores.
What Exactly is Ecommerce Live Chat?
Live chat add-ons for ecommerce stores are simple tools which can embed into your existing store, providing customers with access to live chat support. These convenient plugins are excellent for increasing customer satisfaction scores, as they provide website visitors and consumers with another way to reach out for help and guidance.
Notably, small ecommerce businesses investing in live chat software should keep in mind that these tools do still require you to have a support team available on the back-end to answer queries. The more support agents you have, the faster your response time will be.
However, many solutions also come with AI and automation tools you can use to support your chat agents. These extra “bots”, can help with things like preventing cart abandonment on your ecommerce website, responding FAQs and boosting conversion rates with upsells. However, they don’t provide the same empathetic experience as a real human for lead generation.
What are The Best Live Chat Software for Ecommerce Platforms?
Let’s look at some of the best live chat service options to empower your salesforce, and customer service team.
Let’s start with perhaps the most popular chat software on the market. LiveChat is a leading solution for companies investing in the future of customer service. The powerful platform ensures companies can connect with their customers anywhere, using omnichannel messaging. Through a unified inbox, LiveChat helps all of your agents to keep track of conversations from multiple platforms in one place.
You can a number of different environments to LiveChat, including Facebook Messenger, Email, Apple Messages, SMS, WhatsApp, and more. The easy-to-use platform doesn’t just enable live chat capabilities either. There are various other value-added tools to explore, like custom forms and AI chatbots for qualifying leads, as well as real-time analytics, and proactive messaging options.
You can balance live and chatbot based interactions to improve your connections with leads, allowing chatbots to create help tickets and route conversations to agents, and leveraging agents to close deals. The system can even automatically segment visitors for you, based on what they do on your site.
Plus, you can customize your chat widget however you choose, add all the branding components you like, create agent groups, and even leverage extra features like staffing predictions and work scheduling tools.
There are a handful of pricing options to choose from with LiveChat, and you can test all the features of the “Team” plan for free for 14 days, to validate whether it’s right for you. Options include:
- Starter: $20 per month per agent for a 60-day chat history, basic widget customization, ticketing, and data security.
- Team: $41 per month, per agent for all the features of Starter, plus an unlimited chat history, full widget customization, basic reporting, multiple branding options, and basic reporting.
- Business: $59 per month per agent for all the features of Team, plus advanced reporting, staffing predictions, work scheduling tools, and more.
- Enterprise: Custom pricing for all the features of Business, plus enhanced product training, a dedicated account manager, software engineering support, SSO, HIPAA compliance, security assistance, and premium customer service.
- In-depth reporting and analytics on most plans
- Full widget customization and branding options
- Integrated ticketing and segmentation features
- Built-in data security on every plan
- Staffing prediction and work scheduling tools
- Limited chat history on some plans
- Slight learning curve for some integrations
Further reading 📚
LiveChat Review: Clean Live Chat and Lead Generation with an Excellent Price Tag
LiveChat Pricing: The Complete Guide for 2023
HubSpot is one of the most versatile SaaS vendors out there, offering intelligent solutions for everything from sales to customer service and marketing. Outside of a range of premium marketing hubs, HubSpot also offers a range of free tools to access, including a live chat application.
The HubSpot live chat software can be customized to match the look and feel of your brand. You can add your own colors and logos, create custom messages for customers, and track all of your messages in one place. Plus, there are automation capabilities available to ensure you’re routing conversations to the right people in your business team.
Every conversation created with HubSpot’s live chat software is automatically saved and stored in your conversational inbox, with timeline insights to give you a complete view of your customer relationship. The system also works seamlessly with the HubSpot CRM and other tools. Plus, there’s the option to create your own custom chatbots to accompany your live chat team too.
With live chat from HubSpot, you can also access a range of other free features, including forms, email tracking tools, contact and company insights, pipeline management tools, contact activity reports and meeting scheduling systems.
It’s free to access the Live Chat software from HubSpot if you just want basic functionality. However, if you want to take your HubSpot investment to the next level, there are a range of premium plans for sales, marketing, and customer service teams. For instance, the Marketing packages which include live chat functionality are:
- Starter: Starting $45 per month for 1,000 contacts, with forms, live chat, email marketing, landing pages, email and in-app support and payments.
- Professional: Starting at $800 per month for 2,000 contacts with all the features of Starter, plus omnichannel marketing automation, custom reporting, team collaboration and social media integrations.
- Enterprise: Starting at $3,600 per month for all the features of Professional for up to 10,000 contacts, plus custom objects, hierarchical teams, partitioning, multi-touch revenue streams and attribution, and custom behavioral events.
- Free plan available for beginners
- Excellent back-end CRM integration
- Fantastic customizations for your live chat widget
- Live chat and chatbot automation in one
- Analytics, reports, and segmentation
- Expensive premium plans
- Limitations on number of contacts
Like HubSpot, Intercom offers businesses access to a comprehensive ecosystem for driving excellent customer service initiatives and sales. The powerful live chat tools built into the platform allow companies to create a custom business messenger, so they can reach customers proactively, respond to requests, and handle concerns in real-time.
You can embed your chat system into a range of websites and apps, and maintain your conversations all in one unified inbox. The system also comes with a comprehensive customer data platform, where you can track information about each customer and their preferences.
Plus, Intercom also allows businesses to invest in new levels of self-service too, with chatbot capabilities and automations built into the same platform. Access to Intercom’s platform not only gives you live chat capabilities, but also workload management tools, ticketing software, outcome reporting, resolution bots, and tools for creating knowledge bases.
Most of the plan options available for Intercom don’t come with a transparent price. You’ll need to contact the team to get a quote for the service you use. The only plan with a straightforward cost is the “Starter” option, which costs $74 per month and includes access to chat and email support, in-product messaging, and targeted outbound email, but no live chat.
If you want the live chat functionality, you’ll need either the “Support” plan, intended for customer service experts, or the “Convert” plan for sales.
- Lots of integration options for online stores
- Excellent ticketing and segmentation functions
- Machine learning for smart AI bots
- Customizable widgets that work anywhere
- Team management and collaboration tools
- The pricing isn’t very transparent
- Slight learning curve for some features
Another compelling option for ecommerce store owners searching for live chat tools, Tidio makes it easy to connect with your customers instantly. You can add the software to your store in a matter of minutes, and use it to respond to messages in a customized, branded widget, or send proactive messages. Tidio even comes with a range of great analytics and reporting tools built in.
You can learn about who browses your website, and collect data about the people who reach out for more information. You’ll also be able to monitor results from conversations, examine where visitors are coming from, and check for trends in common questions. Plus, Tidio also allows you to automate some of your chat requirements, with custom bots infused with AI.
To make life easier for business owners, Tidio integrates seamlessly with a range of existing tools, including MailChimp, WordPress, Shopify, HubSpot, and Wix. Ticketing capabilities come included in every plan, and there are both desktop and mobile (Android and iOS) apps available for reaching your audience anywhere. Plus, you can access an API environment for workflow automation.
Paid plans include:
- Communicator: $15.83 per user per month for all the features of the Free plan, plus unlimited live conversations, up to 5 operators, live chat and email support, team departments, analytics, a native Shopify integration, and live typing. You’ll also be able to access notes, viewed page insights, live visitor lists, and permissions.
- Chatbots: $32.50 per month per user for all the features of free, plus chatbot conversations with up to 40,000 users, 35+ chatbot templates and a visual chatbot editor, plus Zapier integrations.
- Tidio+: $240.83 per user per month for all the features of the Chatbot and communicator plans, plus AI response bots, multisite support, custom integrations and email marketing. You’ll also have access to a dedicated customer success manager, implementation specialist, and a series of training sessions.
- Plenty of support available for beginners
- Free plan for conversations with up to 100 users
- Integrations with a host of ecommerce tools
- Desktop and mobile applications
- Ticketing and visitor info included on all plans
- Limitations on customer support
- Integrations can be a little complex
Further reading 📚
Tidio Chat Review: What Does This Software Have to Offer?
Tawk.to is a popular customer service platform, offering access to team chat, live chat, ticketing, CRM capabilities, knowledge bases and more. The easy-to-use platform helps you to align your teams with collaboration tools, and learn more about your target audience. You can monitor customer activity in real-time, for better insights into what they really need from you.
The chat widget is fully customizable, and supports more than 45 languages. Plus, you can chat with customers using Android and iOS mobile apps. Tawk.to also comes with a range of advanced features, including desktop notifications, sentiment tracking, engagement monitoring, agent alerts, detailed reporting and scheduling tools.
The platform is constantly evolving with new functionality too. Recently, Tawk.to added support for message sneak peeks, visitor information tracking, in-chat payments, and automated translation.
Users can access all the functionality of Tawk.to for free, for as long as they want. However, the free plan does require you to include the tawk.to branding on all of your widgets. If you want to remove that branding, it will cost you $19 per month. Additionally, You can pay to have Tawk.to’s professionals answer your live chat messages for you for $1 per hour.
- Free plan includes access to all features
- Lots of language options and customizations
- Sentiment, engagement, and visitor tracking
- Built-in collaboration and assignment tools
- API access and integrations
- Tawk.to branding on the free plan
- Customer support can be difficult to access at times
If you’re already using Shopify to run your online store, it might make sense to use the Live chat functionality built into the ecosystem. Shopify Inbox is a convenient and straightforward tool which allows business owners to connect with audiences across a range of channels. The unified inbox combines messages from Messenger, Instagram, Live chat, and the Shop app.
Shopify Inbox comes with some powerful insights to help you make the most of your chat functionality. You can see what customers have in their cart at any time when connecting with them through your online store. You can also classify different messages, and offer discount codes to customers over chat to increase conversions.
To help boost productivity, Shopify Inbox supports “quick replies” which you can customize to allow users to send responses in seconds. You can also send customers automated updates on their order status. Shopify Inbox also offers automated messages, so you can proactively reach out to customers, and options for follow-up emails too.
Shopify Inbox is offered for free as part of your Shopify subscription. Prices for Shopify vary depending on the functionality you need, but you’ll have to purchase at least the Basic plan to access the Inbox functionality. Options include:
- Basic: $29 per month with 2 staff accounts, 4 locations, Shopify POS support, live chat, and shipping discounts, as well as full access to the Shopify site builder.
- Shopify: $79 per month for all the features of Basic, plus lower transaction fees, up to 5 inventory locations, professional reports, and 5 staff accounts.
- Advanced: $299 per month for all the features included in Shopify, as well as even lower transaction rates, 8 inventory locations, custom reports, and 15 staff accounts.
- Shopify Plus: Custom pricing for advanced high-volume sales options, enhanced customer service, and various additional customizations.
- Integrations with a range of messaging platforms
- Easy insights into your customers
- Custom recommendations and automated offers
- Powerful quick replies for productivity
- Contact capturing and data collection
- Limited options for widget customizations
- Not all platforms are included
Further reading 📚
What is Shopify Inbox? And How to Set It Up
LiveAgent is similar to LiveChat, in that it offers companies a comprehensive solution for managing customer service requests and support. The all-in-one helpdesk software makes it easy to track tickets, assign tasks to employees, segment customers, and connect with clients wherever they are.
LiveAgent can connect all of the channels you use to engage with your customers into one environment. You can link email, chat, calls, forums, contact forms, video calls, social media sites, and even Slack. You’ll also have no problem integrating the system with a range of ecommerce tools, CRM systems, analytics services and more.
LiveAgent allows you to customize your support widget to suit your customers, and leverage automations to ensure conversations run as smoothly as possible. You can also use the platform to create your own knowledge base, so customers can easily serve themselves. LiveAgent supports advanced reporting and insights, rules and time rules, white labelling, feedback management, proactive chat invitations, and visitor monitoring too.
The price you pay will depend on what kind of functionality you need. If you’re looking for a live chat solution, you’ll need to choose from one of the two packages:
- Ticket + Chat: $29 per agent per month for unlimited chat buttons, feedback management, real time visitor monitoring, proactive chat, chat satisfaction surveys, time tracking, audit logs, and social networks. You also get ticketing features like customer portals and forums, unlimited ticketing history, APIs and integrations, advanced reporting, and automation rules.
- All-inclusive: $49 per agent per month for all the features of Ticket + Chat, as well as call center support, IVR, video calling, call routing and transfers, unlimited call recording, hardware IP phones, and free access to advanced tools.
- Support for every communication channel
- Extensive insights and auditing logs
- Proactive monitoring, analytics, and evaluation
- Customizable widgets, customer portals, and routing
- Integrations with endless business tools
- Slightly complex to set up for beginners
- Live chat isn’t available on all plans
Like many of the top companies offering live chat solutions for ecommerce brands today, Gorgias is a relatively comprehensive platform. The solution comes with access to features for everything from voice management to social media interactions, SMS, and email. There are also various automation capabilities to streamline your work, and AI technologies for intent and sentiment detection.
The Gorgias live chat app syncs with your existing ecommerce store to bring information about your products and shopper history into one place. There are options for setting up proactive messages, so you can reach out to your clients as soon as they arrive on your store, or when they encounter a specific page. Plus, routing options allow you to automatically send chats to the right agent.
You can set up quick replies to help boost productivity, or create your own automated chat apps to help customers support themselves. Plus, there are tons of customization options too. You can adjust your widget to match your brand and website style, and set up automatic replies for business hours. Users can set individual agent availability, and allow customers to transition from live chat to email and social channel conversations too.
The pricing for Gorgias can be a little difficult to get your head around, because it includes access not just to live chat, but a range of other capabilities. Packages start with the “Starter” option at $10 per month, with 50 billable tickets per month, 3 user seats, 2 social media integrations, 94 active integrations, reporting capabilities, and customer service support.
Each package includes access to the same functionality, but with more volume. You can access more tickets, social channels, integrations, and automation options the more you spend.
- Comprehensive communication management
- Easy integration with ecommerce stores
- Excellent range of automation tools
- SSO and team management capabilities
- Routing and rule setting options
- Complex initial setup
- The pricing can be a little tricky to understand
Further reading 📚
Best Live Chat Apps (Feb 2023): Which is the Best for Your Ecommerce Business?
Best Live Chat Apps for Shopify (Feb 2023)
How to Choose the Best Live Chat Software for Your Business (2023)
Choosing the Best Live Chat Software for Ecommerce
The best live chat software for ecommerce stores like BigCommerce, Shopify, WooCommerce and Magento will allow you to instantly add a custom chat window to your website with minimal effort.
There are tons of great tools out there, and various live chat features to explore, such as pop-up proactive chat systems, tools with offline message storage, and solutions with AI bots to augment your support agents.
The best ecommerce live chat software for you will depend on a number of factors, from how you plan on managing customer engagement, to how many team members you want to support. You may also want to think about whether you want to integrate your tool with other support tools. Some apps come with built-in features to manage support tickets, CRM tracking and analytics, to reduce the number of integrations you need.
While there are free live chat options out there, ecommerce businesses should keep in mind that the most advanced tools for any sales team generally do come with a price tag. If you’re looking for advanced capabilities for customer communication, like intelligent chat routing, and automated responses to customer questions, you may need to pay more for ecommerce live chat.
If none of the options above work for you, some additional options include: