Do you own an online store? If yes, then you may have noticed that up to 67% of the people who visit your site abandon their shopping carts, seemingly for no reason. This can be rather frustrating! But what can you do? Hi, my name is Francisco, and I am the owner of Planet Marketing, a digital marketing agency. My company specializes in Facebook Ads, Google Ads and Remarketing. I also do Web Development for eCommerce businesses. One thing that I have discovered is that being able to reliably and effectively interact with both prospects and customers is a hallmark of successful online stores. In this article, I am going to;
- Briefly discuss why live chat tools are important for online stores.
- Show you the features to look for in a live chat tool.
- Give you some of the best chat tools to improve your online store.
Why bother with chat tools?
So, you have set up your online store using Shopify or WooCommerce, and it looks smashing. But one thing is missing. You are yet to have a chat tool on there. And you have begun wondering whether or not you should even bother. As noted, I have gathered lot’s of experience building eCommerce businesses over the past few years. I can, therefore, safely say that you absolutely need to have a chat tool on your site for the following reasons;
- Having a chat tool on your website allows you to quickly answer any queries from prospects and customers. Most people want to know a bit more about the products that they are buying. You can give them this information using a chat tool. That way, you will have a greater chance of getting conversions.
- You can build up loyalty in your brand using online chat tools. People like to feel that they are talking to a human being and not just to some tool that’s automatically answering their questions without understanding anything. So, taking the time to respond to customer queries is a good way of ensuring that people get a good shopping experience from you. That way, they will remember you the next time that they want to buy something.
- Another advantage of having a chat tool on your eCommerce website is that it allows you to interact with customers before their issues turn into grievances. We have talked a lot about negative reviews on this site. They are something that you need to actively seek to avoid. With 90% of people out there first consulting the internet before buying anything, it’s important to avoid any kind of adverse feedback that may come back to bite you are a later date. So, having a chat tool allows you to answer customer concerns without those concerns turning into anger.
- Having a live chat tool also allows you to gather useful feedback from your customers. This tends to be rather important as far as growing your business is concerned. It allows you to steer in the right direction as far as customer expectations are concerned. That, in turn, gives you the ability to further grow your customer base.
Important features for live chat tools for online stores
Most people think that live chat tools are simple and good only for one thing. However, that is hardly the case. You will see when we start reviewing the best live chat tools to improve your online store that most of these tools come with a range of features. They are not just for live chat! The following are some of the features that you should be on the lookout for when choosing a live chat tool for your eCommerce business;
- You need to get a tool that you can use to create triggers for up-selling certain products.
- The ability to be used by multiple people on your staff with chats being transferred.
- Chat transcripts for reviews.
- Notifications when a new chat is received.
- Analytics to gain more insights into your customers’ behavior.
- Automated responses.
- Gather information about the prospect using pre-chat forms.
- Share files with customers, such as screenshots.
Top Live Chat Tools for Online Stores
Having said that, it’s time for use to take a look at some of the best Live chat tools that eCommerce stores can use to interact with their customers. I am going to begin this section by looking at a tool that I use on my own website. If you go to the Planet Marketing website, you will see this tool that allows me and my team to talk to people who visit the site. Anyway, the following are the best live chat tools to improve your online store;
This is the first live chat tool that online stores can use to interact with their customers. This is the tool that I use on my own site. I have been using Crisp for a while, and I have to say it works great. The thing that made me choose this particular app over others is that it comes with a wide range of features;
- Live chat
- Chatbot to build automated conversations
- Integration with other apps
- Knowledge for instant answering of customer questions
- Shared inbox with members of your team.
You can use Crisp for free
One of the best things is that you can use Crisp for free. Of course, you will be limited in what you can do, but this gives you the chance to see whether or not this is the best live chat tool for your online store. If you don’t like it, you can always try out other tools that we feature here. The best thing about Crisp is that you don’t have to provide a credit card when signing up for free!
As noted above, you can use a free version of Crisp without having to provide any credit card details. The Pro version of Crisp currently costs $25 per month. Most people want to know whether or not this is a worthwhile investment. The answer is yes. You need to have a chat tool on your site and having one can vastly boost your bottom line.
If you want an online store chat tool that’s used by big brands, then you should choose LiveChat. It’s, without doubt, one of the best live chat tools to improve your online store that you will be able to find anywhere out there. And for those that have the herd mentality (who doesn’t have that?), LiveChat is used by up to 30 000 businesses as of now. These include such big names as BBB, Huawei, Orange, PayPal, Adobe and AirAsia.
The one major draw for LiveChat is that it’s more than a simple online chat tool. Instead, it also offers the following features;
- It’s a customer service tool
- Chat transcripts
- Chat history
- Chats routing
- Chat ratings
- Chat transfer
- File sharing
- Canned responses
- Message sneak-peek
Integration is one of the major strength of LiveChat. As you can see in the above screenshot, you get all your messaging, email and analytics tools integrated on one interface, making it easy for you to manage your eCommerce store.
You can start using LiveChat beginning from $16 per month. You can try out the tool for 14 days free of charge.
LiveAgent is another popular chat tool that you can use to improve your online store’s performance. Remember we noted that the best live chat tool is one that offers more than simple chat functionality. LiveAgent is one such tool. Should you decide to go for this tool, you get the following features;
- Live chat
- Integration with Twitter and Facebook.
- Video chat
- Interactive Voice (IVR)
- Canned responses
- Automation for easy management of message flow to agents
- Fast chat widget
LiveAgent is priced beginning from $15 per month. You can try out this tool for free for 15 days. You can also sign up for a free account. However, this comes with only a limited number of features.
Olark is also good for those looking for the best live chat tools to improve their online stores. As is the case with all the other tools that we have looked at in this article, Olark is more than just a chat tool. It comes with a number of essential features, including the following;
- Team Management
- Live Chat
- Visitor details
- Searchable Transcripts
- Real time dashboard
- Google Analytics integration
Olark costs $19 per month for those paying month by month. However, if you are paying for the entire year, the price drops down to $15 per month. And if you are paying for 2 year, the price falls to $12 per month. So, this is a good option as far as chat tools for online stores are concerned.
Freshchat is another good option for those looking for the best chat tools for their online stores. Freshchat is made by Freshworks. It’s designed to promote engagement between you and your customers. One of the major features of this particular tool is that it comes with integration with Social messengers. So, if your business uses Facebook Messenger, as an example, you can integrate it with Freshchat, meaning you will be able to receive all the messages from your customers on one interface. This makes things easy, as far as management is concerned;
- Messaging channels
- Email Campaigns
- Campaign Insights
- User intel
- Multi-channel Messaging
- In-app Messages
So, which tool should I choose?
To be fair, there are probably hundreds of live chat tools for use by online stores out there. So, which one should you use? Well, I tried to cover all the angles in this article. What you need is to have a tool that does everything that you want. The most important thing is to have live chat on your site. As you saw above, you can get this basic functionality for free on some of the tools that are featured here.
Beyond that, you need to have a tool that allows integration with all your messaging apps. If you are the typical business, you probably use Facebook, WhatsApp, Twitter and other social networks. It would be too much work to track everything that’s happening on all these platforms. What you want to do is to have everything on one Dashboard. That way, you can assign one or two people to monitor everything.
Automation and Chatbots are also useful features for those looking for the best live chat tools to improve their online stores. The idea is for you to get a tool that automatically responds to some basic queries from customers. That way, you can be sure that customer concerns continue to be answered even when you are not around.
Having said that, any of the tools that are featured in this article should do the job for you. Of course, most people choose based on price. We advise you to first take advantage of the free offers that come with many of these tools. Try them out for a few days and see whether they are what you want. Whatever you do, it’s clear that you need to get a live chat tool to improve your online store’s performance.