Customer experience is essential in the saturated world of ecommerce. You need to meet customers where they're at, including various ways to contact customer support. That's where live chat comes in.

Live chat apps allow you to interact with customers in real time, answer their questions, and help them make purchasing decisions.

In fact, 42% of customers say it's important for companies to have a live chat option on their websites. So meet customers where they're at and adopt a live chat solution for your online store.

Learn about the benefits of live chat. Then, review 10 of the best live chat apps for Shopify stores.

The benefits of live chat for ecommerce

When you adopt live chat, you level up your customer service game while making it more likely for browsers to become customers.

Increase customer satisfaction

Customers are always looking for a quick and easy way to get answers to their questions. Live chat provides them with that by giving them instant access to customer support. This results in happier customers and improved customer satisfaction levels.

Increase sales

Research from Forrester shows that customers are 2.8x more likely to convert if they use live chat than if they don't. And they'll spend 60% more.

And if you help customers quickly, you reduce the likelihood of them abandoning their purchase. When you communicate with your customers by email, a lot of back-and-forths can take days to resolve. By that point, customers may have lost interest.

With live chat, customers' questions get answered faster so they can move forward with their purchase. Plus, with customer support right on the website, customers don't have to leave your website to get help. So live chat fits seamlessly into the buying journey.

Reduce customer support load

As ecommerce businesses grow, they can quickly become bogged down by customer support requests. Live chat software provides a way to reduce the load on customer support teams by handling some inquiries automatically.

Many live chat solutions have a chatbot feature that can answer questions, direct customers to resources, and upsell products or services. By automating some of the customer support work, live chat software can help ecommerce businesses scale without adding headcount.

Features to consider when choosing a live chat app for Shopify

The great thing about the live chat apps on this list is that they all integrate with Shopify. So, you know they'll work with your store and are made for ecommerce. Additionally, you'll want to consider these four factors when narrowing down your Shopify live chat options.

Chatbot automation

Consider a Shopify live chat app that has robust chatbot automation capabilities. This frees your support team to handle more complex issues that need a human touch.

Customers are 2.8x more likely to convert if they use live chat than if they don't. And they'll spend 60% more.

A chatbot can answer common questions and route customers to the right resources. It can even perform basic tasks like helping a customer complete a purchase or start a return.

Artificial intelligence (AI) or machine learning capabilities

When considering live chat software with chatbot automation, there are two kinds of chatbots: rule-based and AI-powered chatbots.

Rule-based chatbots will be more limited in scope. They will answer customer inquiries based on pre-programmed responses that you set up or that come built-in to the live chat app you choose.

AI chatbots can understand natural language and will learn what proposed solutions are appropriate over time. However, you'll have to watch conversations closely. You'll want to make sure the AI isn't offending customers or getting off track in its responses.

Integrates with your customer service and marketing software

The best live chat app will integrate with your existing systems, such as your CRM or help desk software. This will allow you to communicate seamlessly with customers across your customer support channels without losing any details.

Additionally, if your live chat software integrates with your marketing software, you can boost your marketing efforts based on customer chats. For example, you can give shoppers a way to subscribe to an email or SMS list in the chat. Or you can use an in-chat event, like a purchase, to trigger personalized marketing campaigns.

Analytics and reporting

Good live chat software will offer reporting features that allow you to track performance and measure results. This helps identify areas for improvement and demonstrate the impact of live chat on your business.

You should be able to track the performance of individual customer support agents, customer satisfaction, and the chatbot's effectiveness if you have one.

10 of the best live chat Shopify apps for your ecommerce store

Review the top picks on the market. Some of the best options aren't in the Shopify app store, but they still integrate with the platform, so don't let that deter you. Then, take some time to try out the apps yourself. After trying out a few apps, you should know which live chat Shopify app is the best fit for your business.

1. Shopify Inbox

Shopify Inbox is a free live chat app by Shopify designed to help your customers make purchasing decisions. So it can help you increase conversions.

Top features:

  • Built by Shopify, so you can count on fewer integration bugs and a seamless adoption on your Shopify store

  • Convert more customers with automatic message classification, custom discount codes, and views into customer carts while you're chatting

  • Canned responses speed up conversations

  • Streamline conversations across chat, social media, and the Shopify app

2. Help Scout

Help Scout is a complete help desk solution with a live chat function that speeds up resolution time with help docs. You can show help docs to customers when they open live chat so they can get self-serve answers first. Then, if they still need help, they can chat with a customer support representative. And as your customer support agents chat with customers, relevant help docs appear so the agent can share resources quickly and easily.

Top features:

  • Full help desk solution including email, live chat support, and help docs

  • Help docs speed up service

  • Flexibility to control customer-service path

  • Comprehensive reporting

3. Gorgias

Gorgias is a complete help desk solution with a live chat feature that uses automation to resolve frequently asked questions.

Top features:

  • Full help desk solution across email, social, voice, live chat, and text messaging

  • Automatic replies and routing

  • Self-service help in chat

  • Seamless integration across support channels

4. Tidio live chat

Tidio is a dedicated live chat software with chatbot features to help you automate service and increase sales.

Top features:

  • Provides context for the conversation with browsing history

  • Live typing shows you what customers are typing to reduce support time

  • Customizable chatbot responds to common questions

  • Segment users based on behavior to deliver personalized messages

5. LiveChat

LiveChat is software that considers the entire customer journey so you can support your customers effectively at each stage.

Top features:

  • Proactively message shoppers as they browse

  • Personalize product recommendations

  • Connect to customers where they're at through email, chat, text, and in-app messaging

  • Chatbots manage repetitive inquiries

6. Olark

Olark is a straightforward, simple live chat app that prioritizes accessibility.

Top features:

  • Automate messaging based on customer data and behavior

  • Transcripts provide insights into product feedback

  • Customer information, including browsing and customer service history provided in the chat window

  • ADA-compliant so you can offer live chat to people with disabilities

7. Chatra live chat

Chatra is a fully-featured helpdesk solution that grows with your business. Its live chat solution is free for a customer service team of one. You can upgrade to a paid plan when you need more features or have the budget to expand into other customer service channels.

Top features:

  • Increase sales by answering questions and offering cross-sell and upsell recommendations

  • Support customers across chat, email, Facebook messenger, and Instagram

  • Chatbot answers frequently asked questions and gains context into an inquiry before escalating to the support team

  • Initiate assistance on pages where customers often need help

8. Re:amaze

Re:amaze is a full customer service solution by GoDaddy that includes live chat, email, chatbot automation, and help docs.

Top features:

  • Initiate customer chat with website visitors automatically based on customer data and behavior

  • Pre-built chatbots answer questions in your help docs

  • Customize chatbots to answer more customer questions automatically

  • Offer video calls when chatting face to face is more helpful

9. Richpanel

Richpanel is a complete customer service solution built specifically for ecommerce stores.

Top features:

  • Self-service support recommends products and helps customers track orders and initiate returns

  • Collect customer context before connecting to a human agent

  • Set your availability, so customers know when to expect a reply

  • Customize live chat experience based on order history, current page, and customer lifecycle stage

10. Zendesk

Zendesk is a great help desk option for large teams. Well-known enterprise brands use it, so it's designed for large ticket volumes and a lot of customer data.

Top features:

  • Manage customer communications across channels from a single dashboard

  • AI chatbot speeds up customer service resolutions

  • Automatic routing to the best agent for the job

  • Proactive outreach to let customers know you're available to help

Elevate your customer service with real-time SMS chat

The more channels your customers can contact you on, the better your customer experience. So once you've got your live chat software up and running, consider adding SMS to your customer support stack.

Emotive is an SMS marketing platform that enables two-way SMS conversations with your subscribers.

Send personalized text message marketing campaigns, automate support conversations, and transfer the conversation to a human support agent when a shopper needs more help.

Emotive integrates with your ecommerce platform, marketing tools, and customer support software so you can create a cohesive customer experience.

Learn more and sign up for a demo today.