13 Best Live Chat Platforms for Retailers that are Changing the Game in 2022
Why ecommerce retail businesses need to use live chat software solutions in 2022. Read our list of the top 10 online live chat support software with pros and cons.
Ever get stuck trying to find something on a webpage when a live chat window pops open and has just the answer you’re looking for? These responsive tools are called live chat software platforms, and, when used effectively, they can help shape unforgettable customer service experiences, increase sales, and build brand loyalty.
Consumers are most familiar with the chatbot format, an artificial intelligence (AI) powered tool that’s common on personal banking websites and in other industries. Live chat capability dates back to 2002, when a program called LiveChat launched, first allowing customers to talk directly to someone at a company via the website. Fast-forward 20 years, it is now estimated that 85% of businesses will have opted to use live chat software by 2022. These days, however, there are many more live chat format options.
Today, some of the best live chat software can be found on retail websites, where customers have to navigate through product pages and sometimes need a little extra guidance to find what they’re looking for. In this post, we’re going to look at some of the best live chat software for retailers available in 2022, how they work, and why putting a live chat software solution in place makes sense for highly competitive retailers with advanced CX strategies
Most businesses recognize the advantages of having some kind of live chat option since it’s been widely reported that customers prefer live chat software for its convenience versus having to pick up the phone and talk to someone. According to a report by Gartner, live chat is the number one service choice for shoppers in the 18 to 49 age range.
Depending on the kind of live chat solution that businesses choose, other major advantages include:
The top reasons that retailers can specifically benefit from offering live chat support software include:
Live chat software in 2022 is available in a few different formats, including:
Let’s take a closer look at the pros and cons of each kind of live chat support software.
Text-based customer service options include online service or tech that lets customers use SMS text messaging, native texting apps, like WhatsApp or Messenger, or customized messengers, to interact with a business.
This solution offers pop-up live chat windows where customers can have real-time video interactions and conversations with customer support professionals.
Video co-shopping, or live video shopping, allows customers to connect with a real human in a video experience, with the intent of browsing or buying products from a particular brand. Video co-shopping is considered one of the most advanced ways to enhance the online customer experience. There are two kinds of video shopping experiences, one-to-one, and one-to-many. One-to-one live video shopping is the most direct form of a live chat app to provide customers support, on demand. Read about the top live shopping apps here.
A chatbot is a software solution that facilitates online conversations between customers and AI-powered bots. Using machine learning and AI, these bots can help solve common customer issues without the need to connect them to real people, using canned answers that are set by the merchant.
Some brands will forgo live chat on their site and instead, leverage the live chat solutions provided by popular social media tools. Facebook Messenger, for example, is already used by 138 million people around the globe. In some markets, Facebook Messenger or Whatsapp (both owned by Meta) are the primary ways people communicate, so it stands to reason that customer service providers are happy to meet customers where they are. Instead of having to submit an email request or have a chat live exclusilvely on a retailer's website, shoppers can connect with customer support over a social media chat app like Facebook Messenger, next to other conversations they're already having.
Live chat apps can use one or more of several types of support channels listed above. Larger live chat app SaaS companies that serve enterprise-level clients across various industries often will offer multiple kinds of live chat apps and solutions. Some kinds of online live chat software solutions are more specific to certain industries, so they offer a more specialized support tool.
Here, we’ve broken down 13 online live chat suppliers who are leading the way in 2022.
Looking to up the ecommerce customer experience? With GhostRetail, customers can jump onto a call with a live shopping associate when browsing a retailer’s website.
While they wait to get connected, shoppers can browse the entire brand website. Once a live shopping associate is available, they can co-shop together, answering any specific questions a customer has. Live shopping associates can zap products over to a customer, including the specific variants they may want, and even add them to the cart.
Type: Video co-shopping
GhostRetail is best suited for:
The live chat software pioneer, LiveChat, has grown to offer an impressive offering of solutions over the past 20 years. Consistently one of the highest-rated live chat software companies, it has integrations with over 200 tools and is known for its reputable customer service. With LiveChat clients can tailor their live chat software needs and access sophisticated reports and analytics.
Type: Text, video, chatbot
LiveChat is best suited for:
Digital marketing and CRM leader HubSpot has its own HubSpot live chat software platform and offers a free version of live chat to existing HubSpot CRM users. The customizable live chat widget is easy to use, quick to set up and integrated with HubSpot CRM, as well as Slack.
Type: Chatbot, text
HubSpot Live Chat is best suited for:
Zendesk offers a “conversational support” solution with a dashboard for users to manage and respond from all in one place. It offers several integrations, analytics and reporting functions. Zendesk also separately offers a CRM solution, so integrating the two allows clients to leverage live chat data as part of their sales strategy. Zendesk is heavily integrated with social media messaging apps and native texting apps. On a similar note, Zoho Desk is a very similar solution to Zendesk that also offers a live chat integration.
Type: Text, chatbot
Zendesk is best suited for:
Comm100 allows customer service representatives to chat live via browser-based video. The platform also offers text-based messaging, file sharing and co-browsing while in video chat. Truly a well-rounded CX that effectively helps to solve issues and answer questions with the humanized element of video.
Type: Video live chat
Comm100 is best suited for:
LiveHelpNow is one of the top-rated live chat apps that boasts a super customizable interface with an impressive number of features, security and integration support. Reviewed as a highly scalable and fantastic live chat software solution for any-sized business, LiveChatNow has earned a reputation for charging a reasonable price for a high-end system. This online live chat solution offers real-time translation capabilities and native mobile support.
Type: Text, chatbot
LiveChatNow is best suited for:
Gorgias is an ecommerce-focused customer service software solution that integrates with Shopify, BigCommerce, and WooCommerce. Its claim to fame is its super sophisticated Shopify integration which allows users to pull data directly from Shopify into the Gorgias dashboard, plus modify orders, do refunds and more, all in one place. Great automation capabilities and custom tagging make this platform a top choice for CX-focused e-commerce merchants.
Type: Text, chatbot
Gorgias is best suited for:
Pure Chat positions itself as a cheap and cheerful live chat solution that offers unlimited chats and can be easily installed and trialed for free 30 days on any brand's website. From an ecommerce perspective, Pure Chat has setup guides specifically for BigCommerce, 3DCart, Opencart, Wix.com, SquareSpace, and Wordpress, making them a viable live chat option for non-Shopify brands look at add live chat services to their website. But that low cost price tag comes with a tradeoff: Pure Chat really only has basic live chat tool functionality.
Pure Chat is best suited for:
Tidio is an ecommerce live chat solution that allows companies to interact with customers. Rated very highly on the Shopify marketplace, the system offers a dashboard where users can monitor conversations from all channels (live chat, Messenger, email) on one screen. Tidio has automation capabilities and integrations with popular business software platforms. A major selling feature for Tidio Chat is the fact it has Forever Free live chat software plans available. While the free plan may be enticing to get people in the door, one of Tidio Chat's biggest drawbacks, according to reviewers, is the pay-per-user structure, which means it lacks the scalability that many ecommerce startups are looking for.
Type: Text, chatbot, email
Tidio is best suited for:
Whisbi is rooted in a more classic sales experience as a live-selling platform that includes live streaming and interactive video and text chat functionality. Whisbi can send sales leads from the website to a sales agent either remotely or in-store, but the big drawback is it doesn’t allow both parties to browse the website together and make a purchase, the one-to-one feature is for support and troubleshooting only. The one-to-many feature however, may work great for ecommerce product or collection launches.
Type: Livestream shopping, Video chat
Whisbi is best suited for:
A live chat messenger designed for ecommerce websites, Chatra allows companies to talk to website visitors in real time or in messenger mode. It lets users see who’s currently visiting the website and what’s in their shopping carts at any given time, and has chatbot functionality for off-hours when real humans can’t be behind the dashboard. Reviewers have mentioned one big drawback with Chatra is that there is no way to track customer tickets. While offering a very basic user interface can be a good thing for some clients, many need a way to track and resolve customer tickets.
Type: Text, chatbot
Chatra is best suited for:
The ProProfs Chat platform offers both chatbots with canned responses and the ability to initiate or engage in live chat, with sophisticated routing tools. ProProfs Chat promotes themselves as a solution for more than just ecommerce, although they integrate with Shopify, Xcart, Magento, and more. One of the ways ProProfs suggests retailers use their live chat tool is to initiate a proactive chat. Their chatbots can promote promotions and incentives, or interact with returning customers, before a customer has even chosen to engage with it. If they have questions, they can follow up on the spot.
Type: Text, chatbot
ProProfs Chat is best suited for:
There are two things HappyFox Chat touts about its live chat tool. The first is that it can integrated and deployed within minutes. The second is that it offers unlimited agents on any plan. This means no matter what chat feature set you're looking for, you'll still be able to scale up your customer service team and provide support to shoppers as your customer base grows without needing to pay extra. HappyFox Chat touts its existing integrations with Shopify, Magento, Salesforce, and Wordpress, making them an easy choice for ecommerce brands looking to add a live chat feature to their site.
HappyFox Chat is best suited for:
Retailers should first consider their needs and specific use cases before taking on a new piece of marketing tech. This will highly depend on their customer base and how shoppers wish to interact with the business, what kind of access to customer support they need, and if the system can scale with business growth.
Video co-shopping with GhostRetail can connect customers with real, live, in-store salespeople who know the products and can help shoppers feel more confident in their purchases. It helps shoppers through conversion stumbling blocks, increasing sales, ensuring customer satisfaction, and boosting brand loyalty.
Are you a customer-obsessed retailer looking to provide the best possible CX? Looking to offer live video shopping but don’t know where to get started? Connect with the GhostRetail team today and we'll help you get your live shopping channel up and running in just weeks with advanced onboarding support from startup to success story.
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