Run a Shopify store? Chances are you already have heard of or are running Shopify Inbox. This method of communicating with customers is definitely heading in the right direction but many brands are looking at alternatives to it for a smoother and more efficient option.
Shopify Inbox aims to connect owners of a Shopify store directly to their customers using SMS or email chats. This feature allows brands to build automated messages which can be used when customers want to talk but an agent isn’t available or for order updates. Store owners can also use Shopify Inbox to send discount codes directly to customers, this is particularly useful when paired with the customer cart analytics.
Live chat is an absolute must-have in the eCommerce world today, but Shopify Inbox might not be your best option. It misses a good number of critical features that are available elsewhere on the market, as well as taking a lot to set up properly.
The options below have either absolutely no code or very little (HTML copy/paste) in their setup. This makes their integration incredibly straightforward and easy to manage.
Automation is king in an efficient and effectively run store. Why waste hours on a manual task that can be automated and completed in seconds? A great deal of customer service tasks can be automated. Think about the initial customer query qualification, as well as prioritizing those tickets. This can all be automated. Many options below will even automatically reply to initial messages, when combined with template messages, as a chatbot.
We need data and analytics so that we can understand what’s working and what’s not. The information provided helps us to adapt and evolve our practice. The analytics provided by the best options below enable you to do just that. This extra customer data will provide valuable insights that otherwise might be missed.
Live chat with sophisticated AI might sound like the stuff of the future but, frankly, we’re living in it. AI is able to understand what the customer ideally would like from the chat session and automatically connect them or guide them to the right resource or agent. This leads to happy customers and an efficient team.
The beauty of these alternatives not living directly within the Shopify ecosystem is that they offer a far wider range of integrations, including with CRMs, email tools, marketing hubs, and more.
The leading WhatsApp marketing tool is the perfect option if you’re keeping in touch with your audience through the texting medium. Let’s be honest, why wouldn’t you be using WhatsApp to communicate with customers? It’s convenient, it’s quick and it’s a direct line to your customer without the pitfalls of email marketing.
Using just a single telephone number, you’re able to offer sales, marketing, and customer support, all controlled through the Zoko platform. One of the leading features is the ability to share products and even take orders through WhatsApp, including the in-message call-to-action buttons.
Segment your audience into smaller lists, or message the whole group of them using the broadcast feature. Once your message has been sent, you’re able to access a plethora of analytics, meaning you can evaluate your campaign before adapting it for further use.
If you’re really looking to get professional, Zoko has partnered with the official WhatsApp API providers, meaning they’re able to help you get the coveted Green Tick. Use it to prove just how legitimate and recognized your business truly is.
Zoko works well for all sizes of businesses with price points to match.
The starter package is a mere $34.99 a month then $0.015 per conversation. Packages scale up to the business level package which is $219.99 a month but with a greatly reduced $0.003 per conversation charge.
It’s worth noting that to fully integrate with Shopify you’ll need the additional WhatsApp Business API link which costs $4.99 a month. Available from the Shopify app store.
Zendesk focuses on allowing its clients to deliver high-quality customer journeys and experiences. It achieves this by offering a platform that comprises 7 core functions:
Support: A sophisticated customer service tool.
Chat: An integrated chat and messaging tool from within your website.
Talk: Call center software, if you’re running one.
Explore: Extensive analytics and reporting.
Inbox: A shared mailbox solution so that all customer support can be accessed and followed up by various team members.
Guide: A full knowledge base and self-serve help center solution.
Connect: Link Zendesk with outbound campaigns.
The features of Zendesk are impressive alongside its extensive list of integrations. If regular customer service is a requirement for your business it might be worth considering.
Pricing starts at $19 per seat per month, but that is simply for the support feature. The Zendesk Suite starts from $49 a month and includes messaging across web, mobile and social. The suite level also includes automations and workflows.
Live chat by Needle delivers quality live chat integrations direct from your website. Their focus on eCommerce makes it a fine alternative to Shopify Inbox. The truly unusual aspect of Needle is that the live chat isn’t technically with members of your team, it’s actually with brand advocates. This offers customers a unique experience and one which converts. Shoppers feel that they’re having a genuine conversation rather than being pitched to.
Pricing wasn’t available at the time of writing as Needle is in the process of becoming part of ThirdChannel.
Fully embeddable live chat modules that also allow you to record conversations. For the security-minded, all chats are encrypted using dynamic canned messages, real-time translation, full PCI compliance, and more. If you’re offering desktop support the live screen sharing option will be very welcome, as well as web callbacks and live voice calls.
The beauty of Talkative chat box is that you can switch easily between agents and users on WhatsApp, Facebook, or your own website. It’s aimed at businesses of all sizes with the aim of increasing sales, improving customer service, and reducing the bottom line.
Pricing is grouped into either 3 users or 10 users. The Team package includes 3 users at $229 a month ($35 per extra seat thereafter) and includes video chat, live chat, and screenshare/co browse options.
The Business package starts from $579 a month for 10 users ($59 per extra seat thereafter) and includes everything from the Team package but also Chatbots, social media messaging, and video recording.
Fully customizable chat windows which are easily embeddable using simple HTML code. The setup of Chataroo is genuinely straightforward, if you can edit your website, you can install Chataroo. Customers can access live tracking, support tickets, and live chat.
Pricing for Live Chat, Ticketing, and Tracking is $30 a month, or you can buy individual items for $15 a month. There are a number of free plans available with limitations in place.
There are, it has to be said, a wide number of better alternatives on the market compared to the Shopify Inbox. Seeing as the competitors are able to offer enhanced analytics, AI-supported chat, automation, minimal setup, and considerably more integrations, it could be well worth your while to consider alternatives.