Let’s be real.
We’re well past the point where we have to ask if live chat is the best way to engage visitors and offer customer support. Adding a conversational element to your sales funnel is now essential if you want to compete.
A survey by Bold Software this year found that of the weekly shoppers who used live chat:
- 65% were more likely to purchase from the retailer again
- 61% received better service than over the phone
- 44% purchased as a result of the chat session
- 35% purchased more than they intended
Live chat is faster, more personal, more engaging and cheaper than any other method of communication. And it gets the highest satisfaction ratings from customers.
Online shoppers will no longer wait two days for an email or get on the phone to a call-center. They want questions answered and purchases completed right now.
It’s time to move on to more interesting questions like: what are the best tools to implement live chat? That’s what we’re going to look at today.
All of the tools listed below offer chatbots or automated messages in some form. Some of them also direct leads to live chat agents while others automate the entire purchase journey.
These tools all integrate with key CRM, email automation and chat services which makes implementing a conversational element into your store super easy.
For each tool, I’ve given an overview of pricing (where possible) and the type of store it is best suited to, but I encourage you to read the full entries to get the whole picture of the strengths and weaknesses of each tool.
9 Best Conversational Commerce Tools for Ecommerce Stores
Pricing: Pay as you go or $17 per month+
Best For: Ecommerce stores taking $10,000+ per month, who already have a social following (on any platform) and want a more streamlined path to purchase
Jumper’s sophisticated social commerce platform integrates with social media platforms, blogs, comments and more to enable automated conversational checkouts wherever customers are hanging out. All in a concerted effort boost engagement and conversions.
The platform is specifically designed for ecommerce, setting it apart from many of the competitors.
Jumper allows you to easily add chatbots to landing pages. You can run ads or post directly to social media platforms and messaging services and create product hashtags enabling users to initiate a purchase by commenting on the post or ad.
From there Jumper’s chatbot guides them through the purchase journey, answering questions and overcoming any objections.
Jumper is super easy to use. You can have a chatbot up and running within minutes with zero coding. The free trial and pay as you go pricing model make it a no-brainer to try the platform and see what results it can produce.
Pricing: Free up to 10 users | Paid plans from $14.99-$39.99 per month
Best For: Solopreneurs and growing stores to get their first taste of live chat solutions for their stores
ClickDesk is a well-established player in the space offering live chat, video chat, and an intuitive dashboard to manage conversations.
It is limited in only supporting GTalk and Skype, where many of its competitors integrate with a much wider range of chat clients. Other third-party chat clients have to be manually integrated with some coding required.
Overall, ClickDesk is a solid all-rounder with great support but its general-purpose nature means it’s not as geared towards ecommerce as some store owners would require. The platform is built more for customer support than for specifically boosting sales.
It’s is fairly easy to use but some users have complained it’s not always intuitive and some default settings need to be adjusted to get the right balance.
The pricing structure allows you to pay per user up to enterprise-level where there is a white-label solution and chats can be transferred between teams.
Pricing: Free Trial | Build your plan from $60 per month
Best For: Enterprise-level stores with multiple teams who want a central hub for all comms
User.com offers smart marketing automation to improve engagement including a suite of conversational features.
The main features we’re interested in are the chatbots for automatic engagement and auto-assignment to live chat agents. The platform also supports pop-ups, email automation, personalization and analytics, making it a comprehensive solution. With all this functionality though, it’s not the easiest to get started on.
The pricing structure allows you to build your own package with the features you need. This could be seen as a pain for those who crave simplicity. But if you know exactly what you need, it’s a nice touch and means you can add more as you grow. The cost adds up pretty quickly once you add support so this is one for larger organizations with bigger budgets.
Pricing: $16-$50+ per seat per month | Enterprise level quote on request – around $149 per sear per month
Best For: Large ecommerce brands up to enterprise-level, especially those that work shifts
LiveChat has a rich list of features for automating lead gen on landing and sales pages. The software is generally well-designed and easy to use.
It offers every live chat tool you could want plus advanced customization and white-labeling of chat windows. Other features include key integrations with Shopify and WooCommerce, and its own analytics and reporting tools.
For ecommerce, the sales tracker tool is particularly useful, pulling in individual order information like order value and ID. This makes calculating your ROI from LiveChat much easier – helping you determine if the software is bringing in enough to make it worth it for your store.
The pricing is per seat ie. per logged-in user, rather than requiring an account for every member of the team, which makes it more cost-effective if your sales and support teams work shifts.
Overall it’s one of the best options available with excellent support for larger teams and a dedicated account manager at enterprise level. All of this comes at a premium; LiveChat is one of the most expensive options on this list.
Pricing: High-end – custom pricing based on engagement
Best For: Enterprise-level ecommerce brands looking for a tailored solution
Boasting enterprise-level customers such as Virgin Atlantic and IBM, LivePerson focuses on AI-powered chat automation. It delivers a sophisticated solution across messaging platforms: SMS, Whatsapp, LINE, Facebook Messenger and more.
With specific features and tools dedicated to online retail, the platform allows the automation of the sales process at scale, to boost sales, reduce cart abandonment and increase customer satisfaction.
The coolest thing about LivePerson is the custom approach to onboarding clients. They offer a customized solution for your store by helping you choose the right messaging platform, how much automation to implement, and which management features you need.
All of this costs a pretty penny, but the pricing is by engagement so you have more control. It works similar to a pay-per-click model.
Pricing: Free trial | From $50 per month for individuals | $400-$1200 per month for teams
Best For: Large or enterprise-level stores with over 1000 employees focused on B2B sales
Drift is a leader in live chat and conversational commerce and has the price tag to match. On a mission to eradicate forms and replace them with conversations, the approach is summed up nicely in this diagram on the landing page.
The system helps you build a chatbot to qualify and nurture leads on your landing page and either guide them directly towards converting or hand them over to a sales agent. Features like chatbots, automated lead-gen sequences, and call-scheduling tools work together in one CRM to enable teams to collaborate efficiently at scale.
Drift provides thorough on-boarding and on-going training for teams which gets more comprehensive at enterprise level.
Pricing: From $12 per agent per month
Best for: Small to medium-sized stores who want a live chat solution and have the staff members to offer personal responses
Olark is one of the more established live chat players using automated chatbots, custom lead-gen surveys and reporting and analytics tools to improve engagement and conversions. Easy integrations with Salesforce, HubSpot, MailChimp, and WordPress make it a good option to implement quickly with your existing systems.
Olark is simple and user-friendly and is one of the best value options on this list. It provides much of the functionality of the bigger players at a lower cost.
Fully customizable chat boxes and surveys make adding your branding and providing continuity for visitors easy. However, Olark lacks the ability to share images with leads and only one user can log into each seat at a time, limiting its attractiveness for larger teams.
Pricing: Free | Paid plans from $39-$79 per month plus $10-$15 per additional user
Best For: Solopreneurs and small stores who want to see whether conversational marketing could work for them
PureChat uses Artibot, a free lead-generating chatbot, to automatically engage with visitors and convert them into leads or paying customers. The chatbot can schedule calls or take payments and automatically sends the customer data to your chosen CRM via a Zapier integration.
You can generate unlimited leads for free with ArtiBot, but for additional functionality, the paid plans come with advanced features like analytics and the ability to remove the PureChat branding and add additional websites and users.
PureChat is a good value option for smaller organizations who want to get up and running with a chatbot quickly. It’s user-friendly and easy to step up and integrate with other systems.
Pricing: High-End – quote on request
Best For: Large teams and enterprise-level stores who need a complete solution built specifically for large corporations
Aiming to tightly integrate an advanced chatbot with human agents in one system, Bold360 is one of the more innovative solutions available. They’re on a mission to improve customer experience on a large scale.
With big customers like The North Face and Zalando, Bold 360 is a good option for ecommerce brands with high-volume traffic.
The system is easy to set up but some users have reported bugs and integration issues. The customer service is also patchy which is surprising for a company whose aim is to help brands provide the best customer experience possible. Hopefully, these issues will be resolved as the software itself is one of the more advanced options out there.
Advanced analytics and reporting tools make it a good option for larger teams who need to communicate data across the organization.
The right tools can make all the difference for your store
Whether you’re a solopreneur starting a print-on-demand business with no capital, or the director of sales at a multinational (or anything in between), there’s a conversational commerce tool out there to suit your needs.
The key features to look out for are:
- An easy-to-use, intuitive interface
- A pricing model that suits your business
- Integrations with other software and chat platforms
- Good customer support available when you need it
- Analytics and reporting tools for on-going improvement
Knowing you’ve got these basics covered, you’re free to choose the tool that fits your needs and budget.
Conversational commerce gives you the power to put your lead generation on auto-pilot. The tools above could be the gamechanger your store needs, allowing you to grab and hold the attention of visitors, nurture them and turn them into leads or even customers super-quick and with minimum cost.
Choosing the right tool could be the pivotal decision that transforms your store. So take your time and choose wisely.
Once you’ve made your decision, check out our guide to creating your ecommerce buyer personas to make the most of your new tool.