These days, it’s hard to browse the internet without running into live chat windows left and right. Why has this tool become so popular so quickly?

The rise of live chat for ecommerce goes hand in hand with the rise of personalized marketing campaigns and site experiences. Live chat fills a customer service gap for online stores by adding the personal, human touch that ecommerce once lacked.

The in-store experience and the online experience were once completely unalike. Now, thanks to live chat, ecommerce customers get the instant gratification of an immediate, tailored response, much as they would if they walked into a brick-and-mortar.

Live chat tools once left a lot to be desired. They were clunky, laden with errors, and frustrating to ecommerce shoppers. Since then, live chat has grown by leaps and bounds. From an end-user perspective, these tools integrate seamlessly with the existing ecommerce site experience.

Here’s how you can use live chat for ecommerce to improve your marketing campaigns and site performance.


How to Use Live Chat for Ecommerce

You can approach live chat for ecommerce in one of two ways:

1. Unintrusive

This is the “I’ll be here when you need me” approach to live chat for ecommerce. It’s subtle, and it lets the user control their own experience.

Rather than having pop-up messages appear throughout the user’s visit to your site, the unintrusive approach makes the shopper aware that live chat is available and then encourages them to reach out if they want to talk with a human.

If you’ve never integrated live chat into an ecommerce store, start with the unintrusive approach. Unnecessary, unintuitive pop-ups can deter users from completing their purchases. Let visitors reach out to you on their terms.

Once you have a better understanding of user behavior, you can switch to a logic-based approach.

2. Logic-Based

Unlike unintrusive live chat, logic-based live chat presents ecommerce customers with relevant and useful messages based on specific actions.

You can create predefined situations, or triggers, that cause a live chat window to appear with prefilled content for your ecommerce visitor. If the visitor responds, a live chat begins. You can also use logic-based live chat to provide the shopper with relevant information in a “Did you know…?” fashion.

Logic-based live chat can add value to your visitors’ ecommerce experience, but you need have a deep understanding of your users’ behavior to effectively implement it.

Use this type of live chat for ecommerce only when it makes sense. The point of this approach isn’t to force your ecommerce shoppers through the sale, but to help them along their site journey when they need it.


Tools for Live Chat for Ecommerce

So, now that you’ve chosen your approach, what tools best implement live chat for ecommerce?

Here are our favorites:


Intercom doesn’t just provide a seamless live chat experience — it also transitions to email when you’re not online. That way, you can continue the conversation with your customers over several days.

Intercom also offers a suite of great customer communication and support tools.


Olark is very easy to implement and provides a good on-site experience without all Intercom’s additional features and frills. This is an especially good live chat tool if you have little to no live chat experience in ecommerce.

Live Chat for Ecommerce: Final Thoughts

If you want to provide top-notch ecommerce customer service, live chat is essential. By bridging the gap between in-store and online interactions, live chat lets ecommerce brands offer a holistic shopping experience.

Whether you take the unintrusive approach or implement logic-based live chat, the key is to understand your customers’ behavior and provide them with the support they need at the right time. By using powerful platforms like Intercom and Olark, you can easily integrate live chat into your ecommerce site and start reaping the benefits of improved customer satisfaction, increased conversions, and better site performance.

As the ecommerce landscape evolves, live chat is set to play an even more crucial role. Get ahead of the trend before you get left behind.


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