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Published February 19, 2024 in

How to add a live chat to Shopify

Beyond speed and profit, a chat's real value is in putting a "face" behind your store

Even online shopping can feel lonely. With no in-person interaction, your customers may have burning questions with no one to turn to. Adding a live chat app into your store's layout can keep them company throughout the shopping experience.

Why add a live chat to Shopify store

You'll increase conversions through real-time support, boost customer satisfaction with instant responses, and improve your service by analyzing what customers talk about the most.

React faster

Customers don't like to wait, and around 53% are likely to abandon their cart. Live chat apps help you address this, answering any customer questions instantly, removing possible delays when compared to other communication channels like email.

Get more buyers

Live chat can also seriously increase conversion rates. Forrester, a leading research company, found that visitors who use web chat are 2.8x more likely to convert than those that don't. Plus, those buyers who chat tend to spend 60% more on average.

Offer personalized experience

Customers and businesses agree that scripted responses are most frustrating (29% and 38% respectively). And live chats with good AI features tailor responses to each customer. They recommend products and offer deals based on what individual customers like.

Better understand your audience

Each chat gives you a chance to understand your audience, as seen in a study from Zoho, where 43% of the companies reported better understanding their customers within a year of using live chat. Seeing what your customers ask the most, what they worry about, will help you improve your product or service.

How to choose a live chat for Shopify

There are 2 things you can do. Install Shopify's Inbox app or add an AI-powered live chat app.

Shopify Inbox

Choose Shopify Inbox, if you want to:

  • Offer basic, real-time customer support. Have conversations with customers, answer questions, and help them with their purchase.

  • Keep things simple and free. Use a free live chat tool with essential features that integrates with your Shopify store.

  • Personalize chat interactions to some extent. Use saved responses and pre-written messages for frequently asked questions.

AI-powered apps

Choose an AI-powered app (e.g. Chatfuel), if you want to:

  • Automate customer interactions. Build chatbots that answer FAQs, recommend products, and handle basic requests 24/7.

  • Scale your customer service. Manage higher volumes of inquiries without needing to get involved.

  • Offer personalized experience. Use AI to learn from past conversations, suggest relevant products and troubleshoot specific customer issues.

Overall, Shopify Inbox suits small businesses with basic needs, while AI-powered apps fit larger businesses looking for advanced automations and space to scale.

How to add Shopify Inbox

You’ll need to use the Shopify App Store to install Shopify Inbox. Here’s how:

  1. Open Settings in your Shopify store.


  2. In the Apps and sales channels tab, click Shopify App Store.


  3. Search for the Shopify Inbox.


  4. Install Shopify Inbox.


  5. On the Inbox tab, go to Set up chat to turn chat on/off and manage settings.


Best AI-powered live chat apps


Consumer expectations of chatbots capabilities in the next two years

You might also know them as chatbots. They take care of routine tasks, serve customers 24/7 and even help with sales. Now, most of them integrate LLMs (large language models) like ChatGPT, seriously extending their potential.

Recent 2024 trends survey in CX (customer experience), has 70% of experts agree that bots are becoming "architects of highly personalized customer journeys". Experts also expect AI-driven chatbots to gain in their ability to handle complex queries within the next two years.



Chatfuel is an official Meta partner that offers AI chatbots for WhatsApp. It features a drag-and-drop visual builder that makes building chatbots easy, even for beginners. It lets you create automations for most common Shopify tasks: offers, product recommendations, abandoned carts and more.


  • AI bot with free ChatGPT on-board, no need to pay for OpenAI API.

  • Useful reminders. Abandoned carts, order confirmation, order updates, shipping updates.

  • Multiple agents. Assign different agents to your manual live chats.


7-day free trial. Paid. From $59/mo



Free ChatGPT

Requires some time to set up

Personalized notifications

Clear pricing, no hidden fees



Tidio features Lyro AI – a virtual support agent. It aims to solve most customer problems with conversational AI. It will use your store's content as its knowledge base and offer personalized answers to your customers.


  • AI bot. Automate FAQ responses and simple tasks.

  • Sales tools. View customer carts, order history, and recommend products within the chat.

  • Ticketing system. Manage and resolve customer requests with a clear overview.


Free trial. 50 conversations Paid. From $39/mo



Easy to use

Expensive upgrades

Capable AI

Limited features for high volume

Sales tools

Drift AI


Drift AI is good at personalization and AI product recommendations. It can display AI-powered picks and curate manual suggestions to help with upselling. It also features different widgets like product recommendations, featured products, related products, new arrivals and so on.


  • AI bot. Personalized suggestions based on browsing history, purchase behavior, etc.

  • Cart drawer support. Display recommendations within the shopping cart.

  • Widgets. Choose from AI-powered, featured, manual, related, new arrival, top sellers and more.


Not public, but more expensive than competitors



Easy integration

Really expensive

Good for sales

Requires some technical knowledge

Powerful widgets

Relish AI


Relish AI is a friendly Shopify assistant that can chat with customers 24/7. It can answer common questions, handle orders and learn to personalize responses for each customer. While lacking in some areas, it's an affordable option for newcomers or those on a budget.


  • AI bot. Handle FAQs, send order status updates.

  • Personalized campaigns. Tailor responses based on customer type.

  • Handoff to human agents. Switches from AI to a human when necessary.


From $29/mo, 14-day trial



Easy to use

Needs training


Unsuitable for complex tasks

Customization options