Online store chat

Shopify Inbox includes online store chat (formerly known as Shopify Chat). You can read and respond to your customers' messages using Shopify Inbox on your desktop computer or your mobile device, as well as sending product links, images, or discount codes.

Enable online store chat

Online store chat is included with Shopify Inbox, but is not enabled by default.

Steps:

  1. In your Shopify admin, click Inbox > Appearance.

  2. In the Online store chat visibility section, click Visible.

  3. Click Save.

To disable online store chat, follow the steps above and select Not visible. This removes the online chat button from your online store.

Customize online store chat

You can customize the button and chat window so that it matches the style of your online store theme.

Customize the online store chat button

Customers browsing your online store can click a chat button to start a chat with you in the browser window. You can change the button style and color to match your online store from the Appearance page in your Shopify admin.

Steps:

  1. In your Shopify admin, go to Inbox > Appearance.

  2. Select the Online store chat styling. Using the Position drop-down menu, choose a location for the chat button.

  3. In the Color field, enter a hexadecimal code or click the drop-down menu to use the color picker to select a color.

  4. Click Save.

Customizing the language for online store chat

Online store chat appears in the same language as your theme. If you are using an unsupported language, then online store chat defaults to English.

Customize greetings for online store chat

When a customer clicks the chat button on your store, a welcome message is displayed in the chat box header. If you have a follow-up or away message set up, the message is displayed after the customer types in the chat window for the first time. You can customize the automated messages from the Inbox > Saved Responses page in your Shopify admin. Refer to Automated Messages for more information.

Viewing and responding to online store chat messages

You can view and respond to messages from customers with the Shopify Inbox app on an iOS, iPadOS, or Android device, or by logging in to Shopify Inbox on desktop at shopifyinbox.com.

Messages from customers using online store chat don't display a photo or a name for the customer, but Shopify Inbox associates each anonymous customer with a default avatar and a unique shop visitor name.

Refer to Conversations for more information on viewing and responding to online store chat messages.

Email messaging using Shopify Inbox

Customers can include their email address when they message you from your online store chat. This enables them to receive a response from you by email instead of waiting in live chat for an answer. If a customer enters an email address that doesn’t match an existing customer record, then a new customer record is created. Responses are sent to the customer by email and also to the live chat if the customer is still on your online store.

If the customer provides an email address, then the merchant's reply is delivered in an email template that includes the store name. The body of the email includes the new reply and up to ten previous messages in the conversation for context.

Due to A2P 10DLC compliance changes, Inbox is pausing SMS replies indefinitely as of October 1, 2021. As of this date, customers are directed to the online store to start a new conversation with an email address.

Any templated SMS messages, such as order confirmation and order status messages, are not part of Shopify Inbox and will continue to be sent.

Customer experience

When a customer clicks the chat button, a conversation opens in their browser. The customer can continue to navigate to other pages in your online store, and the conversation stays open until they close it. If the customer navigates away from your store, then the conversation is saved for a short time so that they can continue the conversation if they return to your website.

After a customer sends their initial message, the customer is prompted to enter an email address. After the customer enters their contact information, a customer record is created or matched within your store, and the initial message is sent to you so that the conversation can continue.

Order lookup

Besides using online store chat to communicate with merchants, customers can track the status of their order. Customers can open online store chat, select I need an update on my order, and then enter the order number and the email address that is associated with their order. The customer receives a reply in the chat window that includes the fulfillment status of their order, a link to track the order if the order has shipped, or a link to the order status page for more details. If the customer enters the wrong email address or order number, then they receive an error message.

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