Setting up Apple Business Chat with Shopify Ping

When you connect Shopify Ping to Apple Business Chat, customers using iPhone, iPad, or Mac to browse your online store can tap a button to open a conversation in the Messages app. After a customer has opened a conversation with you, they can start a new conversation from the Messages app without visiting your online store.

You can read and respond to messages on your iOS device in Ping. Ping also lets you do the following in your conversations with customers:

When you send an order, customers with Apple Pay can buy products directly from messages.

Requirements

Conversational guidelines for Apple Business Chat

  • You need to respond to messages within 1 hour during your operating hours. Learn more about setting operating hours for Apple Business Chat.
  • You can't use Apple Business Chat for marketing.
  • You can't initiate customer conversations with Apple Business Chat.

Install the Apple Business Chat sales channel in Shopify

  1. From your Shopify admin, click the + button beside the Sales channels heading.
  2. Click Visit Shopify App Store.
  3. In the Shopify App Store, search for Apple Business Chat, and then click the Apple Business Chat result.
  4. Click Add app.

Set up Apple Business Chat

When you set up Apple Business Chat, you select a category for your products.

It's important to choose one or more categories that accurately represent your products. Apple Business Chat displays an icon next to your store name in Messages based on the primary business category that you choose. Apple might not approve your store for Business Chat if your product categories aren't accurate. Make sure that your products aren't included in the list of prohibited products from the Business Chat Policies and Best Practices.

You also need to add your store information and accept the Apple Business Chat Terms of Use.

Steps:

  1. From the Sales Channels menu in your Shopify admin, go to Apple Business Chat.

  2. In the Business Category section, select a primary category for your products. If you sell a variety of products, then you can also select up to two additional categories.

  3. Review the Business Chat Policies and Best Practices, and then check the box to confirm.

  4. Review the Apple Business Chat Terms of Use, and then check the box to accept the terms.

  5. Click Save.

After setup, Apple reviews your store for approval. The approval can take up to 48 hours, and you receive an email when your store is approved by Apple. If you have questions about your Business Chat approval status, then you can contact Apple support at registry@apple.com.

After your store is approved, the Apple Business Chat button is automatically enabled for your online store, so customers can send you messages. Customers browsing your store from an iPhone, iPad, or Mac see the button, and can tap it to open a conversation in the Messages app on their device.

Customizing Apple Business Chat for your online store

After your store is approved for Apple Business Chat, you can customize Apple Business Chat in the following ways:

Set operating hours for Apple Business Chat

Apple has set guidelines for responding to messages from customers. During your operating hours, you need to respond to messages from customers using Apple Business Chat within 1 hour. If you're not able to respond to messages promptly, then Apple might suspend your Business Chat account.

When you set up Apple Business Chat for Shopify, your availability isn't restricted. You can set the hours when you're available to chat with customers from Shopify.

Steps:

  1. In Ping, tap the gear icon to open the settings.

  2. Tap Chat availability.

  3. Tap the Always available toggle to turn it off.

  4. For each day that you want to change your availability, tap the day, and then set your availability for the day:

    • Tap the Available toggle to turn availability for that day on or off. When the toggle is off, your store appears as unavailable at any time that day.
    • If your store is available that day, then turn on the Available all day toggle or else set the hours when your store is available for conversations. Tap From to select a start time for your store availability, and tap To to select an ending time.

Customize your logo and header color

You can customize the logo and background color that display in Apple Business Chat messages so that they match your store's brand. When you add your customizations, you can preview them from Shopify to see how they will display in light and dark mode on iOS.

The logo image displays beside your store name in a customer's message list, and in the header of a conversation with your store in Messages. The image that you use for your logo needs to meet the following requirements:

  • It needs to be square.
  • It needs to be at least 1024 x 1024 pixels, but no wider than 2560.
  • It needs to be a JPG or PNG file, and have a file size less than 2MB.
  • It can't have any transparent areas.

The header color is used for the header of a conversation with your store in Messages.

Steps:

  1. From the Sales Channels menu in your Shopify admin, go to Apple Business Chat > Customizations.

  2. Click Upload new logo, and then select your logo image file.

  3. In the Message header color field, enter a hexadecimal code for your header color, or use the color picker to select a color.

  4. From the bottom of the Customizations page, click Save.

You can reset the header color to the defaults at any time. The default header color is grey.

Customize the chat with messages button

You can change the position and style of the chat with messages button on your online store. You can't change the chat icon or the button message.

Steps:

  1. From the Sales Channels menu in your Shopify admin, go to Apple Business Chat > Customizations.

  2. Select an option for the button style.

  3. Select a position for the button.

  4. Click Save.

Customize your greeting message

When a customer starts a chat, Apple Business Chat automatically sends a reply. The default greeting tells the customer how long it typically takes you to respond.

You can customize the greeting message for Apple Business Chat.

Steps:

  1. In Ping, tap the gear icon to open the settings.

  2. Tap Chat availability.

  3. Add your automatic greetings:

    • Tap Available message to add an automatic greeting that sends when a customer starts a conversation during your store's available hours.
    • Tap Away message to add an automatic greeting that sends when a customer starts a conversation outside your store's available hours.
  4. Tap the toggle, and then enter the message text.

  5. If you want to return to the Chat availability settings, then tap the back arrow.

Viewing and responding to Business Chat messages in Ping

You can view and respond to Business Chat messages from customers by using the Shopify Ping app on an iOS device. Learn more about viewing and responding to messages in Ping.

Messages from customers using Business Chat don't display a photo or a name for the customer. Business Chat hides customer identities, but Ping associates each anonymous customer with a default avatar and a unique shop visitor name.

After a customer has opened a conversation with you, they can start a new conversation from the Messages app without visiting your online store. If a customer deletes a chat with your store, then you won't be able to send any new messages to them. You can mark a chat as complete from the Ping app.

Ping also lets you do the following in your conversations with customers:

When you share an order, customers with Apple Pay can buy products directly from messages.

Share products

You can share products that are available to your online store from Ping, and customers will see them in Apple Business Chat.

Steps:

  1. In Ping, open a conversation.

  2. Tap the store icon.

  3. Tap Products to open a list of available products.

  4. Tap a product.

  5. Select Share product page, and then tap Send.

Send orders

You can use Ping to create new draft orders that include products available to your online store and the Apple Business Chat sales channel, and send a link to customers to help them check out more quickly. When you send a draft order in a conversation, the customer can click the link in Apple Business Chat to go directly to the checkout. Customers who use Apple Pay can buy your products directly from a Business Chat message and pay with Apple Pay. Learn more about setting up Apple Pay.

You can't see whether or not an order is paid from within the conversation, but you can view completed orders in your Shopify admin. If you use the Shopify Mobile app, then you receive an order notification when the order is paid.

Steps:

  1. In Ping, open a conversation.
  2. Tap the store icon.
  3. Tap New order.
  4. Tap Choose products.
  5. Search for and then select a product to add to the order. If the product has variants, then you also need to select a variant.
  6. Optional: Tap Add product to add additional products.
  7. Optional: Tap Add discount, and then add a discount code.
  8. Optional: Tap Customize shipping, and then add a preferred shipping rate to the order.
  9. After you add all the products to the order, tap Send order.

Share discount codes

You can share a discount code in a message. If the customer clicks the discount code link, the discount is automatically added to their checkout.

Steps:

  1. In Ping, open a conversation.

  2. Tap the store icon.

  3. Tap Discounts.

  4. Tap the discount code that you want to share.

View Apple Business Chat orders in Shopify

You can't see if an order is paid from within the conversation. If you use the Shopify Mobile app, then you receive an order notification when the order is paid.

Steps:

  1. From your Shopify admin, go to Orders.

  2. Click Drafts.

  3. At the top of the list of orders, click Completed.

  4. Click a draft order to view its details. Completed orders that were sent by using Ping are indicated by a note in the order timeline.

Customer experience

When you have the chat with messages button enabled, customers who visit your online store on an iOS device see the option to start a chat from your online store pages.

An example mobile store home page featuring the chat with messages button

Customers can start a chat by tapping the button, which opens a conversation in the Messages app.

The messages app showing a new conversation with the example store

When you share a product or send an order, customers see the product image in Messages. If you have Apple Pay enabled, then customers can tap the Apple Pay icon to check out directly from the Messages app.

Customers can delete a conversation from the Messages app to stop receiving messages from your store.

Uninstall Apple Business Chat in Shopify

  1. Click the trash icon beside Apple Business Chat.

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