E-commerce SaaS provider Shopify is launching its first native chat function designed to let merchants have real-time conversations with their customers. Part of Shopify's mobile app Ping, Shopify Chat adds another chat option through which merchants can provide customers with things like product recommendations, discounts, or checkout links.
Once enabled, Shopify Chat will appear on all pages of a merchant's online store.
Launched last year, Shopify Ping is an effort to centralize customer conversations and provide merchants with automated marketing workflows. The app currently allows merchants to chat with customers via Facebook Messenger and Apple Business Chat, making Shopify Chat a native alternative.
"We know that customers today engage with brands on many different channels, and our goal is to make these conversations convenient and seamless," Shopify wrote in a blog post. "To make this experience even better, we're also investing in dynamic conversations so that the chat platform that most resonates with a customer surfaces first."
Shopify, which aims to help smaller retailers compete with much larger competitors, has rolled out a bevy of platform updates this year as it works to differentiate its product portfolio from industry rivals. At its Unite user conference earlier this summer, the company launched the Shopify Fulfillment Network as well as a next-gen point-of-sale application.