E-commerce solution provider Shopify yesterday announced that it is adding Shopify Chat functionality to its Shopify Ping mobile application to better reach the millennials in its subscriber audience. The company is doing this because chat messaging is quick, more personal, and meets many millennial customers on a preferred platform they already prefer to use.
The new feature lets Shopify Store customers talk to the store in real time using any operating system or browser. Shopify Chat adds to the existing list of chat functions already available within Shopify Ping, including Facebook Messenger and Apple Business Chat.
Based on an OpenMarket survey that found 60 percent of millennials prefer interacting with brands through text chat, Shopify Chat takes advantage of this by helping stores engage with these shoppers in real time. OpenMarket had 500 US millennials (ages 18 to 34) to participate in its survey, which focused on millennials’ use of SMS and chat-based communications.
According to the Pew Research Center, millennials have surpassed baby boomers as the largest generation in the US labor force as well as the biggest adult population group. So adding text and chat functionality to services millennials use makes good business sense, according to Michael Perry, Director of Product for Shopify.
“[And this product is] not only operating system-agnostic, but we’ve also heavily invested in making dynamic conversations possible to make the experience as seamless as possible,” said Perry. “Based on the device that a shopper is visiting the online store from, Shopify will surface the chat platform that is most convenient for them.”
Perry added that, once Shopify Chat is enabled, the chat widget will appear on all pages of a Shopify merchant’s store on both desktop and mobile. This will make it easy for customers who are browsing online to ask questions as they go. The system leverages the intimacy of human interaction so it is designed for person-to-person chats—no chatbots allowed.
“We strongly believe in the importance of maintaining an element of human interaction when it comes to digital commerce,” Perry said. “Shopify Chat is designed to provide a channel in which a customer can interact directly with the merchant.” Continue reading