Start the Conversation With Live Chat in Your Store

Start the Conversation With Live Chat in Your Store

Big Cartel's strength is its simplicity: it's easy to set up your shop and we cover the basics of running your business. But because we know that your needs may grow over time, we've teamed up with additional services that can add some bells and whistles to your shop operation.

Read on to learn about add-on apps that you can sign up for to expand what you're able to do with your shop. If this feels intimidating or if you're trying to keep costs down, don't worry! Your Big Cartel shop comes with a built-in Contact form that will send your customer's message directly to your email. It's included when you sign up and can be a manageable alternative to chat, especially if you’re running the whole operation on your own. You can always start with just your Contact form, and then explore chat options if emails start to stack up. If you're getting a lot of customer questions or want a way for customers to start a conversation with you right away, it might be time to consider a chat app.

The options

Your shop can directly integrate with chat add-ons from providers like LiveChat, Lucky Orange, Elfsight, and Their cost varies from free to around $10 per month, but because their each of features are a little different, you’ll want to shop around to choose which one best fits your business's needs.

LiveChat (as you can probably tell from their name) goes all in on chat tech. A typical LiveChat window sits on the bottom right side of your website, and you can either proactively engage with visitors or wait for them to tap on the window and start a conversation. You'll be able to preview customer messages as they type, save and reuse frequently used responses, keep track of conversations, and even add a chatbot if you need some extra help.

Lucky Orange is primarily an analytics tool (we mentioned their heat maps in a blog post about pop-ups), but they also offer a chat tool. In addition to answering questions, you can see a customer's screen while you chat with them and highlight an area of their screen: ideal for helping them navigate your shop.

Elfsight,, and Chaty all offer chat widgets that pop up in the corner of the screen where customers are familiar with starting a chat. You can set up an eye-catching welcome message and link your customers right to the social chatting platforms you already use, like WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, Instagram, or Telegram.

Use chat to improve your business

If you've decided that chat is a good addition to your shop, remember that consistent and updated information is key.

  • Be realistic when setting your availability — better to have fewer hours when you're actually available than leave customers hanging because you've stepped away from the screen.

  • Update your opening chat message frequently with relevant info. Perhaps mention your typical shipping time, or direct shoppers to a category that's perfect for an upcoming holiday or season.

As you make chatting with customers part of your daily work, think of ways it can enhance other areas of your business:

  • Take a look at your repeat responses — are there details you can add to product descriptions or an FAQ page? Look for ways to proactively answer what a customer is wondering about to improve their experience and reduce your workload.

  • Connect with your customers by adding an extra personal touch. If you get an order from a customer who used the chat, include a note that references your conversation. In addition to making them feel heard, it'll remind folks that there's a real person on the other end of a chat box.

To chat or not to chat

This article gives a brief overview of some of Big Cartel’s chat integrations, but your business is unique, and you’ll need to dig in deeper on each service’s website to decide which option makes the most sense for you. Take a look at Big Cartel's lineup of add-on integrations to continue your journey.

6 May 2021

Words by:Sarah Anderson

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