In this article, we’ll show you how to integrate WhatsApp within the famous Shopify e-commerce platform in just a few steps, and why it can be a fundamental addition for your e-commerce

Shopify is an e-commerce platform that allows you to create, customize and manage your online store in a just few clicks, without any programming knowledge. Over 1 million entrepreneurs have already chosen it to manage their online sales.

This software is constantly growing, so much so that in the summer of 2020 it overpassed eBay in terms of market capitalization. Its success is undoubtedly due to the simplicity with which you can start selling your products online.

Shopify allows all of its users to use 256-bit SSL certificates for payments, which ensures maximum security for customers. The checkout pages have a reliable and professional look, that increase user conversion.

Moreover, within the platform you can integrate thousands of apps and tools of all kinds, from e-mail marketing to feedback collection. In this regard, we want to talk to you about how you can integrate one of the main messaging apps, WhatsApp, to better manage communications with your target audience.

What are the differences between WhatsApp and traditional Live Chat tools?

Anyone who is starting to delve into conversational marketing will have probably wondered: why not integrate a simple Live Chat instead of WhatsApp into my website?

Let’s try to understand the reasons why integrating a live chat is not a definitive solution, but rather a method that does not provide any long-term reliability to a communication strategy.

First of all, because a live chat is not an asynchronous channel: the user must be online to interact with an operator, making communication limited within the web page.

With WhatsApp, on the other hand, you can easily reach your customers on their smartphone wherever they are and at any time, removing the communication barriers that revolve around live chats.

In addition, with the famous messaging app you can save the history of the chats that are initiated with users, keeping track of every interaction, and have valuable data available to improve future interactions.

One of the fundamental advantages of WhatsApp lies in the high message reading rate, which consequently greatly increases the likelihood that a user will buy your products or services.

However, the use of WhatsApp does not allow you to know exactly which page the visitor came from, much less the product he is evaluating when he starts the conversation.

How to add the WhatsApp chat on Shopify

If you are thinking of developing a sales strategy through WhatsApp, then you will need to be able to direct the traffic of your online store directly on the famous instant messaging platform.

The use of this channel can prove to be particularly effective during the sale of products or services where the customer often requires guided purchase assistance: think for example of the sale of a travel package, insurance or an object which requires some sort of customization.

The advantages of communicating with your customers through WhatsApp are numerous: first of all, it allows you to create a more friendly relationship with the user, and allows both parties to communicate at any time.

The best way to bring your Shopify store users to WhatsApp is to install a chat widget directly on the website. This solution is very effective in generating numerous chats with website users.

In this regard, Callbell offers its own widget for free, which can be easily installed on any site in just a few minutes. Simply follow this short illustrative guide.

The first step to install the chat widget is to create a Callbell account, you can do it via this link. Once the registration process is complete, simply log into the dashboard.

Within the platform, you will be able to configure the widget, by connecting the main instant messaging channels. You can integrate your WhatsApp account on Callbell by clicking on the WhatsApp icon.

Once WhatsApp is correctly connected, you can install the chat widget on your Shopify store. Simply copy the widget code and follow one of the following alternatives:

1) Installation via Google Tag Manager: if you have a Google Tag Manager account, you will need to install a container within your Shopify store (find out more in this guide).

Once the container is correctly configured in Google Tag Manager, just add a custom html tag, and copy the Callbell widget code, so that it is integrated directly into the website;

Integrate the Callbell widget with Gooogle Tag Manager

2) Installation via the Shopify dashboard: if you have all the login credentials to your Shopify store available, simply access the Shopify control panel, click on Online Store and on Themes.

At this point, scrolling through the drop-down menu of the theme, click on Change code. Locate the “theme.liquid” code and paste the Callbell widget code directly into the <head> tags.

WARNING: If you have no experience with this type of configuration, ask an expert, since the “theme.liquid” code represents the basic template of your Shopify store. Any mistake or small change could compromise the appearance and functionality of your entire store.

Integrate the Callbell widget from the Shopify store

At this point, the chat widget should be visible on all your website pages, if you don’t see it, try to wait a few minutes, otherwise go over all the configuration steps.

Widget display on the website

How to increase your Shopify store sales through WhatsApp

Developing your own sales team on WhatsApp will bring enormous benefits in terms of conversions and above all it maximizes the lifetime customer value, since it will be possible to create a longer lasting relationship with your clients.

Using WhatsApp as a sales channel is an opportunity for companies that wish to expand, given the widespread use of this instant messaging app, where nearly 100 billion messages are exchanged daily.

The leads obtained through WhatsApp will have a very different value for your sales strategy, given the incredible opening rate of WhatsApp messages, thanks to push notifications, typically absent for e-mails.

WhatsApp can prove to be an all-in-one tool, from which you can send or receive photos, videos, voice messages and documents. This makes a more comprehensive communication possible, rich in contents that can communicate your offer more effectively.

Through a WhatsApp Business account, you can integrate your catalog, so as to make your products even more visible, and make a showcase available to all users – parallel to the Shopify store.

In addition, you can use WhatsApp to request feedback on products or on the assistance offered, so that you can continuously receive important evaluations on the progress of your business, on the basis of which you can carry out corrective measures.

But be careful not to be too intrusive, this could be counterproductive for your business and drive away potential customers. A too aggressive approach could lead to detachment from your business, rather than attracting new customers.

We therefore recommend that you absolutely avoid spamming and too insistent messages, by always maintaining engaging communication, giving users the incentive to interact.

It is, in fact, a channel that is particularly effective for inbound marketing, meaning when the user is the first to start the conversation with the company, typically to obtain more information about a product.

Shopify: Choose between WhatsApp Business and WhatsApp Business APIs

As we have seen, the benefits deriving from this messaging channel can be enormous, which is why some versions of the app are offered for companies, that can be used to achieve their goals.

The first is the WhatsApp Business version, the free version for companies that want to take their first steps in the platform, which allows you to add company information, the product catalog and, recently, also add products to a cart. It is typically designed for small/medium-sized companies.

However, the default interface of WhatsApp Business has several limitations, one above all that of not allowing use by multiple agents at the same time, which makes managing a large number of chats difficult.

To overcome the various problems, the giant Zuckerberg has launched the WhatsApp Business APIs: access keys that allow you to connect WhatsApp to external platforms, for a more structured management of the interactions with your target audience.

The WhatsApp Business APIs are designed for large companies that want to expand their presence on the famous messaging platform, schedule automatic messages, transactional notifications or chatbots.

To gain access to the WhatsApp Business APIs, you must have a verified Facebook Business Manager account and a phone number that is not already associated to a WhatsApp account.

After that, you will need to choose the Business Solution Provider that best suits your business needs. If your goal is to start structuring your sales team on this channel you can try our platform for free.

Using WhatsApp on Shopify: how to manage large volumes of chats

Given the benefits of a widespread messaging channel like WhatsApp, at this point all you have to do is start organising your sales team on this channel. However, the default interface of WhatsApp Business does not allow usage from multiple devices at the same time, and is not designed for multi-user management.

If you plan on having a volume of incoming chats to be allocated to your sales agents via WhatsApp, you will necessarily have to use an external platform, which allows the management of WhatsApp accounts from multiple locations and designed to optimize collaboration and chat management from a sales or support team.

In this regard, Callbell can help you to better organize your WhatsApp channel, and allow your sales agents to use the same WhatsApp account from multiple locations at the same time.

If you already have an account with Callbell and have already added your WhatsApp account within our platform, you can immediately start to invite up to 100 sales agents, and allow them to respond to chats generated through WhatsApp and the most famous instant messaging apps: Facebook Messenger, Instagram Direct and Telegram.

The chats will be allocated automatically, randomly, within the dedicated sales team. Thus each agent will be able to interact with their users, and in the event that the agent is no longer available, the algorithm will take care of reassigning the contact to another agent.

With Callbell you can have total control over your instant messaging channels, thanks to the analytics module, which collects all the data and metrics related to the management of messages and the performance of the sales team.

By setting up automatic replies and by tagging contacts, you will be able to better organize your company’s sales processes and categorize all your customers or potential customers in an easy and intuitive way.

Last but not least, you can also access the chat history, make a backup which can be saved and consulted at any time, in order to obtain interesting insights regarding your store.

If you found this article helpful to set up your WhatsApp account on the Shopify store, please remember to share or leave a comment. Thank you so much for reading, see you next time!

Integrate WhatsApp within your Shopify store
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About the author: Hello! I am Alan and I am the marketing manager at Callbell, the first communication platform designed to help sales and support teams to collaborate and communicate with customers through direct messaging applications such as WhatsApp, Messenger, Telegram and (soon) Instagram Direct