Shopify is launching a new chat feature, the e-commerce giant’s first native chat function that allows users to have real-time conversations with customers.

“Chat has always been a crucial part of commerce and is essential for building one to one customer relationships.”

Shopify’s aim for the chat function is to make conversations between merchants and customers convenient and seamless. The feature can be enabled inside Shopify Ping, a mobile app that centralizes all customer conversations along with automated marketing workflows. The feature is available in all browsers and for all operating systems, and customers can ask product questions, request order updates, and receive discount codes through Shopify Chat.

“Chat has always been a crucial part of commerce and is essential for building one to one customer relationships,” said Michael Perry, director of product at Shopify. “We’re continuing our investment in making the conversational commerce experience as intuitive and easy as chatting with friends and families.”

With a new keyboard inside Shopify Ping, users can access their store’s products and discounts without leaving the conversation. Shopify Chat adds to the already available chat functions within Shopify Ping, which includes Facebook Messenger and Apple Business Chat, all of which are accessible at no additional cost. Shopify said it is also investing in “dynamic conversations” so that a customer’s preferred chat platform appears first.

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“With most of our merchants selling across multiple channels and geographies, our latest feature enables dynamic conversations to best support consumer messaging preferences and ensure that the future of commerce is increasingly borderless to enable seamless communication,” said Perry.

Shopify has released a host of new features to its suite of e-commerce products this year, many of which were first revealed at Shopify Unite this summer. Some of these new products included Amazon-like fulfillment centres for US merchants, 3D product display, and dark mode. Another feature introduced this year was Amazon-style fulfillment service, which provides US merchants with a network of various fulfillment centres.

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