How To Decide Which Messenger Marketing Platform is Right For Your Store
What percentage of your traffic isn’t completing their purchase? Bet you wish it was lower.
Messenger Marketing is the (not so secret) secret to maximizing Ecommerce conversion rates…
The painful reality is that the average Ecommerce store has a 69.57% cart abandonment rate.
To put it into perspective: if you were a brick and mortar store, that’s almost 70% of your customers reaching the front of the line, full carts, and wallet in hand… only to walk out before paying.
But why do they leave?
Well, 58.06% of US consumers say it’s because they’re either “not ready to buy” or “just browsing”.
Now, no one’s keeping the lights on just for browsers. If you’re spending the money getting in front of them, you need them to buy.
And that’s where the power of Messenger Marketing comes in.
Messenger Marketing platforms like Octane AI, ShopMessage and Recart (and more) allow you to catch customers that would have stopped at browsing, and bring them back to the store by engaging with them on Facebook Messenger - sending them fast, personalized responses based on their browsing activity and questions.
And with 80% of shoppers revealing they’re more likely to buy from a company that provides a personalized experience… it’s also the perfect way to build a connection with new visitors to your site or socials.
So next time someone comments on your post, clicks on your ad, visits your site, or abandons their cart… you can open up an automated Messenger conversation specifically designed to engage them with your brand and convert them into paying customers.
How to Choose the Right Messenger Marketing Platform
If you're a relatively small store, chances are you simply won’t need a platform that’s feature-heavy. Reducing cart abandonment might be your primary goal. And in that case, a streamlined Messenger Marketing only platform suitable to just this stage of the funnel may be your best bet.
But if you’re looking for rapid growth and have the resources, opt for a platform that’s feature-heavy and can grow with you. The time you invest in setting it up will be worth it in the long run.
And for enterprise solutions, you’re going to want the tools that cater to the big brands.
It’s also worth noting that there is a sort of lock-in cost with Messenger Marketing. The platform you choose runs the relationship with all the users under your control, and switching platforms can be tricky, because it may mean starting your user count back at 0. Imagine if that’s how switching email service providers worked… That said, there are ways to maintain your user base when migrating. Honestly, I’m not sure exactly how it works, I just know it's tricky.
The 8 Best Messenger Marketing Tools for Ecommerce
- Octane AI - Messenger and SMS marketing for mid-market and enterprise merchants, but also with entry-level plans.
- Omnisend - All-in-one Messenger, SMS, Email, Push-notifications and Pop-ups for the omnichannel merchant (every merchant should be omnichannel at this point, I hope).
- ShopMessage - Messenger marketing with solid pop-up forms, for growing merchants.
- Recart - Messenger marketing from new store to established brand, and one of the first platforms in the Shopify app ecosystem.
- FlashChat - Messenger marketing primarily focused on abandoned cart, but with new features rolling out regularly.
- Maxwell - Messenger and Whatsapp marketing for smaller merchants primarily.
- ManyChat - Messenger and SMS marketing for mid-market and enterprise merchants.
- jumper.ai - Messenger and Chatbot marketing for established, social heavy merchants looking to grow.
Dedicated specifically to integrate with Shopify and Shopify Plus, Octane AI is a heavy-hitter if you want to improve engagement, retention, and conversions.
- Messenger & SMS
- Advanced Analytics
- AI/chatbot responses
- Ad integrations
- Website pop-ups
- Venture backed startup
Octane has some really great functionality, including a comment-response bot that allows anyone that comments on your posts to opt-in to Messenger.
They currently claim to have the most Ecommerce specific flows of any Messenger platform. Just like a flow or template in Klaviyo, this makes it easy and foolproof to get a new sequence off the ground and start winning more customers.
- Abandon cart
- Browse abandonment
- Welcome series
- Post-Purchase flows
Plus, the ability to create your own flows to use directly in Messenger (and SMS) and in the on-site Messenger widget.
Their integrated AI works to identify common consumer questions and offer the most relevant answers in real-time. This makes for a scalable conversational marketing strategy and mitigates many customer service inquiries.
If you’re considering adding SMS to your marketing strategy, Octane is a good choice. Having both Messenger and SMS marketing in the same platform allows for better cross-channel communication.
Their advanced analytics allows you to track revenue results in more detail, including repeat purchases and refer-a-friend campaigns.
Because of the robustness of their platform, you really need a dedicated marketer working on weekly and even daily campaigns, to get the maximum value with Octane.
Starting at $9/month with a 14-day free trial.
Prices go up based on features and the number of monthly active users, which means if a user hasn’t received or sent a message within the last 30 days, you won’t get billed for them.
If you’re making over $100k/year, you may want to upgrade to the pro plan for additional functionality including SMS and custom flows.
Omnisend is an omnichannel marketing automation platform that houses all your marketing channels in one place, making it a truly all-in-one solution.
- Push notifications & Pop-ups
- Dynamic Facebook and Google Ad integrations
- One-click install Facebook Messenger growth tools
- Easy plug-and-play automation sequences
I want to be honest upfront: You aren’t going to choose Omnisend because of its Messenger Marketing features. In fact, you only get Messenger Marketing at their enterprise level plan, so it doesn’t work for starting stores (they integrate with other Messenger Marketing tools). That being said, you may want to go with Omnisend for email and SMS, with the added benefit of bringing in Messenger at the highest tier.
Omnisend is the platform many Ecommerce stores choose as their upgrade from Mailchimp. It works for all size stores, but its omni-channel functionality makes it especially useful if your marketing team needs to stay on top of multiple channels at once.
The major benefit of using Omnisend is you can set up campaigns that trigger notifications across different channels. Making it incredibly easy to create a seamless user experience geared towards conversion.
Unlike most other platforms, Omnisend allows you to input users via SMS without requiring their email address. This is great for when you want to test out an SMS only campaign quickly.
We recommend this for stores that are serious about growth and perhaps want to ensure a strong omni-channel strategy without consuming a lot of time/resources.
- Shopify / Plus
- Partner integrations:
Omnisend is billed based on email sends and while there is a free version, the omnichannel tools start at $16/month for 15,000 email sends, standard automation, SMS, advanced segmentation, and access to some integrations.
Pricing then jumps to $199/month for 15,000 emails which also unlocks access to their advanced features including Facebook and Google dynamic segments and all other integrations.
If you’re sending more than 15,000 emails a month, the price goes up gradually based on volume. Once you hit $400/month in spend, you get a dedicated success manager.
ShopMessage is a long-standing powerhouse for Messenger Marketing, geared towards the more established merchants looking for robust campaigns and automation from the start of the customer journey to the end (hopefully there is no end, am I right?).
They offer an easy way to start conversations with prospective customers and keep them engaged throughout the customer journey.
And they have a 400% ROI guarantee.
- SmartSense technology
- Dynamic discount codes
- Custom sales offers
- Easy-to-understand analytics
- Direct integration with Facebook Ads
- 4x ROI guarantee
ShopMessage offers what they’ve dubbed “SmartSense” technology. This is a fantastic tool that allows you to set your website pop-ups to only trigger when your visitors are already logged into Facebook - bypassing the risk of losing them down a Facebook rabbit hole that would normally take them away from your site.
Their powerful segmentation tool means you can deliver personalized messages for every stage of your customers’ journey. Seamlessly taking customers from unaware, to loyal, repeat buyers.
ShopMessage can be used by any sized merchant, but we recommend it for growing brands. The retention value it offers means it’s more suitable to a store that’s looking to reduce customer churn and make loyalty a key part of their marketing strategy.
If you have a smaller store or don’t have the resources or time to dedicate to tying your Messenger Marketing channel to your wider marketing strategy, this probably isn’t the tool for you.
- Google Tag Manager
- Custom sites
- Partner Integrations:
ShopMessage offers an impressive 4x ROI guarantee on their software and a generous 30-day free trial to get started.
After the trial period ends, prices start at $9/month for up to 250 recipients with $25 added for every 1,000 additional recipients.
Recart was first-to-market out of all Messenger Marketing tools, and they’re still the most popular platform used by Shopify stores.
- Inbuilt quiz tool
- Template library
- Integrate with Click to Messenger and sponsor message campaigns
- Custom flows and automation
- Dynamic discount codes
- Smart pop-up tool for collecting Messenger subscribers on site
Recart’s most unique feature is their built-in Quiz tool which allows you to drive traffic and drastically increase engagement and conversions.
Their data shows that most merchants can expect an average 8-14% increase in revenue once they’ve set up and optimized their campaigns, which translates to an ROI between 25-200x the cost of the software.
The intuitive drag-and-drop interface means building campaigns is both quick and easy. And their template library is more advanced than any other platform on the market.
Recart really can cater to brands of any size, which makes them ideal for fast-growth brands that may just be early stage. Their original tool specialized specifically in solving abandoned cart issues, and they’ve since then expanded the features to do pretty much everything you need to do in Messenger Marketing for Ecommerce, including a nifty trick for moving users from Instagram to Facebook Messenger. So if you’re looking to boost engagement and reduce churn, Recart is a serious contender.
Price is based on the tracked revenue generated through their tool. This starts at $29/month for $1000 in tracked sales and goes up from there.
For larger merchants its a fixed fee structure starting at $499, at which point they guarantee an 8x ROI.
Flashchat is a strong competitor at the intersection of reducing cart abandonment and using Messenger Marketing to drive revenue growth.
- Winback campaign tool
- Specialists in abandoned cart automation
- Shipment tracking and updates
- Mass conversational campaigns
The app is easy to jump into if you’re just starting out with Messenger Marketing.
They claim to increase sales by as much as 10% in the first couple of months. With most of that growth coming from converting lost sales abandoned during the checkout phase of a customer order, and converting higher percentages of customers in Facebook Messenger than email or traditional retargeting campaigns.
Their “winback” campaign tool means you can send customized messages to customers throughout their buying journey, creating additional opportunities for them to make a new purchase.
The mass conservational campaigns allow you to broadcast non-promotional content to your opted-in messenger list as well - things like recent blog posts and company updates.
Flashchat is best for Ecommerce merchants who don’t have time for intricate “bot building” or very elaborate automation sequences and so larger stores will probably need a more robust platform.
It’s designed for getting quick-wins from Messenger Marketing which makes it ideal if you’re just starting out.
Flashchat starts at $9/month with your first 2 months fixed at $9/month regardless of usage, and price goes up based on successful automated Messenger conversation. Meaning, you only pay when a sale is made as a direct result of their software. For example, if you make a sale from an automated abandoned cart sequence without human input on your end.
This does make it tough to calculate how much you’re likely to spend each month until you establish a baseline to work from.
Maxwell is a (currently) free Messenger and Whatsapp marketing tool that offers both live chat and automation options.
- Messenger & Whatsapp
- Abandoned cart
- Shipping notifications
- Live chat
Maxwell’s most important feature is their Messenger abandoned cart sequence, which according to them, nets between 7% and 14% increase on your overall conversion rate.
Aside from the standard plan being free, Maxwell’s biggest differentiator is their WhatsApp tool. Usually, this function is only available on larger platforms, which makes Maxwell a fantastic low-commitment option for merchants to try out both WhatsApp and Messenger for the first time, but not necessarily ideal for larger merchants or brands that want to do more chatbots or automation with their Messenger marketing.
That being said, they are constantly building out new features to compete.
This is a free tool with optional premium membership with additional features starting at $4.99/month. It’s low barrier to entry makes it the perfect platform for the new or small store to start out with Messenger marketing.
ManyChat was one of the first Messenger marketing tools. But it's only recently that they started moving into Ecommerce.
That’s no reason to discount them though. The speed in which they’re developing new features means they are likely to become a major playing in not just Ecommerce, but conversational commerce very quickly.
- Abandoned cart
- Discount codes
ManyChat’s flow builder is one of the best designed builders out there - making set up and segmentation incredibly easy.
As the original chatbot builder, they allow you to create detailed, choose-your-own-adventure style flows. So if increasing customer engagement and satisfaction is a major area you want to focus on right now, ManyChat could be the solution for you.
A limited free option is available with paid plans starting at a reasonable $10/month and custom pricing for larger merchants. ManyChat is a good option if you want a tool that grows with you.
What we love most about Jumper.AI is the ability to sell and checkout customers directly in Messenger and website chatbots.
- Abandoned cart
With their main focus on helping you make sales, they also allow you to create orders for your customers based on items you think they’d like. Then send a link via Messenger directly to the checkout page with an added coupon code to encourage customers to buy.
These are powerful features, but if you want to make the most of the platform, it does require you make significant adjustments to everything from your advertising strategy to customer service offering.
For that reason, we recommend this for social-centric merchants with the resources to dedicate to implementing and managing the platform.
jumper.ai offers a free (limited) tool, but to access their most powerful features plans start at $200/month. That makes it most suitable for established and growth stage, social-centric brands who want to focus more on social and conversational commerce to grow their store.
Now that you know the nuances of each platform, pick two, maybe 3 that closely align with your store and stage of business and look into them more closely.
The larger your store, the more visitors and daily customers, the more time you should spend vetting platforms. If you’re getting your store off the ground, choose quickly and you probably won’t go wrong. If you really need robust functionality, deep integrations, and by adding Messenger you will (slightly) disrupt your business processes, be sure to vet the more robust tools in the space and ensure they will work with your existing systems.
If you’re new to Messenger Marketing… there is a learning curve, but you will find it fairly similar to email, with just a little more conversation. Rely heavily on the templates to begin with and you’ll soon have the data and confidence to start introducing your own ideas.
After installing a tool, you will need to set up as many ways as possible to get users opting in. Primarily those are:
- Pop-up checkboxes or “Send to Messenger” buttons
- Checkboxes added to product detail pages, cart pages, and checkout pages
- Post purchase page “Send to Messenger” as well as email sequences asking for the opt-in
- Ad campaigns and on-channel engagement strategies that drive subscribers
- QR codes in your store
- Begging your friends to sign up
(OK, the last two are a little unlikely)
Once the list is growing, take a look at how people are engaging and make sure those abandoned cart sequences are firing.
And from there it should be smooth sailing with an extra 3%-5%+ in total revenue all from this one channel.