Shopify businesses commonly use a shared WhatsApp inbox tool like WATI for their customer service.
But if you’re looking for WATI alternatives before you make the final decision, your search ends here!
We’ve tried several dozen shared inbox tools and shortlisted the top 10 alternatives for WATI that you can consider for your customer support needs.
Before we dive in, let’s learn a bit about WATI and what are the features that make it good for ecommerce businesses.
What is WATI?
WATI is a WhatsApp Business Solutions Provider (BSP) and customer support tool owned by Clare.ai.
Customers can apply for the WhatsApp Business API through them and use their shared inbox tool for customer support.
It also offers a no-code chatbot builder to automate customer responses and to create conversation flows.
Built for B2C businesses of all sizes, WATI is a great customer support tool if you only need to respond to customers on WhatsApp.
Price: $40/month billed yearly for 5 agents. No free trial.
- Minimal initial setup: After getting access to the WhatsApp API, the support team handles the complete integration
- Great support: The support team assists in each step of the onboarding process
- Team structure management: You can create team structures within WATI with its team and user management features
- Chatbots and conversation flows: Create chatbots and conversation flows to speed up responses to common questions and offer solutions instantaneously
- Works only with WhatsApp: If you support customers on any other platform, you’d still need to purchase an additional CRM tool.
- Default chatbot is basic: It responds based on keywords and cannot continue conversations. For the flow builder, you need to pay an additional $49 monthly fee
Top WATI alternatives for ecommerce customer support
While WATI is great for businesses who support customers only on WhatsApp, this is also one of the limitations of WATI.
If you’re like many businesses who also support customers on different platforms, you may have to look for another solution that helps.
A better option is an omnichannel support inbox. Let’s look at some of the WATI alternatives that integrate with more than just WhatsApp.
Helpwise allows you to manage all your support channels methods at one place.
With shared inboxes for email, SMS, WhatsApp, live chat and social media accounts, you can easily collaborate with your team and your customers from the same dashboard.
Pricing: $20/per user/month billed annually for all support inboxes. 7 day free trial.
- Connects major support channels including Facebook, Twitter, Emails, WhatsApp, and SMS.
- Integrates with Zapier, Hubspot, Slack, Shopify, etc
- On-screen team collaboration
- Setup workflows to automate processes with the help of automation rules
- Create internal help-center for new support team members
- Track email load, key metrics and team performance from your account dashboard
- Unlike other shared inbox tools, you cannot view all shared inboxes on a single screen with Helpwise. This can be a deal-breaker for those looking for the real “shared inbox” experience.
- Cannot manage support for customers who connect from any channel apart from the ones supported by Helpwise.
- Currently the mobile app is in a very nascent stage and does not support most of the features that the web app does.
Looking for a feature-rich and affordable Shopify multi-channel helpdesk?
Messagebird is a customer service and automation tool to talk to your customers on channels like Live Chat, WhatsApp, Voice and more from a centralized dashboard.
It supports conversation flows to engage customers and seamlessly automate interactions.
Pricing: Free upto 50 conversations. Then $50 to $150 monthly based on number of conversations
- The app is priced competitively and offers a lot of features for the price
- It offers good documentation for the supported APIs and integrations
- Offers SMS capabilities in the CRM and can be a plus for those looking for text messaging
- You can automate part of your customer conversations with the conversation flow builder
- The customer support team is slower than you’d expect and generally responds after 24 hours.
- Needs UI/UX improvements as it’s easy to get lost when you start out
- Deliverability is lower compared to competitors so your customers may miss messages
Frontapp is a collaborative team inbox tool that brings emails and messages from different channels together.
It supports a wide variety of integrations ranging from Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp, Email to popular business tools.
It is built for small to medium businesses with a collaborative experience in mind.
However, the tool is quite expensive compared to many on this list and it may not suit your needs if you’re looking for an affordable shared inbox.
Pricing: Starts at $19/user/month for 10 members. Price per user increases as the number of team members increase
- Onboarding is fast and can be done within 2 days
- Supports a lot of integrations with apps and business tools
- Intuitive UI/UX with minimal learning curve.
- Allows you to snooze emails making it easier to prioritize
- Possible automation with rules and advanced workflow templates
- There are a lot of complaints about customer support from Front
- The cost is very high even if you’re a small team
- Need to know the keywords to search for canned responses. Not easily accessible
Trengo is one of the well-known helpdesk tools in the list.
It is an expensive software where the initial costs may seem lower but increase as you add multiple addons to your shared inbox.
However, the pricing is compensated by their well-thought-out user interface, and a lot of integrations. So depending on your budget and feature requirements Trengo may suit your business well.
It also allows you to merge Email, Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, SMS, voice, live chat and many more applications in one place.
Pricing: Starts at $15/agent/month. Addons for shared inboxes at additional monthly cost
- Great user interface that reduces the learning curve for new users
- All inboxes in one place and can be easily viewed for a seamless experience
- Can build an online help center feature for internal use
- Allows internal team collaboration with the Scale and Enterprise plans. The Grow plan does not support team chat but it can be purchased as an add on.
- It is difficult to see the history of closed tickets so customers may have to repeat their issues about a previously closed ticket
- Costs can increase astronomically if you do not keep a track of what features/add ons are being used
- Office 365 integration is unavailable in Trengo and can be a deal breaker for businesses that rely on Outlook or other products.
- Minimum of 4 seats for using Whatsapp feature
5. Twilio Flex
Twilio is one of the most well-known messaging and WhatsApp Business API services.
Built with developers in mind, it makes their lives easier and offers solid documentation for their APIs.
Twillio also offers a Flex Cloud Contact Center platform where you can combine voice, SMS, WhatsApp, live chat, and many other channels for a seamless customer service experience.
The Flex app is extensible and the features can be added or removed as per business requirements.
Pricing: $1/user/hour or $150/user/month
- Supports phone calls, VoIP, messaging, WhatsApp, email and more.
- Convenient pricing for starter businesses as you can get your work done at lower costs given the pay-as-you-go pricing.
- Monitoring of sms and call status process is seamless.
- Needs technical knowledge to get started else you’ll need to connect with the support team at Twilio
- Slower customer support
- Deliverability suffers when you mass send messages or emails
- Costs can skyrocket as you scale up since there is no fixed pricing
6. Freshchat by Freshdesk
Freshchat is built for businesses of all sizes - from startups to large corporations.
Owned by Freshworks, one of the largest companies in this sector, Freshchat’s interface is familiar and users can get a hang of the interface pretty quickly.
The platform is mature and may be well-suited for larger organizations. While their free tier is good enough for most starting businesses too, the higher plans that offer more advanced features can become expensive.
Pricing: $79/agent/month billed annually for basic omnichannel inbox
- Mature and familiar interface for easy transition
- Email, social, chat, phone channels can all be combined into the omnichannel helpdesk
- Seamless team collaboration
- Bots for responding to basic queries before sending it out to the support team
- Can be difficult to integrate with the website.
- Individual API integrations are priced individually so the costs can go higher as you add more integrations.
- Mobile app is slower than you might like
- Team collaboration needs improvements with features like mentions and tagging to notify them
Interakt is one of the most affordable official WhatsApp Business solution providers (BSP) on the list.
It offers a shared inbox for WhatsApp so your entire team can get online to assist with customer support. It also supports automated order notifications to users and good contact management on your admin dashboard.
Pricing: INR 999/month or $15/month for unlimited logins
- Very affordable pricing compared to other providers
- Shared team inbox and a live chat widget that directly connects customers over WhatsApp
- Supports automated message templates and canned responses
- Integrates with Shopify and Woocommerce to pull order details and display it on the chat screen
- Lack of support for other channels can be a deal breaker
TimelinesAI is a popular shared WhatsApp inbox that helps your team manage multiple WhatsApp business numbers from one dashboard.
It works best for teams that interact a lot with clients through different channels over a long period of time, and you want to keep all this knowledge in the same place, shareable and available for all team members.
Pricing: $25/month billed yearly for 1 WhatsApp number and 5 team members
- You can manage and collaborate with other team members from the same screen
- If you have multiple WhatsApp numbers, TimelinesAI allows you to add them
- All your chats are backed up in the cloud
- You can integrate with existing CRM tools using Zapier
- Can only work with WhatsApp and does not integrate with social media or Email channels
- As your team grows, the cost of using Timelines can grow as well
- Customizations of any sort are locked for business plan users
Zoko is a shared WhatsApp inbox that lets you share your WhatsApp Business number with your entire team. With Zoko, you receive fairly basic functionality but if that’s all the features you need to get your customer support going, it might be the best fit for you.
Pricing: $24.99/month for 500 monthly unique customers
- Pricing structure is affordable if you stay within their conversation limits
- Supports in-chat buttons with easy configuration
- Customer support messages can be assigned to other team members depending on the type of query
- Can create WhatsApp chatbots where users can respond to bot messages with specific numbers of keywords to get the desired information
- Very basic in terms of functionality as it focuses completely on WhatsApp
- No integrations are available with other tools that you may need for your business
- Costs can go higher if you have too many back-and-forth messages with your customers
SuperLemon helps you provide prompt and quick customer service via the whatsapp Chat function. The Whatsapp sharing button increases referral sales. You can recover abandoned carts automatically. Have deals automatically, and win back missed profits.
Pricing: Free or $10/month for automated cart recovery and advanced features
- Automated cart recovery feature connects with customers to remind them to complete checkout
- Works efficiently and is built for Shopify stores
- Easy to use interface
- Unlimited chat messages
- Order Confirmation, Order Shipment right from the widget
- Not a shared inbox tool and may not offer advanced team collaboration features
- Is good for businesses that want a simple WhatsApp interface for their team members on Shopify without unnecessary features
As an ecommerce business, it is important to have a streamlined customer experience to increase their lifetime value at your store.
And this step begins by choosing that right tool that helps you get the hassles of tracking and managing customers out of the way, and allows you to focus on the business.
We hope our research helped you find the best WATI alternative for your business.