Debuted at Shopify Unite in May, Shopify Ping promised to be the future of communication for businesses on Shopify. With it's release last week, we got hands on quickly with the app, setting it up in our store and configuring it to handle our communication. While it still needs to be leveraged by app developers, it's a really great start and another piece of the platform that will grow over time. Read on to find out more and make sure to check back as we update this with more features and apps as they become available.
What is Shopify Ping
Shopify Ping is an app (currently only on iPhone, sorry Android) that promises to handle all of your store communication in a single place. Currently, this includes two areas: Kit and Facebook Messenger. There is promise of more integrations shortly, however we'll have to wait for developers to get their hands on ChatKit API.
As a starting point, it brings a lot of updates to Kit though and being able to respond to your Messages from Facebook from your site in the app is great. It likely isn't going to replace the Messenger or Pages app quite yet, but as it expands it will become much more essential to running your store.
Why Should I Download Ping?
If you currently use Kit, go download Ping right now. Seriously, it makes configuring Kit easier and adds multiple new features to how you can edit and work with Kit. Specifically, you are now able to edit copy and images from right within the app, as well as see rich previews of what Kit is going to post. This was a major complaint of ours when we first started using Kit, so it's awesome to see it improving.
If you don't use Kit, you might want to check it out. It can automate a lot of effort for you related to marketing, retargeting, SEO, and much more. And with extensions from developers coming soon, we are likely to see a lot of great additions shortly.
What About Facebook Messenger?
Ping's first extension is Facebook Messenger. Instead of having to open Messenger, you open Ping. It's not currently very revolutionary, but as additional support comes for other forms of communication and different channels it will be better to have everything in one spot. We have seen this before, and still actively use features like this in Hootsuite and other apps to manage our client communication. So for now, it's great, but not necessary.
What's Our Verdict
When it was announced at Unite, Shopify Ping got a lot of applause. The demo was cool, and it certainly looks like it will be a great platform moving forward for communication wit your store visitors, Kit, and likely lots of other apps. To begin, with just Kit and Facebook Messenger support, it is limited to people that really only use those two system. Our initial verdict is just that then; it's an awesome idea, and for some it will make their lives much easier, but for others they won't see benefit yet.
We are really excited to see what people do with Ping though, ChatKit, and extending Kit. It's certainly the right direction!