Inline or pop-out chat windows – which should you use?

When adding live chat software to your website, there are two types of window available: inline or pop-out chat windows. Both options power great chat sessions, but they do so in slightly different ways.

To help you choose your preferred chat window, we’ve outlined the pros and cons of both options.

 

Inline chat windows

 Inline chat windows are embedded within your website. That means that they stay in one place on the screen, and follow the user as they move from page to page.

With inline chat, you’re getting a window that remains in constant view while your website is being browsed. Your customers can continue the conversation whilst exploring your site, without having to click in and out of separate windows.

 

Pros:
  • ✓ A seamless experience for the user
  • ✓ Visible, accessible chat
  • ✓ No disruption to the online journey

 

Cons:
  • ✗ Tracking code must be added to all your web pages
  • ✗ If the visitor exits your website, the chat will end
  • ✗ Restricted window size

 

Pop-out chat windows

Pop-out chat does what it says on the tin: the window pops out from your website. With this option, a separate browser window opens whenever a visitor initiates a chat.

The user needn’t stay on your site to continue a pop-out chat session. Once a chat is launched, the window stays open until the user manually closes it. It runs independently from web activity, and can be resized and moved around the visitor’s screen.

 

Pros:
  • ✓  You need only add tracking code to the pages you’d like a chat option on
  • ✓ Window design can be as large or as detailed as you wish
  • ✓ A flexible window that stays open ever after site exit

 

Cons:
  • ✗ Window can lose focus and become lost amongst open apps
  • ✗ Disjointed experience between chat and website journey
  • ✗ Potential issues with pop-up blockers

 

So, inline or pop-out chat windows? If you only want chat in specific web pages – such as a contact or billing page – we’d recommend the pop-out option. For all other instances, inline chat is your best bet.