Olark Review 2024 Pros and Cons of this Live Chat Solution

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This article has been written and researched by our expert tooltesters through a precise methodology. Learn more about our methodology

Robert Brandl

Robert Brandl


Inka Wibowo

Inka Wibowo


In many ways, Olark is an interesting company. Founded in 2009, they are a fully remote team with employees distributed all over the world.

It's also one of the most popular live chat tools out there, claiming to serve more than 12,000 businesses.

What's great is that they sport advanced features such as live chat automation (targeted chat as they call it).

They also have a selection of holiday themes, which is a pretty nice touch (e.g. a Halloween pumpkin or a Santa Claus hat). With their "attention grabbers," that can be put on top of a regular chat box, you'll make sure that no visitor passes by not noticing the live chat.

Pricing is simple: they feature a free plan (slightly hidden on their website), which only allows up to 20 individual conversations, and one premium plan. You can choose to pay monthly ($19), yearly ($15) or bi-yearly ($12).

And here is what you get:

Try Olark's free plan


Olark Pricing


Billed monthly

per agent, per month

Billed yearly

per agent, per month

Billed every 2 years

per agent, per month

> Find detailed information on Olark’s pricing here.

Pros / Cons of Olark

  • Pros
  • Cons


  • Automation features

  • Usability

  • Seasonal templates

Olark Rating Details

Ease of use

Olark’s usability is fine, it’s very easy to understand. The menu structure makes sense and they offer explanations where you need them.

Setup Info popup

Integrate the code snippet provided to your website and you are ready to go.

Themes and Style Options Info popup

Various templates and color options available. Custom CSS edits available as well, which is a paid feature though.

Chat Client Info popup

The client is pretty basic. Nice touch: it will show the chat agent’s image if you activate this option. Allows file uploads.

Chat agent console Info popup

Use a third party instant messenger (e.g. Pidgin, GTalk, iChat) or the (basic) web-based chat console. There is a range of commands for special actions like blocking or transferring customers. Enter !help while chatting to see all your options.

Automatic messaging Info popup

Either automatically with a greeting message or manually via the chat console. Unfortunately, the web console doesn’t show who exactly got triggered. This makes it a bit difficult sometimes to know if your automations actually work. You can also hide Olark altogether and only initiate chats yourself.

Offline mode Info popup

Also collects feedback when you are away through the contact form.

Shortcuts / canned messages Info popup

Set up shortcuts through their new editor. While chatting, you simply hit the semicolon key and all the available shortcuts will pop up.

Tracking & live analytics Info popup

Analytics on the web-based console gives you all the relevant information (visitor’s country and city, whether it’s a returning visitor and their browsing history). The information should be presented in a more efficient way: the URLs, for example, get cut off and you only can get to that information by hovering over the visitor’s list.

Multiple languages Info popup

The primary language is English but you can customize most of the backend texts. Via their API you can make it multilingual but that requires programming skills. A useful feature is the Translation Power Up, which translates questions and answers on the fly ($29 per month).

Ticketing system Info popup

They don’t have their own solution but integrate with Desk, Help Scout, and Zendesk.

Integrations and add-ons Info popup

Integrates with Assistly, Salesforce, Webhooks, and Zendesk. Can send transcripts automatically to your CRM. There is even an app store where you can get “Power Ups” that enhance Olark’s functionality.

Team Management

Chats can be transferred from one agent to another and you can set up groups.

Mobile support / apps Info popup

Runs on mobile instant messaging clients as well (e.g. IMO.im). There are third-party smartphone apps as well. The Hummingbird feature optimizes the chat window for website visitors on mobile devices. Native iOS or Android apps are not available.

Voice/video calls Info popup

Not available

Cobrowsing Info popup

Available via Power Ups. It’s pricey though! Expect to pay $99 per month.

Ban users Info popup

… but you can only block someone for the current session. With their rules feature, you can hide the chat bar for certain countries (e.g. those you don’t ship to anyway).

Log creation Info popup

Creates transcripts for each conversation.


  • Live Chat
  • Email
  • Telephone

Overall, very good support.

Overall rating


Olark is very strong on chat automation and offers reasonable prices; overall a solid solution. It’s also fun to use it.

Olark Review: Conclusion

Olark’s browser-based console looks smart and is promising. But there is still some room for improvement. Instead of providing buttons for quick access to key features, a lot of commands have to be keyed in, for example !block for blacklisting a user or !transfer to pass a visitor on to another agent.

Generally, we very much like the look and feel of Olark’s user interface and the chat client. What’s also great is that visitors can rate their chat experience, allowing you to collect satisfaction data. Also, if you are looking for a live chat software featuring cobrowsing, Olark is your top choice.

However, we do feel that the pricing could be more in line with its’ competitors. The fact that you’re charged per seat, plus need to pay extra for its “Power Up” features, means that costs can add up quickly.

If this isn’t an issue, we’d encourage you to give it a shot and see if Olark is right for your company. Chances are pretty good that it actually is.

> Try Olark yourself for free

Olark Alternatives

LiveChat comes packed with features and is ideal for companies who want to proactively employ live chat as a sales or support channel. Its wide list of integrations, engaging ‘rich messages’, advanced team management features, and excellent multilingual widgets make it our top-rated live chat software.

Tidio is a top choice if you’re looking for advanced chatbots and automation, as these come included for free. The great news is that there’s also a free plan for up to 3 agents.

JivoChat offers an impressive range of features, including CRM, triggered chats, one-click calling, email and social integration, and internal team chats. A free plan is also available.

The authors

Learn more about us

Robert Brandl

Founder and CEO

Hi, my name is Robert Brandl! I used to work in a digital marketing agency where I managed website and email marketing projects. To optimize my client's campaigns, I always had to find the optimal web tools. Tooltester offers this knowledge to you, hopefully saving you endless hours of research.

Inka Wibowo

Content Manager

Hi, I'm Inka! I started using website builders and content management systems over 10 years ago, when I managed websites for clients in my first marketing role. Since then, I've worked on hundreds of web and digital projects. Now, at Tooltester, I'm happy to be able to use my experience to help users like you find the right website builder for your needs.

Learn more about us

We keep our content up to date

22 Nov 2021 - Review moved to Tooltester.com
22 May 2018 - General updates, Power Ups added.
05 Dec 2017 - A few general updates
07 Sep 2017 - New corporate Design, Logos updated.
07 Jul 2017 - No more cobrowsing, unfortunately this feature has been removed.
18 Aug 2016 - Video review and new screenshots added.
21 July 2016 - Pricing has changed, now there are only two tiers.
19 July 2016 - Improved mobile support
21 Aug 2015 - Update in language support.
06 Aug 2015 - New feature for canned messages added.
07 Jan 2015 - Chat ratings feature added.
19 May 2014 - Added information on co-browsing, more details on the web client and mobile apps.
27 May 2013 - Review of the web-based chat console added.
29 Aug 2012 - Initial tests


This article has been written and researched following a precise methodology.

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