ChannelReply Blog

4 Alternatives to eDesk by xSellco

Published at Oct 08, 2020.

eDesk is an expensive ecommerce helpdesk. Its annual cost ranges from $468 to $1,900+ per user. With such high costs, it has to be the best support solution for online sellers, right? Well, after carefully comparing eDesk alternatives, we found that four platforms might be better—and cheaper!

4 eDesk Alternatives

Zendesk, Freshdesk, Gorgias and Re:amaze Logos

To count as an alternative to eDesk, a helpdesk can’t just be good for managing emails and phone calls. It has to have serious ecommerce integrations. We’re talking messaging with marketplaces like Amazon and eBay, order info displays, and tools that work with ecommerce data. A real alternative.

With that in mind, the four best options are Zendesk, Freshdesk, Gorgias and Re:amaze. Why?

  1. All four support Shopify for free and have a mix of other storebuilder integrations like Magento and BigCommerce.
  2. All four integrate with Amazon, eBay and Walmart with the help of ChannelReply.
  3. Even while paying for both the helpdesk and ChannelReply, all four are usually more affordable than eDesk.
  4. Each has its own unique strengths and outdoes all its competitors in at least one area of ecommerce support.

Price Comparison

Other helpdesks are almost always cheaper than eDesk. That's true even when considering the cost of add-ons and minimum plan levels needed for ecommerce support. The chart below shows the difference.

eDesk Alternatives Price Comparison: Zendesk, Freshdesk, Gorgias and Re:amaze plus ChannelReply

Helpdesk plan levels used for calculations: eDesk Essential, Zendesk Team, Freshdesk Blossom, Gorgias Basic, and Re:amaze Basic. *Includes cost of ChannelReply Standard for eBay, Amazon & Walmart integration.

Costs vary for everyone. In speaking to former eDesk customers who have switched to one of the other helpdesks above, though, we have found that most of them have saved money. This usually amounts to hundreds of dollars per month for large teams.

Quick Comparisons

Ground Rules

There are a million different business cases, and all are different. We can’t cover them all here. So, we’ll cover one common scenario:

  1. The hypothetical “you” sells on Shopify, eBay, Amazon, and Walmart.
  2. You want the most affordable plan possible.

We’ll therefore look at each helpdesk’s cheapest ecommerce-compatible plan + its free Shopify integration + ChannelReply Standard. We’ll compare that combination against eDesk Essential.

Remember, each helpdesk has several eStore integrations beside Shopify. Magento, BigCommerce, 3dcart, PrestaShop, etc. all connect with at least one of the helpdesks below.

Alternative 1: Zendesk

Walmart Ticket in Zendesk with ChannelReply

A Walmart escalation ticket in Zendesk, with buyer and order data from ChannelReply.

Zendesk is perhaps the best-known, best-trusted helpdesk in the world. When people hear the word “helpdesk,” Zendesk is what they think of.

There’s a good reason for Zendesk’s popularity. It combines power, reliability, and usability to create one of the most versatile solutions available. When someone has looked at all the options available and can’t make up their mind, we tell them to give Zendesk a try.

Why Is Zendesk Better than eDesk?

Amazon Tickets in Zendesk vs. eDesk

Amazon tickets in eDesk vs. Zendesk. The eDesk screenshot comes from this video.

  • Save up to 25% on annual costs when you choose Zendesk over eDesk.
  • Save another $132 per agent every year with affordable, Shopify-compatible live chat.
  • Make fewer trips to your eBay, Amazon, and Walmart accounts with 21% more data available right next to each buyer message.
  • Use over 38% more data than eDesk to auto-personalize your canned replies and autoresponses to eBay, Amazon and Walmart customers.
  • Manage eBay Resolution Center cases and issue eBay refunds.
  • Simplify Walmart order management with the ability to acknowledge or cancel orders, issue refunds and more.
  • Answer buyer messages from your mobile device.

Get a quick overview of Zendesk in this demo video:

And for a detailed exploration of how Zendesk works with ChannelReply for ecommerce support, watch this:

Find more details in our Zendesk integration infographic.

Alternative 2: Freshdesk

Amazon Message in Freshdesk with ChannelReply

An Amazon message thread in Freshdesk.

Freshdesk is the most affordable ecommerce helpdesk here, but it’s also one of the most powerful. It absolutely rocks for anyone who likes tinkering with advanced workflows and autoreplies. With piles of customizable features and optional add-ons, Freshdesk can do almost anything.

What Makes Freshdesk Better than eDesk?

eDesk Snippets vs. ChannelReply Custom Fields in Freshdesk

eDesk’s snippets vs. ChannelReply custom fields in Freshdesk. eDesk screenshot from this video.

  • Save up to 35% on annual costs when you choose Freshdesk over eDesk.
  • Make fewer trips to your eBay, Amazon, and Walmart accounts with 21% more data available right next to each buyer message.
  • Use advanced rules to detect nearly 26% more eBay, Amazon and Walmart data than eDesk and choose from nearly twice as many automated actions.
  • Build more advanced ecommerce autoresponders than even premium eDesk plans support.
  • Manage eBay Resolution Center cases and issue eBay refunds.
  • Simplify Walmart order management with the ability to acknowledge or cancel orders, issue refunds and more.
  • Answer buyer messages and view your most important buyer and order info from your mobile device.
  • Take advantage of Shopify support actions like refunding individual items or whole orders.

This video shows how ChannelReply enables eBay, Amazon and Walmart support in Freshdesk:

And this one shows a quick look at Freshdesk’s Shopify app:

For more info, visit our Freshdesk integration infographic.

Alternative 3: Gorgias

Is This the Same Person Prompt on an Amazon Message in Gorgias

An Amazon ticket in Gorgias. Gorgias has detected that a customer with a different email address has the same name. So, it has offered to combine these two users into one for easier management.

Gorgias is the best Shopify helpdesk. If we had to rate each helpdesk by Shopify features, we’d say Zendesk, Freshdesk and eDesk are only decent. Re:amaze is really good. Gorgias, though, is the greatest there ever was. Nothing else compares.

Why Is Gorgias Better than eDesk?

Shopify Support in eDesk vs. Gorgias

Shopify tickets in eDesk vs. Gorgias. Unlike eDesk, Gorgias lets you choose exactly which data you want shown for Shopify, so you can have it as simple or as detailed as you like. eDesk screenshot from this video.

  • Save up to 31% on annual costs when you choose Gorgias over eDesk.
  • Save another $300 per agent every year with powerful, free, Shopify-compatible live chat.
  • Make fewer trips to your eBay, Amazon, and Walmart accounts with 26% more data available right next to each buyer message.
  • Use over 26% more data than eDesk to auto-personalize your canned replies to eBay, Amazon and Walmart customers. That includes more buyer and order data than any other helpdesk on this list.
  • View order details and answer buyer messages from the Gorgias mobile app.
  • Take more Shopify actions from inside Gorgias than from inside any other helpdesk. Edit, cancel, create or duplicate orders, issue full or partial refunds, restock, and more!
  • Get more Shopify data from Gorgias than from any competitor, and even customize which Shopify data is shown next to tickets.

This video demo will introduce you to Gorgias. Keep in mind that the Shopify data displayed is only the tip of the iceberg—in your Gorgias account, you can display as much data as you want!

To see how Amazon, eBay and Walmart support work in Gorgias, watch this next:

More info and screenshots are available in our Gorgias integration infographic.

Alternative 4: Re:amaze

eBay Resolution Center Case on Re:amaze Mobile with ChannelReply

Resolving an eBay Resolution Center inquiry on an iPhone with Re:amaze. On the left is the message; on the right is the ChannelReply app, which can easily be expanded or hidden as needed.

Re:amaze has a world-class Shopify integration. It also has powerful support for eBay, Amazon and Walmart with ChannelReply, and the best mobile app we’ve seen from any ecommerce helpdesk. It is probably the most well-rounded alternative to eDesk.

What Makes Re:amaze Better than eDesk?

eBay Messages in Re:amaze vs. eDesk

eBay messages in eDesk and in Re:amaze’s desktop interface; Re:amaze’s data keeps going in both directions! eDesk screenshot from this video.

  • Save up to 22% on annual costs when you choose Re:amaze over eDesk.
  • Save another $300 per user every year with powerful, free, Shopify-compatible live chat.
  • Speed up Shopify support with better order management.
  • Refund, cancel, duplicate, and create orders without leaving Re:amaze.
  • Make fewer trips to your eBay, Amazon, and Walmart accounts with 26% more data available right next to each buyer message.
  • Manage eBay Resolution Center cases and issue eBay refunds.
  • Simplify Walmart order management with the ability to acknowledge or cancel orders, issue refunds and more.
  • Use all features on your mobile device. Answer messages, view buyer and order data, and take all advanced actions mentioned in this list.

This intro video shows some of their powerful features for Shopify in action:

And here you can see how ChannelReply allows you to support ecommerce marketplaces in Re:amaze:

Learn more about how ChannelReply and Re:amaze work together in our Re:amaze integration infographic.

In-Depth Comparison: eDesk vs. Zendesk, Freshdesk, Gorgias and Re:amaze

Which helpdesk has the best Amazon autoresponder? Which ones provide the most helpful info? How do the mobile apps stack up? We spent weeks in research and comparison, and here’s what we found.

Buyer & Order Data Displayed with Tickets

Amazon Message in Zendesk with ChannelReply

An Amazon message in Zendesk with buyer and order data displayed by ChannelReply on the right.

Your agents need detailed buyer, order and shipping data to be able to answer customer questions. More info means faster service and lower support costs. Less info means opening more tabs and signing in to more services to look things up.

Here are two charts showing the amount of ecommerce data displayed by each helpdesk:

Comparison of Ecommerce Data Displayed by eDesk vs. Zendesk, Freshdesk, Gorgias and Re:amaze with ChannelReply

eBay, Amazon & Walmart Data

Both eDesk and ChannelReply provide plenty of basic order info for eBay, Amazon and Walmart support. Either one will tell you what the buyer ordered and what their shipping address is. Both have plenty of details on shipping time, amount paid, etc.

But ChannelReply gives you more.

Here is a quick list of the data available in ChannelReply that isn’t available in eDesk (based on the best info available to us):

Extra eBay, Amazon & Walmart Data

  • Purchase Date
  • Variation SKU
  • Shipping Service (FedEx, UPS etc.)

Extra Amazon Data

  • Amazon Fulfillment Channel (MFN or FBA)

Extra eBay Data

  • Username
  • Registration Date
  • Positive Feedback Percent
  • Feedback Score
  • Extended Order ID
  • Buyer Checkout Message
  • PayPal Transaction ID
  • eBay Transaction ID
  • Selling Manager Sales Record Number

Extra Walmart Data

  • Customer Order ID

But eDesk has some data ChannelReply doesn’t, right? Sure! But not much:

  • More convenient display of the marketplace and country where the order was placed
  • Individual price of each eBay product purchased
  • Shipping fees for Amazon and Walmart

That’s it.

Shopify Data

eDesk does show plenty of data for Shopify, offering more than Zendesk and Freshdesk and being competitive with Re:amaze. But Gorgias, as we’ve mentioned, is king.

This list could get incredibly long if we covered everything Gorgias can show. Simply put, they can import every single order property from Shopify—60 fields at the time of writing this article. So, here are a few quick samples of differences in Shopify data displayed by each helpdesk:

Sample Differences of Shopify Data Displayed by eDesk vs. Zendesk, Freshdesk, Gorgias and Re:amaze

Buyer & Order Data Usable in Canned Replies and Autoreplies

Being able to see data is one thing. But what about actually using it to make your job easier?

One of the most popular ways to do this is by using data placeholders in canned replies (aka macros). Here’s an example of a Gorgias macro with placeholders:

ChannelReply Placeholders in a Gorgias Macro

And here’s what happens when it’s entered on this eBay ticket:

Gorgias Macro Auto-Personalized with ChannelReply Data

This is a huge timesaver. You can provide personalized responses without typing a word—and if you use an autoresponder, without even seeing the message.

So, which helpdesk gives you the most flexibility to use this data in canned replies? Here’s how they stack up:

Amount of eBay, Amazon & Walmart Data Usable in Canned Replies in eDesk vs. ChannelReply

eDesk has the fewest options, while Zendesk has the most. The other three are nearly tied in the middle. (Note: Each snippet / custom field was worth 1 point for each marketplace it was compatible with.)

Some examples of data available in all four eDesk alternatives, but not in eDesk:

  • Shipping Address Name (i.e. recipient)
  • Purchase Date
  • Order Status
  • Shipping Service (e.g. FedEx)

Examples of data only available for use in snippets in eDesk:

  • Random Sample Order Item
  • Random Sample Order Item Image

For more info on what data ChannelReply provides and how you can use it in a helpdesk, see our Custom Fields FAQ and Definitions.

Autoresponders

For many sellers, getting a good autoresponder is the main reason to use a helpdesk. This is especially true for Amazon sellers who are tired of trying to keep up with the 24-hour response time SLA every day of the year.

Now, we shouldn’t even include eDesk’s autoresponder features. Autoresponders aren’t available on eDesk Essential. You have to upgrade to their Team plan (which costs $59 to $75 per user per month), and that makes the price difference enormous. But, in case you are considering paying that much more just to get the autoresponder, we’ll include them in the comparison.

The chart below shows the differences between the autoresponders. Note that we’re still using the same affordable plans for the eDesk alternatives:

Autoresponders for eDesk vs. Zendesk, Freshdesk, Gorgias and Re:amaze Comparison Table

Summary:

  • Gorgias has advanced email autoresponders. However, these are not compatible with API integrations like ChannelReply. This means they don’t count toward Amazon’s SLA and generally don’t work with eBay. As you’d expect, though, they’re awesome for Shopify!
  • The Re:amaze ecommerce autoresponder is one of the easiest to set up and use. It is compatible with Amazon, eBay, and Walmart, and counts toward Amazon’s response time SLA.
  • eDesk has a well-rounded autoresponder that can meet most needs, but it requires their costly Team plan or better. Advanced users may also find its options somewhat limited.
  • Zendesk has a great autoresponder that allows for more advanced setups than eDesk. However, the advanced features of the eBay/Walmart/Amazon autoresponder are trickier to use. They sometimes require advanced plans, too.
  • Freshdesk is the best. Their email autoresponder is as simple as eDesk’s while being more powerful. Also, their autoresponder for Amazon, Walmart and eBay allows for the most advanced setups possible.

Actions You Can Perform in Your Helpdesk

Canceling a Walmart Order from Zendesk with ChannelReply

Cancelling a Walmart order from inside Zendesk.

What if you want to do more than answer messages from inside your helpdesk? What if you need to resolve a tricky eBay Resolution Center case or cancel a Walmart order?

Most of these actions are only available in Zendesk, Freshdesk and Re:amaze. If you have one of these helpdesks, ChannelReply allows you to:

  • Manage eBay Resolution Center Support, solving cases, issuing refunds and more.
  • Acknowledge Walmart orders, update their shipping statuses, or cancel or refund them as needed.
  • Mark Amazon messages as “No response needed” so you can close them out without writing a reply to every “thanks.”

For Shopify sellers, there’s a lot that you can do right from your helpdesk:

  • Freshdesk lets you issue refunds and cancel orders.
  • Re:amaze does that and also lets you edit order details, create new orders, and duplicate existing orders.
  • Gorgias does all the above. It also gives you granular control over refunds, allows you to create invoices, and empowers you to choose which data you’ll display in your sidebar.

eDesk lets you create invoices. That’s about it.

Integrated Phone & Chat

Re:amaze Live Chat in an Online Store

Above: Re:amaze Chat.

eDesk has a paid live chat add-on that costs $25 per agent per month. This can work with your webstore (Shopify or otherwise).

Zendesk has Zendesk Chat, which has a basic free version and paid versions that are quite competitive with eDesk for price and features.

While Freshdesk doesn’t have a live chat that can connect to your webstore, Freshcaller lets you easily link calls to your Shopify orders.

Re:amaze and Gorgias both have powerful, free, built-in live chat that’s designed to work beautifully with Shopify. You can even create specific chat popups for specific pages. Both also have phone integration options that can link with your Shopify orders.

Mobile Support Apps

An eBay Ticket on the Freshdesk Mobile App

An eBay ticket on Freshdesk’s mobile app.

eDesk does not offer a mobile support app. Their app only allows you to view reports.

Zendesk’s mobile app [iPhone] [Android] allows you to answer your customer messages from mobile.

Freshdesk’s app [iPhone] [Android] lets you answer messages and view data pulled into ChannelReply’s custom fields.

Gorgias [iPhone] [Android] will let you easily switch between viewing the ticket and viewing data about the related order. This works for eBay, Amazon and Walmart just as well as Shopify. That makes answering tickets on your phone almost as easy as on your computer!

Re:amaze [iPhone] [Android] takes the cake here. You can answer messages, view your ChannelReply and Shopify data, and even take actions. For example, you can issue eBay, Walmart and Shopify refunds right on your mobile device. Re:amaze is by far the most powerful mobile ecommerce helpdesk.

Final Verdict: eDesk vs. Alternatives

We’ve covered a lot! Below is a quick chart summarizing the findings we’ve discussed above.

eDesk Alternatives Comparison Chart: Zendesk, Freshdesk, Gorgias, and Re:amaze

If you’re having trouble viewing the chart, here’s the final score out of a total possible 81 points for each helpdesk:

  • eDesk: 40. Worst in price and mobile support. Score reduced to 37 with autoresponder features (available only on the expensive Team plan and up) removed.
  • Zendesk: 59. Best for data usable in canned replies; worst for Shopify support.
  • Freshdesk: 66. Best for price, eBay/Amazon/Walmart support, and autoresponder power. Main drawback (not shown in chart) is cluttered interface with limited space to view ecommerce data.
  • Gorgias: 63. Best for Shopify support; worst for eBay/Amazon/Walmart support and autoresponder support.
  • Re:amaze: 75. Best for mobile support; most well-rounded option with no major weaknesses.

Every helpdesk has its pros and cons. But eDesk’s alternatives almost always come out on top.

The reason for this is straightforward: eDesk has to handle the full burden of developing all their features. They must maintain a helpdesk while keeping up with the ever-changing APIs of marketplaces like eBay and Amazon. This is a huge task for a niche company.

With ChannelReply and an eDesk alternative like Re:amaze or Freshdesk, all that changes.

ChannelReply is always focused on making sure your marketplace messaging is as easy as can be. At the same time, you use it with one of the world’s leading helpdesks, constantly improved by a large company with its own laser-focused team. This divide-and-conquer approach creates the best solution available for online sellers.

Try Any Alternative Free

Every eDesk alternative has a free trial. Which will you choose?

Once you’ve started using any of the helpdesks above, try ChannelReply for free to link your eBay, Amazon and Walmart accounts.

Have questions about choosing an eDesk alternative? Contact us and we’ll be happy to help you find the solution that best meets your business’s needs.

Disclaimer: eDesk is a trademark of xSellco Limited. ChannelReply is not affiliated with xSellco Limited in any way.

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