Statista research recently revealed that as of October 2021, two billion people worldwide use WhatsApp messenger each month. It is one of the most popular mobile social apps worldwide, handily beating Facebook Messenger, WeChat, and other competitors.
Instant messaging is a type of chat that enables users to send real-time texts via the internet. Messaging apps (not just WhatsApp) are popular because they are an inexpensive or free alternative to operator-based text messaging via SMS.
Most messaging apps have features such as group chats, graphics, video, and even audio messages, as well as stickers or emojis.
It sounds cool, but are messaging apps a genuine opportunity for your brand? In this article, we’ll explore the capabilities of WhatsApp Business, what to consider before getting on the app, and any disadvantages you should be aware of before embracing the channel.
What can your brand do with WhatsApp Business?
The WhatsApp Business App functions similarly to the regular WhatsApp consumer app (which is strictly for messaging and calling), but also includes features to help manage business transactions and communications. For example, businesses can tag conversations, create a product catalog, host a business-specific profile, and answer consumer queries.
The WhatsApp Business app also has features to help you stay connected with your customers, such as quick replies for automated customer support or product catalog capabilities right within the app.
Here’s the lowdown on what you can do with it:
Create a business profile
A WhatsApp Business account enables you to create a business profile with essential business information. Your customers will always know how to reach you, what you sell, and exactly how you can help them. The profile also includes a checkmark badge that lets customers know you’re the real deal.
Leverage distribution lists
Much like an email list, WhatsApp Business lets you create distribution lists to which you can send broadcasts with information on new offers, discounts, or special holiday offers.
Enable customers to purchase your products within the app
Did you know you can sell natively within WhatsApp? Its Cart feature offers convenience for both you and your customers. With Cart, customers can access your store catalog, check out a new product, gauge pricing, order as many products as they need, and confirm the order with a simple message in the same platform they use to message their friends. The days of customers spending time navigating your website are long gone.
Customers can message you to ask questions about your products, add items to their Cart, and send orders in real time. This is convenient for everyone from retail businesses to local restaurants trying to keep up with rush hour orders.
Here’s what to consider before using WhatsApp Business
Despite its numerous benefits, there are some considerations to take into account when deciding whether or not to create a profile.
First, find out your customers’ preferred channel for business and personal communications online. WhatsApp is the primary communication method for personal use in several countries, so there’s a chance most of your customers prefer WhatsApp over channels such as Messenger or email. But it never hurts to ask your customers what platforms they like most.
Second, determine whether your business model or use case demands a «storefront» on the Business App. If you sell something less consumer-focused, like business-to-business software, the Business App might not be the best channel for communicating with your customers.
However, suppose you’re selling cakes instead. In that case, you can take full advantage of the Business App features, like having a catalog of the different cakes you sell and leveraging quick, automated replies to common questions like store hours.
WhatsApp also offers a WhatsApp Business API whose integrations make it easy to onboard your business from your website and conveniently establish another channel where you can offer customer care.
While the API isn’t a publicly available feature to all businesses, you can find more information about it and apply here.
What are the disadvantages of WhatsApp Business?
There are several advantages to using WhatsApp Business, but the platform also has a downside: It doesn’t integrate with any current CRM. With no integration ability, it makes managing and tracking business conversations more difficult. If you need to integrate with CRMs and automation, opt for the Business API.
Depending on your business, the advantages of using WhatsApp may outweigh the disadvantages. You know your customers and your business best, and can make decisions about where your brand should have a presence.
While most businesses think of WhatsApp as a messaging platform for personal use, its capabilities offer companies far greater benefits.
Did you know ManyChat has partnered with WhatsApp to offer Automation in the future? Don’t miss out!
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