What is the WhatsApp Business search functionality?
The WhatsApp Business search functionality allows consumers to find and contact verified businesses on WhatsApp easily. Visa versa, the feature enables businesses to expand and connect with customers.
The feature can be easily located within the familiar environment of WhatsApp and lets customers speak with businesses as they would talk with family and friends. Consumers can simply start a new chat, select Businesses under 'Discover' and search for a business name. Or, choose a brand to speak to via the list of popular brands, also known as the popular business section.
Once a brand has been selected, consumers can start conversations free of charge, whether seeking information about store opening times, enquiring about a recent order or searching for a particular product.
As of early 2023, the WhatsApp Business search functionality is only available in Colombia, Mexico, Indonesia and the UK. For UK businesses, that means being discovered and speaking with many more customers.
What businesses are searchable?
The searchable and listed businesses within this WhatsApp Business feature are all verified accounts registered in a certain country, so consumers will only see UK businesses if they’re searching in the UK.
How to engage with customers using the WhatsApp Business search functionality
The WhatsApp Business search functionality enables brands to optimise customer engagement via inbound enquiries. To fully benefit from the search functionality and handle these enquiries, WhatsApp Business has some key features.
Business Profile: WhatsApp Business profiles contain all the information consumers want about businesses, showing the company is trustworthy and attracting potential new customers to reach out.
Quick Replies: Quick replies allow businesses to provide customers with pre-written answers, responding to consumers promptly and efficiently.
Product Catalogue: Catalogues enable brands to showcase products and services, making it easier for customers to find what they're looking for and, therefore, are more likely to purchase.
Interactive Buttons: Interactive buttons mean users can respond by clicking a button rather than typing it, simplifying how businesses interact with customers.
Contact Labels: Contact labels allow companies to organise their contacts by tagging and labelling conversations, making it easier to categorise and manage customer interactions more efficiently.
How to grow your business on the WhatsApp Business search functionality
Simply having a verified WhatsApp Business account isn't enough to help your business grow on WhatsApp Business Search. Yes, consumers looking to contact a particular business will find them through the search function. But what about those consumers looking for a new business? Consistency is key here.
The popular business section lists verified accounts in categories, such as shopping, travel and hotels, or automotive, and is updated daily. These businesses are selected due to being highly engaged, responsive and regularly converse with consumers via the channel. So, if a company is all of the above, it will appear on the popular list. Yet, if its engagement dwindles, it will no longer be shown. So, ensure your engagement is consistent and stay on top of the popular businesses, enabling potential new and existing customers to find you.
What's next for WhatsApp Business?
The WhatsApp Business search functionality is now available within the Discover Businesses feature. This Yellow Pages-style business directory allows consumers to find and contact non-verified businesses safely and conveniently via the channel. As of early 2023, the Discover Businesses feature is only available in Brazil. However, the feature will soon roll out in the UK, Indonesia, Colombia, and Mexico, where the WhatsApp Business search functionality is currently available.
Get started with WhatsApp Business
WhatsApp Business and the WhatsApp Business search functionality can enable your business to build its presence and provide always-on, personalised support on one of the most popular messaging channels, WhatsApp. Are you interested to find out how you can get started with WhatsApp Business? Work with a recognised WhatsApp Business Platform provider like CM.com. Reach out to our experts and start the conversation today.