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Oct 26, 2022
5 minutes read

How Popular Was WhatsApp in 2023 and How Can it Benefit Your Business?

WhatsApp can add significant value to your business? With the number of WhatsApp users in South Africa projected to reach 1.5 million by 2025, leveraging this immensely popular messaging channel can provide substantial benefits for businesses.

What is WhatsApp Business Platform?

WhatsApp as a messaging channel needs no introduction. Most, if not all of us, are familiar with the app. With 2 billion users, it's no surprise that Meta (the developers behind WhatsApp) expanded the platform for businesses with the WhatsApp Business Platform.

WhatsApp Business Platform is an OTT (over-the-top) messaging platform that allows customers to connect with your business at scale.

WhatsApp is the Most Popular Messaging Channel in South Africa (2023)

WhatsApp’s user base in South Africa grew from 9.1 million in 2021, to 9.9 million in 2022. The messaging platform’s reach is expected to hit nearly 11.5 million by 2025, according to Statista.

In our recent research report, 41% indicated that they prefer Facebook, Instagram, or WhatsApp as shopping channels, with 24% preferring websites.

Customers’ desire to be in control is evident in responses to questions about deliveries. Parcels should be delivered at a time of the customer’s choosing, and should be able to be rescheduled easily via WhatsApp or SMS, and not via a call centre. Customers would also like to be kept informed when things change.

52% of this sample said that WhatsApp would be the most convenient way for them to reschedule a delivery. 37% said that they would like to use a phone; 30% prefer SMS and email respectively, and 21% chose live chat on website.

As the most popular messaging channel, WhatsApp was unsurprisingly the preference for rescheduling deliveries. The immediacy of instant messaging suits the desire for instant service.

But it isn't only South Africa that favours WhatsApp. The messaging channel is the number one channel across European countries including Germany, Spain and The Netherlands.

Globally speaking, WhatsApp has been the most popular messaging channel by far since beginning of 2022. As of January 2022, WhatsApp users across the world were sending approximately 100 billion messages each day. This is an enormous increase (over 66%) compared to 2017 when global users sent approximately 60 billion instant messages on a daily basis.

Most Popular Channels in the UK

Want to know more about the statistics and range of WhatsApp Business Platform? Check out our Communication Channel Advisor. Or keep reading to discover more about how WhatsApp Business can help you business.

WhatsApp Business Platform Key Features

WhatsApp Business Platform has many benefits and useful features to boost engagement with your customers.

Rich Media

Like most social apps, WhatsApp allows rich media such as photos, videos, links, PDFs, and GIFs.

Message Templates and Buttons

WhatsApp’s message templates enable you to send pre-written messages like appointment reminders, delivery updates, and confirmations. You can also implement buttons to avoid reinventing the wheel with every message. Quick reply buttons allow you to craft quick responses that customers can use to chat you back without writing out a complete answer.

Product Messages

Multi-product and single product messages are interactive message features for WhatsApp Business. It will allow you to showcase and share your products and services directly in the app. This will make it easier for your customers to view your products and make orders. You'll be able to sell, right then and there.

WhatsApp Pro Tips from Experts

  1. Use conversation starters to streamline your conversations and help your customers faster

  2. Make use of a chatbot to optimise, automate and scale up your customer service flow

  3. Create authentic and personalised experiences that make your customers happy

  4. Drive traffic from ads to one on one conversations and see a boost in your sales

Best WhatsApp Business Platform Use Cases

WhatsApp Business Platform is an excellent choice for dynamic customer engagement, as it can be used for many different use cases.

Customer Service

Use WhatsApp Business for a personalised customer experience in customer service. The platform allows you to amplify customer contact with rich content like pictures, videos, locations, and more. Ideal for sharing information.

Set up quick replies to keep the conversations flowing and offer the products your customers are asking about within the conversation. It truly can be a one-stop-shop for customer service.

Marketing

Effective marketing involves reaching the right person, at the right time, in the right place. WhatsApp Business Platform can help get your message seen.

Push notifications are a relatively easy way to start getting your message in front of the right eyes. Send marketing offers, as well as notifications that are not particularly time-sensitive. For example new product offers, customer feedback requests and promotions.

Notifications

The notification feature can also be used to keep your customers involved and informed. Send status reminders of their orders or remind them of upcoming appointments.

What can WhatsApp Business Platform do for your industry?

Is your focus Retail? Then talk with your customers about restocks, returns and refunds on WhatsApp. Or you could send purchase confirmations and delivery status updates.

Are you in the Travel & Hospitality industry? Send your customers flight details, flight changes, upgrades, boarding passes and hotel confirmations.

Working in Financial Services? Warn your customers when suspicious e-mails are going around. Or help your customers with payments and chat with them about their lost credit card.

Is Telecommunication your specialty? Help your customers change subscriptions whilst having a personal chat with them over WhatsApp.

The Entertainment & Media world can also benefit a lot from WhatsApp. Have your viewers send texts via WhatsApp to poll their opinions or send reminders for upcoming shows.

Or are you not into all of the above and do you just want to organise your Logistics? Chat with your customers to set delivery dates and send notifications and receipts over the same channel.

Whatever work field you're active in, WhatsApp Business Platform can add to the customer experience thanks to its extensive range of use cases.

The Benefits of WhatsApp Business Platform

WhatsApp has an enormous reach in the United Kingdom and worldwide, currently holding the title of the number one most popular messaging channel. With its rich media, innovative features, and multiple use cases, it's easy to see why the channel would be a great addition to any communication strategy.

Want to see more about your specific use case or target audience? Check out our Communication Channel Advisor for more data and insights, or contact one of our experts for a tailored proposal.

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Christel Brouwers
Copywriter at CM.com. Passionate about language and getting CM.com’s message out there. Shares content about CPaaS, Payments and more.

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