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Why WhatsApp Business is a Brilliant eCommerce Solution

It's known as "the world's most popular messaging app", with good reason. The sheer volume of active daily users on WhatsApp is mind-boggling; 2 billion at the last count, with predictions of reaching 3.5 billion by 2025. It's little wonder that it forms the backbone of 21st-century communication, with over 100 billion messages sent each day between a cross-section of demographics.

With this in mind, it will come as no surprise that forward-thinking businesses are adopting the WhatsApp Business Platform to reach their customers on their favourite messaging channel. However, taking client communication one step further and smoothing the path between a curious customer and an online purchase makes a lot of sense in today's world of instant solutions. 

Yes, you guessed right - WhatsApp and eCommerce are excellent business buddies for organisations looking to boost sales and keep loyal customers happy. And here are the reasons why.

WhatsApp Business App vs WhatsApp Business Platform

Before we expound on the virtues of WhatsApp as a brilliant business tool and the missing eCommerce link, it's worth noting the difference between the WhatsApp Business app and the WhatsApp Business Platform.

The free WhatsApp Business app is an excellent solution for small businesses and offers additional features such as business profiles, contact labelling, and clever automation. It can be used for small scale marketing and customer support messaging with the option to create a product or service catalogue.  

On the other hand, the API for WhatsApp Business is a robust solution for medium to large businesses and is a paid service through a business solution provider (BSP) such as 

Enterprise-level features include:

  • Multiple users.
  • Advanced automation and synchronisation.
  • A centralised dashboard.
  • The ability to create reports based on detailed analytics. 

Most of the Whatsapp eCommerce features that we'll discuss are easily integrated when using the API but will not be available on the free app.

The Logic Behind WhatsApp Business eCommerce Platform

If you can perform a function faster and more efficiently than your competitors, you're several steps ahead. Consumer attention spans are at an all-time low, and their tolerance for inefficient systems, red tape, and multiple redirections is almost nil. 

An article from Forbes entitled Understand And Optimise The Buying Process To Help Your Business Grow offers some sage advice, saying, "The single goal of an effective and engaging buying process is to make it as easy as possible for customers to buy the products or services they need."

This is what it looks like.

The Shortest Route Between Two Points

The days of sending users to an online form and promising to get back to them are well and truly over. Likewise, clicking on yet another link or requesting a call back when all they want is a little additional information could well sound like the death knell for that particular sale. 

It's here that Chatbots come into their own.

Millennials don't want to talk to people, and these are the folk with the most buying power right now. An intelligent, well-designed Chatbot based on a solid Conversational AI Cloud provides an immediate response to a busy customer. 

From a Whatsapp business eCommerce perspective, these friendly little bots take a user from a website to an immediate and responsive app to answer FAQs or provide more information on a particular product. 

WhatsApp features are just what online shoppers need, with the ability to send high-resolution images or video, location data, or simply connect them to a human voice on the other side. 

Today's business owners know that they have a small window of opportunity to attract and convert buyers, and sending them to another page, link, or form will not cut it. 

Facebook to WhatsApp in a Click

When your potential buyers are in the early stages of their journey, you don't want them shopping around, do you? Of course, the investigation stage of any purchase usually entails visiting a few sites and running a few searches. So it makes sense to engage and impress them super fast!

With this in mind, if you've made the (wise) decision to make the best use of Facebook, then adding an Ad that clicks to WhatsApp is a stroke of genius. This will work whether you've got a functioning eCommerce site or simply selling from Facebook.

Taking your user off a busy channel and into a one-on-one conversation gives you a vital opportunity to highlight your products and sterling service.

How to Create Ads That Click to WhatsApp

Let's find out how to open the lines of communication between you and your Facebook customers on WhatsApp. 

Before you start, you will need to:

  • Download the WhatsApp Business App or talk to your BSP to set up and integrate the API for WhatsApp Business.
  • Verify your business in Business Manager.
  • Connect this WhatsApp account to your business's Facebook page.

Once you're done with the basics, it's time to set up your Facebook ads. In Ads Manager, go to Ad Creation and choose your objective.

If you're aiming for traffic, conversions or messages, then follow these steps:

  1. Enter your budget and click next
  2. Select Click to Message in Ad Type and choose WhatsApp from the messaging apps section
  3. Choose whom you want to see your ads and when by selecting your audience, placements, budget and schedule
  4. Choose your preferred ad format and input the required information
  5. Click + Create, save and complete your setup and then publish your Ad.

If your focus is on reach, brand awareness, engagement, or video views, then follow the first two steps above and then:

  1. Add your website URL under Links> Add website URL
  2. In the Call to Action section, select Send WhatsApp Message
  3. Choose the page with the WhatsApp number connected from the drop-down menu
  4. Publish your ad

Setting up your Facebook ads to direct users to a WhatsApp conversation gives you more time and space to engage with them and give them what they want. Quickly!

Post Purchase Performance

We all know that it makes good business sense to keep customers happy than hunt for new ones. Your brand benefits from a satisfied customer base and your pockets benefit from a far cheaper business model. 

Your customer service shouldn't come to a grinding halt once they've signed on the dotted line. User experience matters - a lot - and is another area where WhatsApp gets to flex a little more.

You can: 

  • Confirm orders and product alerts 
  • Provide current tracking and delivery updates
  • Provide product recommendations based on previous buying behaviour 
  • Keep customers informed of special offers or products back in stock
  • Request (and act on) reviews and feedback
  • Provide loyalty programs to keep them coming back
  • Be immediately available to answer questions or queries

Linking WhatsApp eCommerce to Your Bottom Line

Does your business make use of the world's most popular messaging app? If you sell a product or service online, the answer should be a resounding yes!

However, we do understand that negotiating the tech behind setting up and running the API for the WhatsApp Business Platform as it applies to your unique business needs can be daunting. But not impossible.

Discover how to unlock WhatsApp's advantages in an eCommerce environment.
connects tens of thousands of companies with millions of consumers via their mobile phone each day. Behind the scenes, from our innovative platform, makes sure companies can use these millions of messages, phone calls and payments to become part of people’s lives.
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