Business Is Booming For WhatsApp Business
WhatsApp launched its Business app in 2018.
The Business app, which is free, is designed to help businesses connect with their customers and establish an official presence on a platform that’s used by over a billion people.
WhatsApp claim more than 175 million people message a WhatsApp Business account every day! That’s a lot of potential eyeballs and wallets that could be opening up.
“The app makes it easy to personally connect with your customers, highlight your products and services, and answer their questions throughout their shopping experience.”
WhatsApp has over time included a variety of tools that should prove to be super useful as businesses seek to provide a fast, accurate and convenient service over the app.
- Business Profile. Includes helpful information such as an address, a description, email address and a website
- Quick replies. Feature lets you save and reuse frequent messages so you can answer common queries with increased ease
- Labels. Great for organisation – you can use them for chats or contacts so you can find them easily
- Automated replies. Use the power of AI to send automatic replies like a friendly welcome message or a quick note letting customers know you’re unable to answer right now
The New And Expanded Features
There are several new and expanded features available to Business users that should set pulses racing. WhatsApp first introduced Business and Business API in 2018, but they’ve committed themselves to increase investment across a trio of new features.
“More than 175 million people every day message a WhatsApp Business account. Our research shows people prefer to message a business to get help and they’re more likely to make a purchase when they can do so.”
WhatsApp is expanding ways for people to check out products and make purchases directly in a chat.
WhatsApp has 1.3 billion people but has struggled to monetise that massive audience properly. This could be one way of reaching its maximum business potential.
WhatsApp also plans to make it easier for businesses to integrate their features into an existing customer or commerce platform. After all, Facebook will want to see some return on the $19 billion it paid for the platform in 2014.
Facebook Hosting Services
Facebook is planning to offer hosting services for small and medium businesses to manage their WhatsApp messages.
Users will be able to use Facebook Hosting Services to get going, sell products, manage inventory and respond to messages.
Some business customers will be charged for these services, which may be for large businesses who have a global following.
WhatsApp has previously talked about an enterprise solution, although there’s been no indication of when that might be released.
What’s The Deal With WhatsApp’s Monetisation?
The traditional route of monetisation, selling adverts, hasn’t worked for WhatsApp.
Attempts to get them into its Status feature were abandoned while the privacy-centric focus of the messaging app has made it difficult to get its billions of users to see adverts.
That’s what’s led WhatsApp down the social commerce route. But, also, one could argue, down the Amazon route, as WhatsApp seeks to become a key piece of online business infrastructure.
Taking a cut of each purchase, while potentially charging larger commerce users, should prove to be an excellent money-spinner.
WhatsApp has already dipped their toes into the water with the expansion of WhatsApp Pay in India and the acquisition of eCommerce platform Meesho.
With ad markets likely to be depressed for some time as the world struggles to get to grips with the health and economic impact of COVID-19, having a Plan B which is less exposed to ad markets makes a lot of sense.