The world has come a long way from using Whatsapp just for texting. Small businesses are making the smart switch to messenger apps to sell their products. However, when it comes to marketing products, people still stick to the conventional social media apps like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
With over 1.6 billion monthly active users, WhatsApp is emerging as one of the best ways to increase customer engagement and promote small business brands.
How Does WhatsApp for Business Work?
WhatsApp for Business is currently only available as an Android app which can be downloaded for free from the Play Store. iPhone users will have to wait a little while longer until WhatsApp for Business rolls out an iTunes app as well. WhatsApp for Business is exclusively for business owners to communicate with their customers. In other words, businesses will use WhatsApp for Business to speak to their customers who will receive these messages on their regular WhatsApp account. To register on it, businesses will need a number that isn’t connected to their personal WhatsApp account. If you don’t have a separate business number, you will need to either get one or transfer your personal number to your WhatsApp for Business account. Once the app verifies your number, you can start setting up your business profile and begin communicating with customers.
Why should small businesses use WhatsApp marketing?
For starters, it is free.
Next, WhatsApp has proven itself to be an efficient survey tool. Small businesses can carry out polls for their products on WhatsApp group chats and get almost immediate feedback.
Whatsapp allows businesses to carry out direct consultations and focus group studies. Brands can also send out alerts on Whatsapp using Broadcast messaging option about new events and sales. When you have a loyal customer base on Whatsapp, they talk about your upcoming events, sales and products.
Over 60 billion messages are sent on WhatsApp daily. According to Nielsen’s Facebook Messaging Report, over 67% of mobile users are expected to be more comfortable in utilising chat as a communication medium with businesses.
WhatsApp has over 70% opening rate, which means, your user base will immediately open WhatsApp to view a message from you and your business. Over 90% of messages get opened within three seconds of being received.
Don’t just sell, advice.
There’s more to marketing besides promoting and selling your brand. You also want to show your customers just how well you know the business too. Allow customers to contact you privately to discuss anything about the products you sell. For example, if your small business sells homemade pickles, you can offer them advice on making pickles based on seasons. Share recipes, tips and new events happening in the city that are similar to what your product offers.
How Will WhatsApp Payments Affect WhatsApp for Business?
After the success of an initial beta version of the service, WhatsApp launched the WhatsApp Payments feature in India for Android during early February of 2018. This feature is very similar to other digital payments services like PayTM as it operates through the United Payments Interface (UPI) and supports most of the major banks used in India. Once you have verified your bank account details, you can directly transfer money from your account to other users through WhatsApp.
WhatsApp Payments and WhatsApp for Business in India are two new features which can work together in synergy. It can enable small business to reach out to their customers who can then pay for their products or services directly through WhatsApp. Since the upper limit for the amount of money which can be transferred through WhatsApp Payments is set at Rs. 5,000, it makes its features best suited for SMEs. For example, using WhatsApp for Business and WhatsApp Payments, users can easily order and pay for their weekly groceries from the local convenience store. This can go a long way in helping small business improve their sales.