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WhatsApp is no longer just for messages and calls. This app, which is part of Facebook, has become an engagement and trading tool for entrepreneurs and small business owners. It can provide another channel for brand building, customer interaction and intelligence, and revenue opportunities.
WhatsApp is based on the idea that today's consumers and businesses prefer mobility and enables businesses to enter the mobile environment through different touchpoints.
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Creation of the product catalog
Facebook launched the product catalog for WhatsApp Business users in 2019. You can create an online catalog of your products that customers can search through the app. You will have the option to add key content that will help customers learn more about each product and inform and promote their purchase. This information can include elements such as the product name, product description, a URL link, product SKU, and even an image of each item.
For small businesses that haven't yet developed a real web presence, this can help you get in front of customers with minimal effort. This is especially helpful for businesses that are just starting out and may only be known through a local kiosk, farmers market, or other small offline fan base. Appreciative, loyal customers will find it easier to continue shopping with these brands while promoting them within their social circle, thereby expanding the reach of the brand.
Customers can not only browse and get to know your products, but also immediately click on one or more items, place them in a shopping cart in the app and complete a purchase.
WhatsApp Business added this functionality in 2020 and plans to launch more payment tools in 2021. This would mean that the entire shopping process could be completed in the messaging window of this app.
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Conversations while shopping
WhatsApp is driving the conversational commerce concept forward. In this case, companies use interactive media (like WhatsApp) to communicate with customers throughout the buying process. You can find that your response and engagement rate increases simply by switching from frequently unanswered phone calls to instant messaging, which is often less intrusive to customers.
Not only do you know who is contacting you, but you also have more control over the conversation with your brand. It's also an easier, cheaper way to connect with international customers where phone calls can prove prohibitive or impractical.
Conversational commerce is different from advertising messages. The focus is on dialogue, which will help your company build relationships with customers and thus have a conversation during all parts of the customer buying journey, from need identification to purchase decision (and even buyback).
WhatsApp offers several ways to start these conversations, including messaging templates that will guide you through the most effective dialogue strategies. For example, thoughtful approaches to promoting a conversation include providing space for customers to ask questions about products or services, to provide them with order updates and confirmations about shipping and delivery, and to provide answers to basic business hours and similar questions . You can also use the app to exchange information about upcoming offers or to send personalized messages and offers tied to a customer's birthday or anniversary.
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WhatsApp API for more complex functions
Beyond WhatsApp Business, you can get to know the paid version WhatsApp Business API, which is designed for larger businesses and companies looking for improved messaging sophistication. This version offers a variety of additional functions, including product ordering and order review.
The API includes integration with Facebook advertising tools so that audience members can engage directly with your brand through a paid social media ad. Since it's an API, you can integrate it with other third-party providers to further expand the power of WhatsApp Business. You can tweak your company profile page with additional content like a business description, contact information (address, email address, and website URL), and a cover photo.
In addition, the WhatsApp API provides more robust metrics for your target group in the app. This information, in turn, can help your marketing team develop more impactful news, campaigns, and product ads.
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An internal opportunity
Although WhatsApp Business is primarily an external tool for leads and existing customers, the app also offers internal applications to make things easier for your team members. It's a simple tool that your employees may already be using outside of work. This makes deployment even easier without affecting the use of any other tool.
Consider using WhatsApp in your company by developing specific groups, e.g. B. a sales group or a marketing group. This allows your teams to exchange information through instant messaging rather than an email chain. Many people prefer this immediate communication channel, so it makes sense to introduce it into the work environment.
New business areas
WhatsApp is a tool that allows your company to open up new territories with a simpler trading infrastructure. This can be an ideal and inexpensive way to expand into new growth areas for your startup or small business. It offers a unique business model that accommodates unprecedented times and physical business constraints.
This can mean using WhatsApp Business as a booking or advice platform for a service-oriented company or for deliveries from a restaurant or retailer without a physical storefront. It can also support internal growth and provide a channel through which your employees and outsourced team members can stay connected.
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