WhatsApp is currently the most popular chatting or instant messaging app in the world. The application has over 2 billion active users.
According to a report, an average person spends at most 3 hours checking the WhatsApp app. Due to this app’s heavy usage, observant small business owners use it to run their business online. But the usual WhatsApp lacked business features and wasn’t easy to use for business owners.
The developers noticed this, and on the 23rd of January, 2018, Facebook launched the WhatsApp Business app.
What is WhatsApp Business?
WhatsApp Business is an android app with unique features to help small, medium, and even large business owners connect to their customers. With a WhatsApp business account, you can create an online presence for your business. You can add information like business address, logo, catalog, and many more. Furthermore, you can measure your message analytics and even send automated messages to your customers.
Think about WhatsApp business as ‘normal WhatsApp’ but for business owners. It’s as simple as that.
WhatsApp Business makes it easy for you to connect with your customers and build trust. Why? Because WhatsApp already provides the tools and features to help you achieve this easily.
How does WhatsApp Business works?
If you are new to the WhatsApp Business app, this section will guide you through how it works and how you can set It up for your business through the following steps.
Android users: Go to your Play store or your App store (for iPhone users).
Search for WhatsApp Business.
Download it for free.
After installation, link it to your business mobile number. WhatsApp will send a pin to your number for verification. Verify your phone number and add your country.
You will be asked to enter your business name. Make sure you fill in this space correctly. After doing this, follow the other instructions carefully and fill up the required information. Then you are ready to get started.
Note: Don’t forget to grant WhatsApp permission to your contacts, location, camera, and sound. This is also essential. After doing this, you can then post product pictures on your status, send messages to your customers, and receive message notifications from them.
Features of WhatsApp Business
The business profile is the section that contains all the important and necessary details of your business. This is where your customers will get to know what your business is all about. Enter details like your business name and logo, phone number, business description, business hours, address/location, email address, website, or social media links correctly in your business profile.
This feature allows you to know and measure the number of messages that have been sent, delivered, read, and received by your customers. Through this, you can know how well your customers respond to your posts and how well you communicate with them.
The catalog is displayed on the business profile. With the catalog feature, business owners can easily display and share their products with customers. You can give every product or service in the catalog a unique title along with optional fields, including price, product description, website link, and product code.
This is a feature that helps business owners to save time. It consists of a quick replies section that provides answers to;
- Frequently asked questions
- Greeting messages that introduce customers to your business
- Away messages that let customers know when you are away
- Labels which help you to organize and find your chats and messages easily.
The good part about this tool is that you can create the messages yourself. This helps you to communicate with customers in the language they understand. In other words, in your brand tone.
With this feature in the WhatsApp business app, Business owners who have a Facebook account or page can link it with their WhatsApp business account.
After creating your WhatsApp business account, WhatsApp will automatically generate a short link for you on the app. You can add use this link to your adverts. Prospects can click on it and easily start a chat with you instead of telling them to message your number directly.
How to use WhatsApp business for your eCommerce store
Business owners now make use of WhatsApp to sell their products online, but most of them are not maximizing it to its fullest.
First, what is an E-commerce store?
An eCommerce store is simply a store where you can sell your products online. Most E-commerce stores are basically built on big websites.
Examples of E-commerce stores are Amazon.com, eBay, Walmart, Etsy, etc. Most of these websites require funds, time, and some can be difficult to create while making them user-friendly. And this is super easy on WhatsApp Busines.
Here is how to use WhatsApp for your eCommerce store
Create a catalog
Create an engaging catalog on your WhatsApp business. Attach beautiful and clear images of your products along with the product description. Fill the price tag too for easy comprehension.
Attract customers by running adverts
To run a successful business on WhatsApp, you need to grow your contact list. The more contacts you have, the more customers you are to convert. You can consider using paid advertising to drive traffic to your WhatsApp eCommerce store. You can use famous WhatsApp influencers in your niche. Of consider running Facebook advertisement. You can also share your store link with friends, family members, groups, and forums.
Besides WhatsApp influencers, you can also consider social media influencer in general by paying them to talk about your business or running giveaway or referral contests.
The best way to drive traffic and make people click your link is by offering them an HVCO. HVCO stands for a High-Value Content Offer. It is a form of valuable content that you provide to give potential customers freely in exchange for their contact. It could be a free guide, a free class, a free report that can actually solve their problem.
Automate your replies
When you begin to get contacts, don’t forget to automate your greeting /away messages and quick responses so that even when you are offline, you can still communicate with your customers and make them feel at home.
Use your Status
Use your WhatsApp status feature to talk about your products. Please creatively do this as people tend to get bored very fast. Share valuable contents that will educate, entertain, inform them about what you sell, and consistently show up.
Follow up message
Follow up customers who have shown interest in buying your products: You can use the Label feature or broadcast messages to organize your chats to differentiate the different types of customers you have. Doing this will help you follow them up with the right messages.
Inform your customers about new products by sending a broadcast message to them. Sending a broadcast message makes it easy for you to pass a message easily and at once to a large number of people.
Before doing this, ask your customers for permission to be added to a broadcast group and don’t spam them.
Create an opt-in form
For example, Google form to receive your orders from customers and always update your customers once the delivery is sent.
Talk with your customers and be friends with them. Use features like the voice note, customized stickers, and emojis to show that you are human and that they can trust you. People only buy from businesses they trust.
Advantages of WhatsApp Business as an eCommerce Store
The following are the advantages of using WhatsApp business as an eCommerce store.
It is cost-effective
Using WhatsApp business does not require any monthly subscription or yearly plan. You don’t need to hire any professional to create or manage your WhatsApp store. It is very straightforward, and anyone can use it.
Communication is part of business, and using WhatsApp for your eCommerce store will help you achieve this easily. WhatsApp business enhances effective communication between you and your customers. It enables you to keep in touch with customers easily. You can get quick customer feedback, testimonials, and know the pain points of customers. You can also classify your customer with the Label feature.
Easy to use
There is no online business platform that is as easy to use as WhatsApp Business. It is easy to use and widely accepted. The rate at which people open their WhatsApp daily is surprising. Because of this, you can develop ways to maximize your WhatsApp business so that your customers can speedily respond to your messages.
Broadcast your messages
Just like conventional online stores where you can blast your customers with different emails, you can do something very similar and even more effective with WhatsApp business. You can use WhatsApp to send broadcast messages to customers. When it comes to giving valuable tips, special offers or giveaways and product news, the WhatsApp broadcast message feature help you send messages to your customers with ease.
Publication of Catalog
As discussed earlier, the catalog is a section in your business profile where you can load your products and related in0fo, such as prices, images, brief descriptions, and a link to the product card on your website.
Now that you know the importance of taking your online store to WhatsApp and how your competitors use it to boost their daily sales. The advantages of using the WhatsApp Business app for your e-commerce store, WhatsApp business’s features, how they can be used to build your online store, and how to run your e-commerce store WhatsApp Business. Take the bold step as small or medium business owners by downloading the app and using it to your greatest benefit to drive more sales and profit for your business.
- Oyeniyi Seun is a Civil Engineering student who developed interests in the world of digital marketing. He is currently a Social Media Manager at Onibata Mall. He enjoys learning new ideas every day and playing the guitar.