WhatsApp for business origins
Before we discuss WhatsApp for business, we need to understand how WhatsApp has served the consumer. The year is 2013. WhatsApp, one of the newest kids on the Over the Top (OTT) messaging platform scenes, has recorded just over $20 million in revenue. Few betting folks would have put money on the fact that it would be purchased under twelve months later by Facebook. And even fewer would have put that price tag on $19 billion, making it the biggest internet deal since the Time Warner/AOL merger of 2001.
Zuckerberg, of course, saw the writing on the wall. Facebook made their purchase at a time where they had realised their goals of becoming mobile-first. They were acting on newly released confidential data from Onavo. It showed WhatsApp outpacing their own mobile app Messenger by 4.7 billion messages daily. Today, as the most popular chat app in the world, WhatsApp has no doubt already proved its value. But with over 1 billion more users and counting flocking to the app in five short years, just as Facebook could not afford to ignore WhatsApp in 2014, today, any modern business would be amiss to now.
But how do you leverage this broad and fast-growing global app as a business? Can it be used to easily communicate at scale? Certainly.
How to use WhatsApp as a business
Using WhatsApp as a business offers the customer an unparalleled brand experience. Your business will be regarded an innovator for a start. You’ll increase brand awareness, lifetime values of customers, and also retention and referral rates. Appearing in the end-customers WhatsApp inbox (instead of bloated channels such as email which have connotations of spam) will break down barriers of formality between brand and consumer. This will make the customer more susceptible to buying. Just imagine viewing your favourite brands right alongside your friends and family in their app.
What’s more, WhatsApp offers an avenue into countries that are notoriously difficult to reach via SMS. This can be where network complexities can make sending either expensive, extremely restricted, or impossible. The large character limit of each message too puts WhatsApp out on top. Languages that rely on non-GSM characters (where Unicode such as Chinese hanzi can push SMS 160 character limit into scores of segments without much content). It also favours use cases where long messages are required. Particularly in technical spheres that rely on messaging such as engineering.
Enable 2-way messaging for your business
2-way messaging also offers cost-saving solutions for businesses, by either intervening matters before they become a cost to the brand or consumer, such as rectifying an address or name on a booking and relieving strain on costly call centres for items such as returns, updates to accounts, complaints or other customer service issue. These cost-savings can even be further amplified. Revenue can be generated via upselling or cross-selling once customers are engaged in conservations with agents.
Most importantly, with each channel in your omnichannel arsenal offering a door for customers to walk through into your virtual store, WhatsApp is one of the most enticing for consumers on the planet today.
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