You may not always realize it, but there’s a salesperson ready to talk you into buying something as soon as you walk into their store.
Talented salespeople know that simple conversations can lead to a customer purchasing something they initially never wanted. Human-to-human marketing carries a lot of weight, especially in a day and age when most people want to shop with real humans, not brands.
And yet, the majority of eCommerce brands have typically put their products in front of customers using one-way marketing. From email blasts and paid promotions to social media and search, one-way marketing has long played a big part in driving sales and broadcasting deals and discounts in eCommerce.
In 2022, though, brands in the eCommerce space acknowledge that channels such as WhatsApp offer great opportunities to take conversational commerce more seriously. To that end, let’s dive into the benefits of marketing on WhatsApp and how WhatsApp business helps small business owners boost their marketing and sales.
Why marketing on WhatsApp is good for business growth
Even if you’ve been operating in the eCommerce space for a while, you may not know that WhatsApp is a viable channel through which to engage people.
The WhatsApp chat app offers eCommerce brands the perfect platform to engage in messenger marketing with their customers. WhatsApp provides all the benefits that come with text or SMS marketing and then some: brands can use WhatsApp to connect with people by sending files, images, and emojis. It even offers an automated chatbot software with which customers can interact.
If you’re asking yourself, “why use WhatsApp and not some other chat app?” then consider the following: WhatsApp has an international user base of more than 2 billion strong; India, whose WhatsApp user base is the largest across the globe, has more than 390 million active users per month; and the average WhatsApp user opens the app as often as 25 times a day.
Intrigued with WhatsApp marketing and want to use it to better engage your customers? You’ll first need an account with WhatsApp Business.
Defining WhatsApp Business
WhatsApp Business is an app that lets business owners automate, organize, and reply to their WhatsApp messages. After you download WhatsApp Business (which is completely free), you can set up a business profile, online catalogs of your products, and labels with which you can sort and locate messages received.
To make things as easy as possible for business owners, WhatsApp Business uses the same interface that WhatsApp chat uses — you’ll just need to verify your business phone number, provide a name for your business, and create a profile to start using it.
Having an account with WhatsApp Business is a particularly good idea for new brands that want to establish regular communication with their customers. An eCommerce-based jewelry store, for example, can expect to have lots of back-and-forth conversations with customers and can benefit hugely from WhatsApp’s automated messaging features. Even if you just want to nurture more one-on-one customer interactions, WhatsApp Business can speed up the rate at which you connect with people.
Now that you know more about the benefits of WhatsApp marketing and what WhatsApp Business is, let’s quickly cover some of the most important use cases of WhatsApp Business that eCommerce brands should take note of.
WhatsApp Business use cases
WhatsApp Business has plenty of features that help businesses boost their marketing and sales. Here are some of the biggest WhatsApp Business use cases:
Better promotional broadcasting
Part of engaging your customers is keeping them up to date on things they care about. There are few things customers love more than promotions for sales and discounts, and WhatsApp business knows it.
With the WhatsApp Business ‘broadcast’ feature, you can update customers about your next big promotion and automate your broadcasts at intervals of your choice. Announcing something as simple as a price increase or new product launch and automating your broadcast campaign around it keeps people engaged over the long term. Broadcasting your promotions through WhatsApp also guarantees a near-complete open rate on your campaign — WhatsApp maintains a 99% open rate for campaigns that it’s helped run.
More involved customer support
In all cases but particularly in conversational commerce, it’s important that brands offer their support throughout a customer’s entire purchasing journey.
WhatsApp’s interface is simple to navigate and intentionally conversational; businesses can easily involve themselves at any stage of the purchase process if a customer has questions or just wants to learn more about a product.
WhatsApp’s interface not only lets businesses get involved in a purchase before it happens but after a transaction is complete, too. This is one of the main reasons why businesses sending messages through WhatsApp business should also use client management software that generates client data to drive business growth. A combination of client management software and WhatsApp Business marketing lets businesses get creative when it comes to building customer trust and staying in touch.
Automated lead generation
Remember the automated chatbot we mentioned WhatsApp uses earlier? This click-to-chat feature gives your customers an incentive to communicate in a one-on-one capacity with your business.
WhatsApp Business’ click-to-chat feature isn’t dissimilar to live chat features and lets you automate each visitor interaction. With WhatsApp Business, you can organize data you gather from leads and use it to drive personalized campaigns down the road.
The more automated your lead generation process becomes, the more time you can spend on developing marketing campaigns and brainstorming ways to promote them on WhatsApp Business.
Although it may not first come to mind when you think of communication channels for marketing, WhatsApp offers plenty of features that benefit eCommerce-based brands.
Businesses in the eCommerce sphere that are interested in deepening their conversational commerce efforts should take WhatsApp Business seriously as a medium through which they can loop customer conversations back into their purchase process.