I want to present the option of doing business via your smartphone, in the form of the app, ‘WhatsApp for Business’.
Having been bought by Facebook since 2014, WhatsApp and WhatsApp for Business now have the development backing to continue building itself out into a robust platform for entrepreneurs and businesses.
‘WhatsApp for Business’, which is different to ‘WhatsApp’ (two separate apps) allows you to build a catalogue or store with your products and services.
In India and Brazil, you can even receive payments directly within WhatsApp. Though this feature is not yet available for other countries, I am sure that these changes are imminent.
So, why should you consider having a store on ’WhatsApp for Business’?
WhatsApp provides great functionality in the app itself, and additionally it has an API that is open for developers to continue building upon. An API is basically, in its simplest form, a bit of pre-built functionality that you can take and use as a block, inserting it into your own website, website application or mobile application. Just last week, I quoted a new client for building a website for them that would connect their online catalogue with WhatsApp ordering, so that when their customers add to their carts on the website, and checkout, a message comes directly to their phone, in WhatsApp, containing the order and the customers details. This is a very good usage example for the ‘WhatsApp for Business’ API.
Giving your customers ease of accessibility
According to WhatsApp’s internal data, “175M people message a business account everyday”.
Additionally, “85% of consumers agree that interacting with a business via messaging apps build relationships with a business*”.
Messaging allows your business to build deeper relationships with your customers, because you are literally, in their hands. You don’t have to be on the other end of the line 24/7. There are bots** that can help you, but basically, you allow your customers to build a rapport with you by being closer to them and the ways that they interact normally.
This is not to say that we abandon the idea of having a website altogether. I advise as many of my clients that will listen that they should be aiming at setting up their own web presence, no matter how small it starts. Of all the many benefits, what it immediately does is set up your business domain name to grow in historical proof over time. Domain names work just like reputations, the longer we have them, the more they are worth.
‘WhatsApp for Business’ has a host of great tools for entrepreneurs, and having a store is just one of them. It is easy to set up, and puts your products and services in front of your customers.
*State of Connective Media: Business Messaging by Ipsos. (Facebook-Commissioned online study of 25,000 people ages 18-64; monthly users of at least one messaging app in AU, BR, CA, DE, FR, IN, JP, KR, UK and US), Oct-Nov 2020.”
**In my last newsletter series on e-commerce in the Caribbean and in these Covidious times next week, I will discuss some of the technologies exploding around doing business in different ways than we are accustomed to doing it.