How Powerful Is WhatsApp As a Business Startup tool? WhatsApp has become arguably the fastest growing messaging and communicating tool globally thanks to its simplicity. More and more businesses are drifting towards using it as a number one option for communication.
WhatsApp is slowly replacing emails when it comes to business communication, either between organization team members, customers reaching out to businesses as well as businesses reaching out to their customers.
Approximately 1 billion people use WhatsApp globally. Meaning, 1 out of 7 people is an active WhatsApp user today. For any business, you want to be as close to your customers as possible. Possibly closer than you think you need to.
Statistics show that businesses that send a follow up on WhatsApp have a 40% higher chance of getting a response from their consumers compared to those using an email or direct phone calls.
Well, as a user of both WhatsApp and Email, I open WhatsApp naturally more than I do with my Email. There has to be a notification for me to open my Email, for WhatsApp, I do not need to turn on my notification!
The US having the most competitive mobile market is probably the reason why WhatsApp is taking some time before catching up in its home region. However, WhatsApp has filled a niche that mobile service providers in the US were overlooking.
A cheaper alternative for global communication. Isn’t that what mobile messaging does? Well yes. Is mobile messaging cheap, though? How competitive are we talking? Free, provided you have an active internet connection.
How to Use WhatsApp
WhatsApp is a free online app that can be downloaded from the google play store. For you to use WhatsApp, you need to register your phone number with the App.
After downloading the App, you put in your phone number, and verification is required. A verification code is sent to your phone that you either key into the slot that will pop up on your screen, or it auto verifies. After verifying your number, you are all set to go. Set up your profile as you please.
You can comfortably separate your business and personal life with the availability of WhatsApp Business for business, and WhatsApp for regular use if your mobile device supports dual sim carriage.
Please note that you cannot use WhatsApp Business and WhatsApp at the same time using the same number. However, you can use them interchangeably.
1. Business Presence
WhatsApp allows you to create your business presence on the platform. You can add any information that you feel is relevant to contributing an online presence for your business.
You can add the business location, physical address, the official email address, a link to the organization’s website, payment links, as well as a Facebook page.
Whatsapp, as a messaging tool, was created with the small business owner in mind. At this point in your startup, you want to build familiarity either between your staff and your clients.
WhatsApp has several automated features that you can use when you’re either away or busy. They can either be the greeting message, the away message, or the quick replies.
The greeting message is a short, warm message that you can use to welcome your customers. For example, “Hi! Welcome to Lilies’ scented candles” or any other welcoming message that you would like to use.
The away message is a message that is automatically sent when you are away. For example, “Hi, I’m not able to attend to your queries right now, I’ll get back ASAP!”.
Online businesses are not encouraged to use the Away message, and they can instead leave it at the greeting message. Because of the time difference, you want to make sure that you attend to the texts within at least 6 hours.
You can save a few quick replies of Frequently Asked Questions and just hit the reply button. This cuts down the typing time as most of the questions are usually similar. For example,
“The currently available scents are vanilla, sandalwood, and cashmere.”
“What type of Scented candles would you like.”
The broadcast feature, just like Email, enables you to send personalized messages to your contact list. You create a broadcast list, for example, buyers based on scent, and send the message to them.
It offers the same service like Mailchimp, but more fun! Emojis, GIFS, videos, and audios are fully supported.
The catalog feature enables you to display your product and services to your potential clients. Just like having an Etsy shop, using your phone number! All you have to do is add the product, put a picture, a short description, price, discount code, if any. You can add some products to your catalog.
5. Product and Service Showcase
The product and service showcase is a feature that allows you to showcase what you have, commonly known as the status. Similar to Instagram, the status bar enables you to upload photos that your contact list can view.
You do not want to go overboard with the statuses as your clients could mute your status. Yes, they do have the option to do that.
In addition to your customers viewing your status, you could also see theirs. This presents an opportunity for you to build a connection with them. It’s never that serious, reply to their status if they upload a picture of their new house, and they might end up buying your latest scented candle.
We all want to know who has read our message. Especially if you are a business! WhatsApp offers just the feature for that. It has
- The sent tick, which is a single grey tick.
- Delivered, which are two grey ticks
- Two blue ticks represent the read.
Other than that, you can see what time texts were sent and delivered.
7. Group Formations
The group feature in WhatsApp enables you to add contacts that you share similar interests with one group. This functionality mainly comes in handy for small businesses with a small team.
Many are times; people need to communicate without necessarily having to send a formal email. How about you send it to the group? Also, this ensures quick replies instead of having to wait for an email for you to get a reply to a simple yes or no question.
WhatsApp is continuously making attractive features and is yet to get better. It is crucial to take advantage of WhatsApp tools to generate lead sales and maintain a great customer relationship.
Already, India has In-app payments for WhatsApp users, meaning that the US is yet to adopt this. As a small business owner, your customer could be on WhatsApp!
As of 2018, the US was considered a relatively small market for WhatsApp, with only 22million users. How about a 300% increase in users within two years? As of 2020, the US has 85 million registered WhatsApp users.
Currently, most of the active users in the US are of ages 26-55, who are between the 16-64 age brackets that hold the highest buying power in the US.
With the number of active WhatsApp users in the US continuously rising, add it as an option for communication especially if you ship your products outside of the US.