eCommerce has boomed in recent years. With the increasing number of businesses going online, consumers today are no longer attracted to just deals and discounts. They are more interested in the experience that brand has to deliver, and conversations have been found to be a critical part of their expectations.
It was found that about 92% of customers prefer to chat with businesses over a messaging app, over other forms of communication like email, phone, and social media. This is where WhatsApp emerges as an important platform.
With the access to WhatsApp Business API, WhatsApp has become the go-to channel for businesses to communicate and market themselves on a channel of preference. But more importantly, it has opened even more opportunities to help these businesses sell more.
Here’s everything you need to know about WhatsApp commerce.
What is WhatsApp commerce?
WhatsApp commerce is a model where companies may sell items and services to customers while communicating with them through WhatsApp. Companies can use the feature to automate their order-taking process, saving time and money by streamlining the number of steps involved in typically making a purchase.
Businesses may use WhatsApp commerce to offer a unique and personalized buying experience that leads to repeat business.
The important thing to remember is that WhatsApp commerce and WhatsApp marketing are two separate features. The former enables companies to speed up their sales process, while the latter helps in marketing their goods and services.
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How can you use WhatsApp commerce?
There's a lot you can do with WhatsApp commerce as a business. Here are a few ways of how you can use WhatsApp commerce to improve your business:
1. View Products
WhatsApp commerce allows you to display a list of products or a single product. When a consumer clicks on a specific item, product information can be presented in a PDP (Product Detail Page) format. The PDP now only allows you to upload product photos; you cannot share GIFs or videos.
2. Add products to cart
When a consumer adds an item to his shopping cart, WhatsApp commerce retrieves the most up-to-date product information. If there are any changes, the customer is notified immediately. Let's say a product's condition changes; WhatsApp commerce will inform the customer that one or more items in their cart have been modified. For further details, they can check product updates.
3. Send a shopping cart to a business
Customers can then send their cart to the business they're messaging with once they've added all of the necessary products. Businesses can then take it a step further and collect delivery information or payment information from them.
4. List messages and Quick Reply Buttons
To make the customer experience more appealing, you can use WhatsApp commerce to display list messages in a menu-style layout with up to 10 options for consumers to choose from. People will be able to choose from a list of options more easily as a result of this.
Instead of typing complete answers from a list of options, customers can now select an option from a list of Quick Reply Buttons. This function helps in the automation and expediting customer interactions.
Why is WhatsApp the future of commerce?
WhatsApp commerce works as an engine for small and large companies. It allows them to sell and transact with customers, emerging as a channel to buy and sell digitally. Here are a few reasons that support the fact that WhatsApp is the future of commerce:
1. Large customer base
With over 2 billion users, WhatsApp has become the world's most popular messaging platform. These numbers are increasing every day. This platform is used by most of your target demographic, making it a popular choice for marketing and sales. Your marketing efforts will pay off if you market your product or services on a platform where your target audience spends the most time.
2. Most active user base
Customers spend nearly 2-3 hours every day on WhatsApp for personal and professional conversations. The average user checks the app 25-27 times each day, which is significantly higher than the number of times they visit the online store. WhatsApp also has a striking 99 percent open rate which is higher than any other marketing channel. You boost the chances of conversion by reaching out to your clients where they are most engaged.
3. Interactive and Intuitive
WhatsApp enables you to provide your customers with a more personalized and engaging experience. Rich media such as graphics, GIFs, and videos can also support your messages and improve the consumer experience. You can also use WhatsApp to automate chats for various use cases and include CTAs in your messages. These features allow you to replicate the experience of shopping in an online store and speed up the conversion process.
The messages are generated automatically so that it can be tailored to the customer or situation. You can display a Multi-Product Message showing a customer's most commonly ordered items.
5. Shopping cart experience
Customers can submit their shopping cart to a business after viewing products and adding them to their cart. Customers and businesses can only have one cart per chat thread, which does not persist across devices. Once a cart has been sent, the customer can open a new cart and repeat the procedure with the company. The cart remains in the chat thread until it is sent to the business. The cart is cleared once it has been sent.
Customers can add up to 99 units of any catalog item to their shopping cart, but there is no restriction to the number of different goods they can add.
There are no changes that can be made to a cart once it has been sent. Customers who require additional items or wish to change their order can send a new cart. Carts cannot be sent to customers by businesses.
6. Simple and effective
WhatsApp commerce offers you features like NLP (Natural Language Processing), text search, or List Messages and Reply Buttons to help customers quickly find what they are looking for.
7. No Templates
Templates or pre-approvals are not required for interactive messaging in WhatsApp commerce. Messages are generated in real-time, so they'll always show the most up-to-date item information, pricing, and stock levels from your inventory.
8. Business Outcomes
During testing, businesses earned an average of 7% conversion of Multi-Product Messages delivered to carts received, making it an effective channel for driving orders.
How to get started with WhatsApp commerce?
If your business already uses the WhatsApp Business API, you may use the WhatsApp commerce feature to showcase and share your products and services with customers. This allows them to browse and add items to their cart without leaving the chat. Here's how to get started with WhatsApp for business:
1. Upload Inventory to Facebook
First, you must upload the inventory of your business to Facebook, which you may do using the API or Facebook's Commerce Manager.
2. Link Your Catalog to a WhatsApp Business Account
You can link a catalog to your WhatsApp business account if you're doing business on the platform. You can send Single Product Messages and Multi-Product Messages to your consumers on WhatsApp after connecting a catalog.
3. Send Products to Customers
Single Product Messages allow you to share a single product item from a business' inventory. The product is displayed in Product Detail Page (PDP) format. But with Multi-Product Messages, you can share up to 30 items from a business' inventory.
4. Receive Consumer Responses
Customers can ask for more information about a particular product whenever they receive a Multi or Single Product Message. Checking the webhooks notifications received for a certain message is the best way to follow a customer's response to a message. After sending a message, you'll receive a message status notification webhook with the message's status.
The WhatsApp API offers you advanced chatbots and opt-ins to engage with customers. You can even add CTA to your messages to drive acquisition. If you're still not sure about a WhatsApp API partner, book a free demo with QuickReply.ai.
Having a WhatsApp API partner like QuickReply.ai helps you expedite getting started with WhatsApp commerce.
WhatsApp commerce policy
It's important to learn the latest policies before starting WhatsApp commerce. Even though WhatsApp commerce allows you to sell your goods and services, some items are prohibited.
Below listed are the latest updates for WhatsApp commerce policies.
- All your messages and media relating to your goods or services, including any descriptions, prices, fees, taxes, and/or any required legal disclosures, constitutes transactions when you offer goods or services for sale.
- You are solely responsible for your transactions and supplying any applicable sales terms, privacy terms, or other terms to your interactions with users.
- Any sales linked to your transactions are not processed, paid for, or fulfilled by WhatsApp.
- All applicable taxes, tariffs, fees, and other charges for sales about your transactions are exclusively your responsibility to determine, collect, withhold, report, and remit.
In the expanding eCommerce business, WhatsApp commerce will be a game-changer.
Customers can now find needed items and services in one place rather than sifting through different apps and websites. During the COVID, WhatsApp usage surged by 40%, and clients are now using WhatsApp commerce for "Order and PickUp." WhatsApp commerce is a full-fledged platform for businesses to communicate with clients and make sales.
You're missing out on a lot if you're not using WhatsApp commerce. Now is the time to look into WhatsApp commerce if you already have a WhatsApp Business API.
Ready to turn your WhatsApp marketing strategy into a full-fledged commerce experience? Reach out to us today.