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When it comes to using WhatsApp for Business, businesses are now leaving no stone unturned to leverage the platform’s capabilities to reach out to customers, and engage them. From what started as merely using WhatsApp broadcasts for promotions, now businesses are focusing on a comprehensive WhatsApp marketing strategy for every stage for the buyer lifecycle.

As if Meta has been watching the response to these campaigns from customers, the recent addition of interactive messages in the mix is a big win-win for both businesses and consumers. Let’s take a look at what they’re all about!

What are interactive messages?

Interactive messages are a form of messages that a business can send on the messaging platform, using the WhatsApp Business API. These messages are designed to give recipients a simpler way to find and select what they want from your business, or the information they are seeking from you through WhatsApp.

What are the different types of interactive messages on WhatsApp?

There are four types of interactive messages launched by WhatsApp, that can be implemented using a WhatsApp Business API solution provider:

1. List messages - This type of message includes a menu of maximum 10 options/ items. List messages on WhatsApp offer a more simpler and consistent way for customers to make a selection when engaging with a business.

2. Reply buttons - These messages include up to 3 options, wherein each is a button. This type of message offers a quicker way for the recipient to make select an item from the menu. They have the same visual and user experience as interactive templates with buttons.

3. Single product messages - This interactive message is one that is sent with a single product/ item from a business’s inventory. You can learn more about sharing products with customers here.

4. Multi-product messages - These interactive messages contain a selection of up to 30 items from the business’s inventory. You can learn more about sharing products with customers here.

How to use interactive messages for ecommerce customer experience?

WhatsApp is giving more control to businesses over how to use interactive messages in their WhatsApp marketing campaigns. This means they can combine different types of interactive messages to create a shopping flow for the recipient that feels much more intuitive and hence, more likely to convert.

Here’s an example of how list messages and reply buttons can be combined in the same flow for a WhatsApp marketing campaign:

Let’s take a look at some more examples of how you can leverage interactive messages:

1. Offering customer support

You can use list messages to offer a guided path when a consumer is seeking customer service/ support. You can use the message to list down the FAQ menu that a recipient can choose from, followed up with a reply buttons message that gives them the option to email, call or request a call from the business.

This way businesses can add a first touch of DIY support before a consumer reaches out to them for common queries and concerns, only focusing resources on those that require manual, human intervention.

2. Promoting in-store walk-ins

If you’re a businesses with online and offline presence, you can use a combination of messages to promote both. For example, when someone reaches out to you, requesting your in-store locations, you can use list messages to share a selection of nearby stores and locations.

You can then follow up with reply buttons message to let them book an appointment for in-store trials, buy from your website instead or continue shopping on WhatsApp itself. You can then further create a flow of messages that seek what they’re looking for, and use single product or multi-product messages to share recommendations on the messaging app.

3. Get reorders from customers

Another smart and intuitive way to simplify shopping for your customers is to make it simpler for them to reorder items from a recent purchase. With the help of list messages, you can display upto 10 recent orders the customer has placed on the store, letting them select what they’d like to buy again.

You can then follow this up with a combination of single product or multi-product images to confirm the items in the order, and reply buttons to ask how they’d like to pay for the same to create a checkout cart for them.

4. Changing order details

Many a times a consumer may want to reach out to a business requesting order delivery address change. With the help of interactive messages, you can cut out the back and forth of emails to do this simple task.

You can use reply buttons message to show them a limited set of options for changing their personal details. For example, you can display 3 options - email address, shipping address, phone number; this helps you collect the data in a more streamlined manner as well - that can then be transferred to the backend of your Shopify store to update the set.

A good WhatsApp Business API app will have a deep integration with your storefront CMS to ensure no data is lost in transition.

Also read: How to use WhatsApp to reduce NDRs and RTOs.

5. Make product return/ exchange/ refund simpler

Almost 65% of consumers are hesitant in making an online purchase simply because they aren’t sure of the ease of returning, exchanging or requesting a refund from the business. Give them an even simpler experience by bringing the process to WhatsApp.

You can use the reply buttons message to offer quick selections and responses for the same - return, exchange and refund, followed up other types of interactive messages based on the consumer’s response.

For example if they choose exchange, you can use a list message to display all the sizes/ variants of the product available.

Best practices for using interactive messages on WhatsApp

There are a number of ways in which we’re seeing businesses leverage the WhatsApp Business API with QuickReply.ai.

But here are some of the best practices we do recommend following for interactive messages, at all times:

1. Adhere to the character limits and structure provided

Remember, WhatsApp messages appear on mobile screen devices. Unlike desktops, these screens are smaller and hence Meta has shared some limits on the different elements of an interactive message.

Here’s how you should be structuring your list messages:

And here’s how you should be structuring your reply buttons messages:

You can learn more about these character limits here.

2. Keep your messages crystal clear

If you want to make the most of interactive messages like list messages and reply buttons, you need to remove redundancy from the items you list in the menu. Each item you give as an option should be distinctly different from the other to avoid confusion.

For example, if you’re using list messages to share your policies, make sure you only share those that are in relation to the consumer’s experience with your business. And not those that are related to the business front.

3. Keep your message flow optimized

Yes, you can combine any number of interactive messages using a WhatsApp Business API solution provider like QuickReply.ai. But having built over 40+ ecommerce workflows, we have found that the best-performing ones are those that don’t prolong a conversation or a buying cycle.

So make sure that when you strategize your WhatsApp marketing campaign, you’re focused on making it easy for the consumer to reach the end goal faster.

4. Don’t forget the very basics of WhatsApp marketing

Being able to create menu lists or add buttons, should not take you away from the very basics of WhatsApp marketing. Remember to format your messages well, add emojis to the message and use visuals to capture attention, even in your interactive messages.

Here are some resources on the same:

- Best practices for setting up a WhatsApp business profile
- How to format your WhatsApp messages for marketing
- Why and how to use emojis in WhatsApp marketing
- WhatsApp preview text templates

5. Keep track of your performance

No matter what you’re using interactive messages for, make sure you’re keeping a close watch on the numbers. Some metrics that you should be following include the duration of conversation, drop-off point, engagement rate, traffic to website, conversion rate on website and conversion rate in-app.

With a WhatsApp Business API solution provider like QuickReply.ai, you can monitor all these metrics from one dashboard. Get the Shopify app here to get started.

Ready to use interactive messages for ecommerce WhatsApp marketing?

Interactive messages are adding another layer of intuitiveness and engagement possibilities to WhatsApp marketing campaigns, and we’re all for it!

But to be able to use them, your business needs to set up a WhatsApp Business account and leverage the WhatsApp Business API. This is where choosing a solution provider like QuickReply.ai can simplify the process of getting started.

If you’re on Shopify, you can install the WhatsApp marketing from here.

If you have an online store on another platform and would like to explore WhatsApp marketing, you can reach out to us here.

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