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Learn more about WhatsApp Business vs WhatsApp Business API.

More than 5 million businesses use WhatsApp as of today. These businesses use WhatsApp not only for interaction but to provide constant support, run marketing campaigns and provide necessary details to customers.

However, as a business when you start exploring WhatsApp, you’ll come across two terms: WhatsApp Business & WhatsApp Business API.

But what’s the difference between the two?

In this blog, we’re going to not just answer the question, but also help you choose the one that is right for you.

What is WhatsApp Business?

While standard WhatsApp is used for personal purposes, WhatsApp Business was introduced in 2018, intended for small businesses to communicate with their customers one-on-one.

It is a free app that can be used by anyone running a small business. It is a one-stop solution for small business owners who don’t have complex business procedures or send multiple service requests every day.

WhatsApp Business allows small businesses to offer customers a more personalized and easy way to interact with them. Small businesses can use WhatsApp Business to market their services and offers to customers.

WhatsApp Business has the capability to send welcome messages, away messages, label conversations, and much more.

Many companies are enticed to use WhatsApp Business because they can directly engage with customers without sounding spammy and free of charge as long as they have internet connectivity.

What is WhatsApp Business API?

Understanding the term API will make it easier for you to understand the WhatsApp Business API's functionality.

The term "API" stands for "Application Programming Interface." APIs allow you to connect two or more software. API, to be more specific, allows two or more software to communicate with one another.

For example you're looking to book a flight on an airline's website. You can choose your departure city and date, return city and date, travel class, seat number, and other details on the website. To book a flight, you must first check the airline's online database to see if seats are available and how much they cost. What if you chose a platform that has access to information rather than an airline website, such as MakeMyTrip.com or EaseMyTrip.com?

In this case, the travel service interacts with the airline's API. API gathers data from the airline's database to book seats, baggage options, and other services.

In this similar way, WhatsApp Business API is a platform for larger businesses that seamlessly integrates with other channels and data.

Yes, large businesses can also use WhatsApp Business, but the problem is that they won't reach a large number of customers across the globe, at once.

As a result, they require an immediate solution, which WhatsApp Business API provides with features such as the WhatsApp chatbot that can automate your most frequently asked queries and answer your customers’ questions. With WhatsApp Business API, you can also send promotional broadcast messages to your subscribed customer base.

Difference between WhatsApp Business and WhatsApp Business API

Apart from the difference of API, both the platforms were meant for different use cases and are suitable according to business requirements. Let's take a closer look at the differences between the two platforms.

1. Business size

WhatsApp Business and WhatsApp Business API were tailored according to the organization's size. WhatsApp Business is mostly used by small businesses with a decent customer base, while WhatsApp Business API caters to big businesses with a large customer base.

2. Number of allowed users

WhatsApp Business app can be used on one device for one user. It is also limited in terms of automation. A lot of things have to be done manually.

WhatsApp Business API allows companies to cater to many customers at a time with quick automation and easy integration with other platforms.

3. Pricing

WhatsApp Business App is free to use, but WhatsApp Business API is charged per message template or session. QuickReply.ai offers you a free demo on how to use WhatsApp Business API. Click here to book a demo today!

4. Access

WhatsApp Business can be easily downloaded from the iOS or Android store. But WhatsApp Business API can only be accessed and set up through a third party. You can set up WhatsApp Business API for your business using QuickReply.ai, an official WhatsApp Business API partner.

5. Automation

With WhatsApp Business, automation is very limited, i.e., welcome and away messages, but with WhatsApp Business API, you can automate almost everything with smart chatbots.

QuickReply.ai has 40+ smart chatbots that allow you to automate communication for different use cases.

6. Flexibility in communication

WhatsApp Business App allows you to exchange text messages, audio clips, multimedia, location, files, and documents with a 100MB limit. Whereas WhatsApp Business

API can send messages through session and template messages. Template messages will be approved by WhatsApp before they can be put to use.

7. WhatsApp Broadcast

WhatsApp Business allows you to broadcast any message to a maximum of 256 contacts, whereas with WhatsApp Business API, you can send unlimited messages to customers at a time via the WhatsApp broadcast feature.

QuickReply.ai, an official WhatsApp API partner, allows you to send personalized 10K messages in a day.

Pros and Cons of using WhatsApp Business

WhatsApp Business might look like a perfect solution for your small-scale business, but it has its own set of challenges. Here are a few benefits and limitations of using

WhatsApp Business:

Pros:

1. Secure platform

The messages shared on WhatsApp Business are end-to-end encrypted making it a safer place for you and customers to engage with each other. All your messages and media, including photos, audio, videos, are safe between you and your users.

2. Free and easy to use

WhatsApp Business is free to download and can be  quickly installed through the Google Play Store and the App Store on iOS.

3. User-friendly Interface

WhatsApp Business has a user-friendly interface, making it engaging and easy for customers to navigate.

4. Basic automation

WhatsApp Business offers you some basic automation required for small businesses to stay on the top.

5. Easy personalization

WhatsApp Business offers small businesses a platform to engage with customers one-on-one. Hence, they can easily personalize messages and make customers feel more valued.

Cons:

1. Limited conversation

Since the platform is free, you’re allowed to have limited conversations which acts as a major hindrance for your growth.

2.No Integration

WhatsApp Business app doesn’t allow you to integrate with third-party platforms like your CRM.

3. Limited access

You can only access WhatsApp Business on one device at a time.This feature limits the customer reach of large companies.

4. Lack of trust

Messages sent using WhatsApp Business are not approved, which means that there is no way for customers to avoid spam messages, resulting in a lack of trust.

5. Limited automation

There’s very little that you can automate with the help of WhatsApp Business. Automation services such as chatbots and template messages are missing on the platform.

Pros and Cons of using WhatsApp API

WhatsApp Business API was introduced to overcome the limitations of WhatsApp Business. There were many things that WhatsApp Business API allows you to do but was absent in WhatsApp Business. Let’s look at some pros and cons of using WhatsApp API:

Pros:

1. Wider reach

WhatsApp Business API allows you to reach a wider audience and communicate with them using smart automation. You can even run WhatsApp Broadcast campaigns to send the same message to many customers at a time.

2. Easy integration

WhatsApp Business API allows seamless integration with third-party platforms.

3. Unlimited access

WhatsApp Business API can support an unlimited number of users and devices.

4. Quick automation

WhatsApp Business API allows you to automate messages for different use cases such as payment confirmation, order status, chat support, etc.

5. Measure and optimize results

The best thing about WhatsApp Business API is that you can easily track and measure the results of your WhatsApp campaigns and optimize them to improve your growth.

6. Trust and credibility

Your number is verified and approved to get started with WhatsApp Business API. You can get the verified green badge on your business profile. This helps you build trust and credibility among customers.

Cons:

1. Stringent policies

To get your number verified on WhatsApp Business API, you must undergo a strict verification process.

2. Third party reliability

WhatsApp does not provide a front-end interface via which you may interact with the API. You'll need to get API access from a third-party source.

What’s right for you - WhatsApp Business or WhatsApp Business API?

Now that you’re familiar with the term WhatsApp Business and WhatsApp Business API. Let’s look at which one is best for your business.

WhatsApp Business is perfect for small businesses who have limited customer base, time spent on conversations is not a critical factor, and have limited bandwidth for investment. But for businesses with a large customer base who find it difficult to engage with customers and are expanding exponentially should opt for WhatsApp Business API.

WhatsApp Business API allows you to automate messages for different use cases saving a lot of time and efforts without missing potential customers. You can set up smart automations for broadcast messages, order status, payment confirmation and collection, recover abandoned carts, and provide instant support. You can even integrate API with other platforms like CRM.

QuickReply.ai, a WhatsApp Business API partner, provides 40+ trained eCommerce bots for all of the following use cases. QuickReply.ai makes it simple to set up a business account and automate your messages.

Schedule a free demo with us to learn more!

Alternatively, you can also install the QuickReply.ai WhatsApp marketing app for your Shopify store here.

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