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Jan Kuom, the co-founder of WhatsApp, once said — “WhatsApp is like oxygen in some countries.”

Well, take India, for example. It has more WhatsApp users than any other country. As of 2021, the total number of WhatsApp users in India was 487.5 million. There are more monthly users of WhatsApp in India than the combined count of Facebook and Instagram. Crazy, right?

More and more people are starting to use this communication channel because of its seamless connectivity. With 2 billion MAU, it has become the world’s most popular channel for communication, followed by WeChat with 1.2 billion monthly users.

It is one of the best messenger apps for regular communication. And isn’t this exactly what eCommerce businesses want to establish with their customer base, regular communication? They surely do. And there’s no better channel for this because the average open rate of WhatsApp messages is 98% — Brobdingnagian.

But think about it practically. Is it possible for an eCommerce business to manage all the WhatsApp chats manually as they scale up? Certainly not. The only way to manage the conversations of a scaling business is via WhatsApp automation. And that’s where a chatbot comes in.

In this blog, we’re going to discuss all about WhatsApp chatbots and automation. Let’s jump right into it.

What Are WhatsApp Chatbots?

A WhatsApp chatbot is based on artificial intelligence or a predefined set of rules to simulate human conversations on WhatsApp. Some of the chatbots even use NLP (Natural Language Processing) engines for intelligent engagement.

You can integrate these chatbots on your WhatsApp business account to answer customer queries related to your business, products, services, etc. The best thing about these chatbots is that they don’t need any human intervention.

An eCommerce venture, JioMart, by India’s highest valued firm (Reliance), uses a WhatsApp virtual assistant chatbot to provide better customer support. This chatbot has now become a go-to channel for JioMart customers to get answers to all their queries. Through this chatbot, customers can check their order status, information about delays, refund status, and much more.

How To Get Started With WhatsApp Chatbots?

If your strategies are clear, you’ll find it quite easy to build a WhatsApp chatbot. Here are four steps that you need to get sorted out before you start developing your chatbot.

Pass the WhatsApp API Limitations

Before you even think about creating a chatbot, you’ll have to request the WhatsApp Business API. Now, WhatsApp is quite merciless when it comes to passing a business to be eligible for getting an API. Here are four important factors that WhatsApp takes into account for consideration:

Business Size

Getting API access is far more challenging for small businesses as compared to medium and large-sized businesses. It’s not impossible, though. The best shot for small businesses is to try getting API access via tools like QuickReply.ai.

Industry

The industry in which you operate matters to WhatsApp.

Some of the industries that can get access easily are:

- Finance
- Education
- Retail
- Telecom
- Real Estate

Industries that find it difficult to get access are:

- Political Organizations
- Government
- Arms and Ammunition
- Alcohol and Tobacco
- Healthcare Supplements
- Gaming and Gambling

Click Here to get access to the complete list.

Chatbot Purpose

The reason why you want to build a WhatsApp chatbot is also one of the most critical limitations. It can certainly not be for marketing or promotional purposes, as WhatsApp has forbidden it. You’re more likely to get access to the API if your motive is to provide better customer support and service.

Compliance With Policies

You must also ensure that your business complies with the WhatsApp Business Solution Policy and WhatsApp Business Solution Terms.

Install WhatsApp Business App

Once you are sure that you’ll pass the limitation test, register yourself in the WhatsApp Business app. Now, there are two types of profiles — a simple business account and an official business account (with a green tick).

When you register using a unique mobile number, you get a simple business account. You can, however, apply for the green tick once you have access to WhatsApp API.

Following are the eligibility criteria for an official business account:

- A real business (individuals are not eligible)
- API approved business account
- Active 2-step authentication
- Facebook Business Manager verification by Facebook
- Better if you’re a notable brand

Requesting Access To WhatsApp API

Requesting access to WhatsApp API is the most significant step. You can request access in two ways — partner up with a business solution provider or create the request by yourself.

When you’re going for the former, partnering with a solution provider, you’ll get more chances to get API access. It also speeds up that approval process as you only have to wait for 1-4 weeks.

Self-request, on the other hand, is when you apply on your own and work directly with WhatsApp. In the application form, you have to fill in information like your personal details, company name, website URL, address, employee count, etc.

You must, however, keep in mind that WhatsApp prefers working with its global business partners. So you might have to wait for up to six months before they consider your request.

To make this step simpler, install an app like QuickReply.ai to get started.

WhatsApp Business Platform Pricing

Now that your WhatsApp business account is sorted and you have access to WhatsApp API, it’s time now to consider the pricing. WhatsApp uses the conversation-based pricing model, which includes every message sent in the 24 hours time window.

The pricing is different for user-initiated and business-initiated conversations. The 24-hour session starts as soon as the first message is delivered, be it from the user’s side or from the business side.

Moreover, businesses and users can exchange as many messages as they need in this 24 hours conversation session without having to pay any extra charge. This also means that if businesses are able to solve the query within 24 hours, they won’t have to pay more for it.

With that said, let’s move to our next section — what are the WhatsApp automations that you must have.

Must-have WhatsApp Automations

The eCommerce business owners have a lot of things to take care of. One of those things is managing the conversations with their customers. With WhatsApp API automation, though, this task becomes quite simple.

Here are some of the WhatsApp automations that you must have for your eCommerce business account.

Welcome to New Subscriber

As soon as a new visitor subscribes to your WhatsApp list, you should have an automated chatbot to greet them. The message should be subtle and must sound friendly. You can even ask them to connect with you on different platforms to stay updated about sales and offers.

Your first text can be something like —

Hey, you!

We are pleased to welcome you to <Your Brand>. Thanks for choosing us.

If you are looking for <Products you sell>, check out our website: <website link>

Also, we share regular sales and discount-related updates on Instagram. Let’s connect there: <Instagram link>

Cheers!

Welcome to New Customer

Whenever a new customer makes a purchase from you, make sure that they receive a thank you message. In the same text, you can ask these customers to share some of their details so that you can deliver a more personalized shopping experience. You can later use this data for your marketing campaigns too.

Here’s a template you can use:

Hey John!

Thank you for purchasing <product name> from us. We’re sure that you’re going to love the product.

Meanwhile, we can make the shopping experience more convenient and suitable for you if you can share your <Details you need to provide a personalized experience — name, age, clothing size, favorite color, etc.>.

Have a good day!😊

Order Status Alerts

On the order checkout page, you can add a checkbox that says — Receive order updates on WhatsApp. Keep it checked by default. And because most of the customers like to stay updated about their orders, most of them will not uncheck the box.

These alerts can go like —

Hey John!

We have successfully received your order. Your order ID is <Insert order ID>.

We’ll send you a link to track your order as soon as it is shipped.

In the meantime, why don’t you have a look at this list <Insert link> of products we created for you. You’ll definitely love these.

Adios! Have a good day.

Learn more about WhatsApp order status alerts here.

Shipping Status Alerts

Customers love to be intimated on when they can expect the order at their doorsteps. You can use WhatsApp business API to automate shipping updates for them.

Here’s what a shipping alert can look like:

Woohooo! Your order is going to reach you very soon.

Hey John,

Your <product name> with order ID <insert order ID> has been shipped. It will reach you in 3 days.

Track the order here: <insert tracking link>

Team <Brand name>

Post-purchase Automation

Once you have successfully delivered the order, it’s time now to ask customers about their experience. And, of course, being a sane person, you are not going to manually type this message every time an order is delivered. You can rather automate a chatbot to do this for you.

Post-purchase WhatsApp text template:

Hey John,

DELIVERED! We hope that you like what you just received.

Please share your feedback about the product quality and your shopping experience with us.

Share your review: <insert link>

Thank you for shopping with us.

Cart Recovery

The average cart abandonment rate is around 70% across all industries, which is quite a big number. And one of the biggest reasons behind this is low customer interaction and a lack of clarity in the purchase/return process.

With the help of an automated chatbot, retailers have easy access to the customers and can reach out anytime. You can automate the follow-up within the first two hours. If they still don’t make the purchase, reach out to them again the next day. Moreover, after the failed first two attempts, you can go with an offer. It will surely boost your cart recovery rate.

Learn more about cart recovery on WhatsApp here.

Customer Support

When you’re running an eCommerce store, you find many customers who come with the same query. This is a tailor-made case for WhatsApp chatbots. You can automate it to provide the solution instantly. If the answer is present in the FAQ section of your website, the chatbot can share a link to that question. However, if the query cannot be solved by the chatbot, you can assign a support executive.

Learn more about using WhatsApp for customer support here.

Do You Need WhatsApp Chatbots?

It's something you can easily decide by yourself. Are you capable of replying to thousands of queries every day? If yes, you don’t need a chatbot. But if you cannot do this (no one can), there’s only one way out — automate the conversations with a chatbot.

Moreover, more than 85% of the customers prefer receiving updates on WhatsApp over calls and emails. And automated chatbots make it effortless for you to communicate with your customers and leads consistently.

Leverage the power of WhatsApp chatbots and automation with QuickReply.ai.

8x Return On WhatsApp Ads Spend.
Book a demo and we will get you started on proven WhatsApp marketing strategies
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