How can WhatsApp help to drive ecommerce sales? What sort of ecommerce integrations does it offer? In this post, we look at seven ways you can leverage WhatsApp ecommerce to grow your online business.
Given WhatsApp’s immense reach (two billion users worldwide, by the way, if you’re keeping track), the potential to get in touch with buyers, market and sell your products, and ultimately grow an ecommerce business on the platform is one that definitely should not be overlooked.
In fact, with WhatsApp as the world’s leading chat app and that the majority of consumers prefer to chat with businesses in real-time, it definitely wouldn’t be a big leap to call WhatsApp marketing and ecommerce synonymous.
With millions of businesses already using WhatsApp Business, now is the time to integrate WhatsApp into your ecommerce business strategy or risk losing out to your competitors.
But just what can WhatsApp do for you and how can you make the most of it? Look no further – here are seven ways to get you started.
First things first, you need to get access to the WhatsApp Business API.
This is the basis of all WhatsApp ecommerce strategies.
Yes, there is a WhatsApp Business app that’s free to download. And while it certainly offers enough features to get an ecommerce marketing strategy going on WhatsApp for new businesses, it does have its limitations.
This is especially so for growing enterprises. As your business expands, you will probably begin to require more advanced tools, which is where the WhatsApp Business API comes into play.
It offers additional benefits like having a shared, multi-agent inbox, integration abilities with third-party software, tracking your WhatsApp ecommerce strategy’s key metrics and performance, and more.
Plus, officially verifying your WhatsApp Business account and getting the coveted green is only possible via WhatsApp Business API.
If you’re keen to learn more, check out our post on the differences between the free WhatsApp Business app and the WhatsApp Business API.
Now, using WhatsApp ecommerce, while powerful, is still a relatively nascent strategy. This is especially considering the fact that ecommerce (or online shopping) can be traced to as far back as half a century ago.
That said, it’s safe to say that a good majority of consumers will still be browsing products on your website itself. To take advantage of those eyes and guide them towards WhatsApp, install a WhatsApp chat button on your ecommerce page.
Not only does this open up a direct communication channel between you and your customers, but it’s also quicker and not to mention more convenient.
Clicking on the button would open up either a WhatsApp web chat (if they’re using a browser) or get redirected to a WhatsApp chat with you on their WhatsApp app itself (if they’re on their smartphones). The latter would allow them to continue chatting with you even while they’re on the go.
What’s more, there’s the added benefit of customizing your WhatsApp chat button to your brand image for a brand boost!
As one of the most popular ecommerce marketing platforms, you would certainly be losing out by not adding a WhatsApp chat button to your Facebook Business page in addition to your ecommerce page.
Plus, the fact that it’s WhatsApp’s parent company means the process of getting it set up and managing it is integrated and easy.
Adding a WhatsApp chat button isn’t the only way to channel your Facebook audience to WhatsApp. You can also create Facebook ads that click directly to WhatsApp.
If your ecommerce business targets adults aged between 25 and 49, this helps to take users to a familiar environment straightaway as WhatsApp usage is the highest among this age group.
Want to make the most of WhatsApp ecommerce in boosting your sales strategy? One of the biggest issues you should be tackling is abandoned shopping carts.
Though rates differ from industry to industry and market to market, as a general rule of thumb, around seven out of ten online shopping carts are abandoned. In other words, they don’t make it to the checkout stage and the sale is lost – well, almost.
There are plenty of ways to recover these lost ecommerce sales, one of which requires you to turn to WhatsApp. At WATI, we’ve developed a WhatsApp plugin ecommerce business users can install. It connects to your Shopify account, one of the world’s most popular ecommerce platforms.
Note that such integrations are only possible with the WhatsApp Business API, reiterating our earlier point on the importance of getting access to it.
With our WhatsApp plugin, you can send out automated cart abandonment recovery messages, as well as enjoy the perks that the WhatsApp Business API offers.
Here’s everything you need to know about using WhatsApp to recover abandoned ecommerce carts.
One of the best features that the WhatsApp Business API offers is the ability to automate your customer service messages.
For instance, at WATI, we can create a WhatsApp virtual assistant for your WhatsApp ecommerce business such that it responds automatically to incoming messages from customers.
This helps to cover periods when there are no customer service agents on the clock, such as during lunch hours or out-of-office hours. That way, your customers can still interact with your business and get the information they need in a timely manner.
With WhatsApp eCommerce chatbot, you can customize your replies according to the content of the message (keywords used) and the type of message (emojis or stickers). In response, WhatsApp chatbot can reply using text, images, documents, or a combination of these.
For more information, check out our post on how to use automation for WhatsApp Business.
Another way to leverage WhatsApp for your ecommerce business is to place customer service at the forefront of your ecommerce strategy.
As the old marketing saying goes, it’s cheaper to retain a customer than to acquire a new one – five times cheaper, to be exact.
That’s why you want to ensure existing customers are as happy and satisfied as possible with your service. To do that, you need to be prepared to go the extra mile when providing ecommerce customer support on WhatsApp.
Aside from making yourself available 24/7 and responding to queries and/or complaints swiftly, you also want to make their entire shopping experience with you as frictionless as possible.
This means informing them of stock updates, providing delivery tracking, sending receipts over WhatsApp, etc.
If your buyers are avid WhatsApp users, which we already know that most consumers are, such services will be more than appreciated.
Not only should you provide a problem-free WhatsApp experience with your ecommerce customers, but you also want to aim to keep your communication simple and your buyers engaged as much as possible.
And the way to achieve both concurrently is with the use of WhatsApp’s interactive messages.
It is one of the latest features introduced by WhatsApp in an effort to improve communication (and boost transactions) for businesses – ecommerce or otherwise.
These interactive messages allow you to tag on one-tap quick replies and call-to-action buttons in your messages to your buyers to facilitate the conversation and engagement.
In the case of quick replies, your customers can respond with the appropriate answer in just one tap, instead of having to open up the keyboard and type. This saves time and energy and is a wonderful solution for buyers who are constantly on the move.
With embedded calls-to-action in WhatsApp messages, you increase engagement with your customers by guiding them to take action that they can benefit from.
As an added plus, you can also track these messages to see how well they perform and introduce any tweaks needed to boost engagement.
WATI is the proud product of the parent company, Clare.AI. Clare.AI is a digital assistant startup offering an innovative online tool that combines the best of machine learning and artificial intelligence to deliver the best award-winning customer communication experiences to its clients. Multinational enterprises and Fortune 500 companies including Cigna, Birdie, AXA, AIG, Bupa, Fidelity, and Everbright Sun Hung Kai have placed their trust in Clare.AI.