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How to integrate WhatsApp Business API with your Shopify store?

The WhatsApp Business API has made it possible for businesses to scale their customer support. The API integrates with existing support tools and helps get your entire team to handle customers from a shared WhatsApp business account. 

But how does the integration work? What are the steps to connect the WhatsApp API to your Shopify store?

By the end of this article, you’ll know exactly:

  • What the WhatsApp business API is
  • What are the different tools available to integrate the API with your store
  • The steps to integrate the WhatsApp API using a shared inbox tool for your Shopify store.
  • How to send your first welcome message using WhatsApp 
  • A few welcome message templates

Without any further ado, let’s dive right into it.

What is the WhatsApp Business API?

After the WhatsApp Business app was released, smaller ecommerce businesses started supporting customers over WhatsApp. But larger businesses were unable to use the app due to restrictions on the maximum number of active users at a time.

Considering this, Facebook released the WhatsApp Business API for businesses.

The WhatsApp API lets you integrate your WhatsApp Business account with an existing customer support tool.

So, support teams can respond to customers from a single WhatsApp number and a single dashboard. Let’s look at some of the features of this API and the awesome benefits that it offers to businesses.

Power features of the WhatsApp API

One of the most crucial features of WhatsApp API is extensibility. Because you’re no longer limited to the app, you can extend the functionality of WhatsApp by building tools around the API.

 Here are some of the most powerful features that the WhatsApp API offers:

  • Automatic messaging:  You can create message templates to automatically update customers with their order details, shipping information, appointment reminders, payment updates, and more
  • Chatbots:  You can avoid answering common questions by creating chatbots that automatically respond based on answers from a database
  • Integrations:  With the WhatsApp API, you can integrate your WhatsApp Business account and respond to messages directly from your CRM or customer support tool. 
  • Lift limitations:  You are no longer limited by the restrictions of the WhatsApp business app once you integrate with an all-in-one support inbox like DelightChat. 

What are the benefits of using the WhatsApp Business API? Let’s take a look at 4 of the main benefits that you get soon after integrating the API.

The 4 ways an ecommerce business can benefit from the WhatsApp Business API

When your support team grows bigger, you cannot use the WhatsApp Business account because the app limits you to a maximum of 2 users - one on the mobile app and one on the WhatsApp web. 

But by integrating the Business API with an omnichannel customer support tool like DelightChat:

  1. Your entire support team can answer customer requests on WhatsApp and other support channels simultaneously without ever having to switch tabs.
  2. You can convert WhatsApp conversations into support tickets. These tickets can then be assigned to agents for better tracking, accountability, and faster resolution.
  3. A shared inbox lets you keep track of all the customer conversations and ensure that your team delivers the highest level of customer experience.
  4. You no longer have to share account passwords with your team members as they have their credentials to the support dashboard. 

Now, how do you integrate the WhatsApp API with your Shopify store? Do you need a developer or are there easier methods to do so?

How to easily integrate the WhatsApp API with your Shopify store?

Depending on your needs, you can either choose the simple WhatsApp chat button or combine your support channels with an all-in-one customer support software. Let’s look at both the options, their benefits, and why you should choose one over the other.

1. SuperLemon - WhatsApp Chat Button on Shopify

If you support your customers only over WhatsApp and do not receive messages from multiple different social channels, this app will be a great fit for your Shopify business.

SuperLemon is a simple WhatsApp chat button app for Shopify stores. 

You can download the SuperLemon app from the Shopify app store.

Install the app on your website, enter your WhatsApp business number, and click Enable. 

Once you’re set-up, then pick a chat button style, enable automated messages, and more from the admin panel. 

Benefits for using a WhatsApp chat button:

  • It serves the purpose and gets you started with a WhatsApp support option on your website
  • Easy setup, and a great choice when you’re a small business with fewer daily customer queries

2. DelightChat - Omnichannel inbox for WhatsApp and other support channels

Most growing Shopify stores are active on multiple support channels including email, Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp. And keeping track of customer messages on all these channels is a pain. 

With DelightChat, you can see customer messages from all your support channels and respond to them from a single dashboard, without switching back and forth between the oh-so-many tabs ever again.

If you have a support team, you can also create individual accounts so you no longer have to share your passwords again. 

And since the customer responses are now attributed to the agent account, it makes your team members accountable and helps you speed up resolutions.

Now, let's get down to the brass tacks. Here's how you can integrate WhatsApp API with DC on your Shopify store.

How do you integrate WhatsApp API on your Shopify store?

If you’re only planning to use the WhatsApp chat button, download SuperLemon from the Shopify app store, and follow the easy setup instructions within the app.

Now to set up an omnichannel inbox, there are a few additional steps that will let you say goodbye to switching tabs hundreds of times a day.

Let’s see the steps to a successful integration between WhatsApp API and DelightChat.

1. Get access to the WhatsApp API

Before connecting a WhatsApp Business account with DelightChat, you need to have access to the WhatsApp API. 

To make things easier, we partnered with Interakt and Gupshup/SuperLemon for API integration (more partnerships coming up in the future).

These are the most affordable WhatsApp API providers and offer very similar features. Take a look through their offerings, and choose the one that suits you best.

You can also request access to the API directly from WhatsApp. But going through an API provider has its benefits. 

  1. You get API access quickly (generally in 24 hours)
  2. They make integration with other tools easier
  3. And they’ve already built multiple features on top of the API (including a web interface) to make it possible to use the API without a lot of technical knowledge. 

For example, SuperLemon offers automated cart recovery, beautiful chat buttons, and a well-designed interface. Interakt offers automated order notifications, and easy setup, and quick WhatsApp message template setups. With API access directly from WhatsApp, you’d need to hire a developer and build these features from scratch. 

2. Setup DelightChat 

Once you have access to the API, the next step is to install and setup DelightChat. 

Visit DelightChat.io and enter your email on the homepage to schedule a free call. 

We’ll connect with you over a screen sharing session and onboard you from start to finish right on the call. The onboarding is currently only over 1:1 calls to understand your requirements better and provide you with the right features that you need. 

3. Enable API integration from your API provider

After you’re all set with DelightChat, you simply need to enable the API integration. Visit your API provider’s website and look for an integrations menu. If you have used one of Interakt or Gupshup, you will find DelightChat on the integrations page. 

Click Enable and your WhatsApp Business account will be visible on DelightChat. 

If you cannot see the integration, follow the steps below:

  • Login to DelightChat
  • Click “Settings” from the left sidebar
  • Go to “Support Channels”
  • Now, click “Add New Channel”
  • Here, select the WhatsApp API provider that you’ve used and click “Add” next to it.
  • Enter the Business API phone number, the username, and password, and the base URL. You can ask the API provider’s customer support team for the base URL.
  • Once done, click “Save” and you’ll be ready to go

And that’s it. You’re ready to onboard your team and start responding to your customers without switching a tab again.

WhatsApp API Message Templates: What are they?

WhatsApp message templates are specific message formats that businesses use to send out notifications or customer care messages to people who have opted into notifications. 

Messages can include appointment reminders, delivery information, issue resolution, or payment updates

Having trouble understanding it? Here’s an example!

Suppose you have a database of all your users and the shipping reference numbers. 

You want to create a message that’s sent as soon as the number is available.

Now, you could do this manually but that’s a bit tedious…. and also very ol’ school

With WhatsApp Business API templates, you simply create a message as below:

Hi {{1}},

Your order has been successfully shipped and will be delivered within the next 5-7 days. 

Here’s your order tracking number: {{2}}

We hope you’ll love the order! 

Thanks,

Customer support team

That’s it! The placeholders {{1}} and {{2}} will be filled with the details automatically after the setup is complete.

Depending on the API provider, you may need help from a developer to implement message templates. 

Here is the documentation for creating message templates on Interakt and Gupshup

  • Interakt does not require programming and can be managed with basic technical skills. 
  • Gupshup offers more flexibility but requires developer help. 

After you create and finalize the templates, they’re sent for approval to Facebook before you can start using them for your store. 

This is because Facebook restricts promotional templates. 

How to send your first message using the WhatsApp API on your Shopify store?

All set to send your first message? Before you read further, ensure you have completed the following:

  1. Gained access to WhatsApp API from an API provider
  2. Integrated with a shared inbox app like DelightChat
  3. Connected the shared inbox with your Shopify website

If you’ve opted for an API provider, setting up message templates is faster and easier. You can find the tutorial for creating message templates on Interakt, here. For Gupshup, you can refer to their API documentation here.

You can choose to send a template message automatically based on certain conditions. 

Alternatively, if you receive an inbound message, you can respond to your customers directly from the shared inbox app. Let’s suppose your customer messages you on your WhatsApp Business account number. 

  • The shared inbox displays the customer messages right in front of you for all of your team members to log in and view. 
  • You can reply to the customer from your shared inbox dashboard. 

And there goes your first WhatsApp API message right from your Shopify business number. Whew, you did it! I’m sure it wasn’t an easy task. But now, you’ve saved countless hours and made customer support less stressful for yourself and your support team.

Now that you have your WhatsApp business account added, start by connecting the rest of your support channels on DelightChat. DelightChat supports emails, Facebook messages and comments, Instagram, and Twitter along with WhatsApp, all from a single dashboard – a true omnichannel experience without ever switching a browser tab.

After the shared WhatsApp inbox is set up, you’re ready to rock the customer experience for your ecommerce business!

Many Shopify brands are now moving to shared inboxes for saving time in managing customer conversations and improving support team performance. 

If you’re a Shopify business looking for a customer support tool built to fit your needs, try DelightChat free for 90-days to see it is the right tool for your business

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