With over 2 billion users globally, WhatsApp has become the most prominent application for communication.
For businesses, this presents a lucrative opportunity to promote their products and services at scale for potentially a fraction of traditional marketing costs.
If you own an e-commerce business, WhatsApp Marketing could help you reach a much larger audience. Better yet, there is a fairly good chance that your competition may already be leveraging the platform to drive their sales and grow market share.
So, why should you use WhatsApp for eCommerce? What are the benefits of WhatsApp marketing for eCommerce? Do you need WhatsApp Business or WhatsApp Business API eCommerce? This article answers all your questions.
How WhatsApp for eCommerce Works
You can integrate WhatsApp into your eCommerce business through the WhatsApp Business API. You need to submit your business details to a WhatsApp Business Solutions Partner, such as DelightChat, and we shall do the rest. You can check out our WhatsApp Business API pricing here.
WhatsApp for eCommerce works by enhancing the customer experiences for your buyers. It does so by streamlining their communication with their favourite brands via the WhatsApp communication platform and personalising their interaction with the company.
Leveraging the Power of Conversational Commerce
Conversational commerce is an upcoming trend in e-commerce where businesses sell products and/or interact with their customers through instant messaging and related technology.
Simply put, it combines messaging apps such as WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger with online shopping (e-commerce).
With WhatsApp Business API, your customers can reach out to you with their queries in real-time. This is more convenient for them as opposed to sending an e-mail or dialling a phone number only to wait on IVR.
While you as a business can simplify customer support by tracking your customers’ messages in one place, assigning them to customer support agents, broadcasting promotions to an unlimited number of users, automating abandoned cart recovery, and more.
In case your eCommerce business uses multiple channels for customer support such as WhatsApp, Instagram, Facebook Messenger, E-mail, Live Chat, etc., you may benefit from leveraging DelightChat’s omnichannel customer support.
Personalised Customer Support
Through WhatsApp Business API, you can provide personalised customer support to your buyers.
Customers are more likely to appreciate one-to-one interactions with their brands as opposed to automated responses. A study by McKinsey claims that 71% of customers demand personalised interactions, and 76% feel frustrated if they don’t receive it with regards to their purchases.
WhatsApp API enables you to answer your customers’ queries personally in real-time which may inspire brand loyalty and help in customer retention for your business in the long term.
Automated Notifications and Responses
With WhatsApp Business API, you can automate sending outbound alerts (automated notifications). This may prove useful on occasions such as when a sale is announced, or when a specific product requested by the customer is now available in stock.
However, you can also send automated notifications for other issues such as account updates, payment updates, shipping updates, issue resolution etc., as well.
DelightChat simplifies the process of automated messaging and notifications for your eCommerce business by compiling 25 Best WhatsApp Business Message templates across various categories.
Benefits of Using WhatsApp for eCommerce
In 2019, WhatsApp crossed 400 million (40 crores) users in India. So, regardless of your nature of business, there is a good chance that your customers may use WhatsApp too, and perhaps frequently so. As such, there are several advantages of using WhatsApp for eCommerce for business owners.
Stronger Customer Relationships
WhatsApp has changed the way people communicate, and as a business, you must identify your customers’ preferred communication channels.
In 2022, people are more accustomed to messaging each other over WhatsApp as opposed to emailing or calling them.
So, they may prefer the same when communicating about their purchases and/or orders.
According to a Meta survey, 67% of buyers said that they plan to spend more on brands reaching out to them via conversational channels like WhatsApp, while 53% said they are more likely to purchase from brands they can communicate directly with.
Using WhatsApp for eCommerce lets your customers directly message your business and receive personalised responses. This may make them feel valued and hence could result in stronger customer relationships and higher customer retention for your brand.
Protect Customers’ Privacy
WhatsApp provides end-to-end encryption, meaning that your customers’ information is safe from unauthorised parties.
This is particularly important when payment or transaction-related details are shared over the channel.
Additionally, your customers too may prefer communicating over a secure channel that prevents their data from being compromised.
Increased Convenience and Accessibility
Communicating with your seller/brand should not feel tedious.
Given that the majority of people use WhatsApp for their day-to-day communications, using WhatsApp for eCommerce makes it easier for your customers to contact you about their purchases.
Instead of sending an e-mail or calling an IVR number, it is more convenient for buyers to send a WhatsApp message inquiring about their shipment.
Hence, switching to WhatsApp for eCommerce makes your company’s customer support more accessible to customers.
Streamlined Customer Experience
With WhatsApp marketing for eCommerce, you can streamline your customer experience.
WhatsApp Business API (provided by DelightChat) offers several features such as abandoned cart recovery which increases recovery rates by automatically sending persuasive message copy to customers, automatic updates regarding their purchase, shipping, payment, delivery, etc. sent to their WhatsApp accounts directly, etc.
Simply put, using WhatsApp Business API eCommerce makes the customer experience for your buyers easier, more convenient, and more interactive.
WhatsApp, WhatsApp Business, or WhatsApp API?
There may be some confusion between WhatsApp, WhatsApp Business, and WhatsApp API. If you as a business owner intend to benefit from the capabilities of WhatsApp marketing, you must know the differences so you can choose the most suitable alternative.
WhatsApp is the basic app intended for non-commercial usage. It is free without any limitations but does not provide any additional features such as Quick Reply, Greetings/Away messages, Label Conversations, etc. Due to the lack of any commercially-beneficial feature, WhatsApp provides only minimal utility to sellers apart from barebones communication.
WhatsApp Business is the commercial version of WhatsApp that was designed with small businesses in mind. It has several features such as ‘Quick Reply’ that enables businesses to automatically reply to customers’ commonly asked questions, ‘Greeting Messages’ to welcome new customers automatically, as well as ‘Labels’ to organise chats into categories like ‘New customer’, ‘New order’, ‘Pending payment’, ‘Paid’, ‘Order complete’, etc. It also features a catalogue with a limit of 500 products or services, which may suffice most small sellers.
If you sell your products and/or services through WhatsApp only, then WhatsApp Business may have most of the necessary tools. Like WhatsApp, WhatsApp Business too, is free of cost, even for small businesses.
However, WhatsApp Business cannot handle large volumes of messages, and the app may only be used by one user on one device, which could be a major handicap for relatively large businesses.
WhatsApp API (or WhatsApp Business API)
WhatsApp API has been designed to accommodate the needs of larger companies that WhatsApp Business cannot. Unlike WhatsApp or WhatsApp Business, WhatsApp API is paid and requires approval from a WhatsApp Business Solutions Provider (or WhatsApp API Partner) such as DelightChat.
WhatsApp API can support unlimited users and does not suffer from restrictions on message volumes. Furthermore, it can be integrated into your e-commerce suite seamlessly.
Being an eCommerce business, you would need the WhatsApp API such that you can integrate it with your e-commerce system and handle sales as well as message volumes at scale.
You may only access the WhatsApp API (or WhatsApp Business API) through an authorised business solutions partner (BSP)’s platform, such as DelightChat.
DelightChat is a certified WhatsApp Business Solutions Partner, so we can help you obtain a WhatsApp API for seamless integration into your e-commerce platform.
Setting Up WhatsApp for eCommerce
Depending on your business requirements, you may either need WhatsApp Business if you are a small seller who does not require the automation and unlimited message handling capabilities, or WhatsApp Business API (WhatsApp API) if you do.
Option 1: Setting Up WhatsApp Business Profile
As previously stated, if your business does not have large message volumes and does not need advanced notification and response automation, then WhatsApp Business is the suitable option for you.
Creating a WhatsApp Business Profile is free and simple. Follow the steps below to do the same.
1. Install the WhatsApp Business application on your smartphone from either Google Play Store or Apple AppStore depending on your smartphone OS.
2. Verify your mobile number with WhatsApp via the OTP received. Ensure that your WhatsApp Business is installed on the same smartphone that is fitted with your business number SIM card.
3. Navigate to Settings by tapping the three vertical dots on your WhatsApp Business chat screen as shown below.
4. Add your business name and logo as shown below. Then navigate to ‘Business Tools’.
5. Tap on ‘Business Profile’ to fill in the requisite information.
6. Fill out the fields accordingly as shown below. Since you have an online store, set ‘opening hours’ to ‘always open’ and category to ‘shopping and retail’. As for the location, you may simply mention the state where your business is based. Add your business email and website address, if any.
7. Navigate back to ‘Business Tools’ and tap on ‘Catalogue’ to add your products and/or services.
And you are all set. You may also add Greeting/Away messages depending on your requirement.
Option 2: Obtaining WhatsApp Business API
If your eCommerce business requires the full extent of WhatsApp’s marketing capabilities, then you need to submit your application for WhatsApp Business API.
Fortunately, we at DelightChat can help you with the procedure step-by-step.
To integrate WhatsApp API via DelightChat, follow the steps below.
1. Sign-in to your DelightChat Account from your laptop or desktop computer.
2. Head over to ‘Support Channels’, then ‘Add New Channel’, and then ‘WhatsApp API’. DelightChat also provides integration support to your eCommerce site for Email, Facebook, Instagram, Live Chat, and other conversations that take place beyond DelightChat platform (other external channels).
3. Upon selecting ‘WhatsApp API’, you will then be redirected to the ‘WhatsApp API Setup’. This is where you need to fill your brand’s information and then submit it to the team at Meta (formerly Facebook). Note that WhatsApp API integration is only available in paid plans.
4. Once you are done filling the form and submitting it, it may take 2 – 3 business days for Meta (formerly Facebook) to approve your API request, followed by another 2 – 4 hours to verify your number provided for WhatsApp API. DelightChat’s team will help you throughout the process and ensure that you are frequently updated on your application’s progress.
If you aren’t already an existing DelighChat user, contact us today to obtain and setup WhatsApp Business API for your eCommerce business!
Adding WhatsApp Chat Widget & WhatsApp Chat Button to Your ECommerce Store
Once you have configured your WhatsApp for eCommerce, whether it be WhatsApp Business or WhatsApp Business API (WhatsApp API), you need to add a WhatsApp chat widget and WhatsApp chat button to your eCommerce store to help customers connect to you.
Fortunately, DelightChat simplifies the process of creating a customised WhatsApp chat widget. To do so, follow the steps below:
1. Navigate to DelightChat Free WhatsApp Chat Button & WhatsApp Chat Widget
2. Edit the fields according to your brand’s color palette, theme, etc. so that it fits the overall look and appearance of your eCommerce store. Once done, click on the “Generate WhatsApp Button Code”. Now click on “Copy to clipboard” and paste the code before the </body> tag on every page of your website.
3. In case you wish to add a WhatsApp widget along with a chat button, then just scroll down below (on the same page) and follow the same steps as before.
Drive Your eCommerce Sales with WhatsApp Marketing
Your business may be significantly losing out on potential revenues if you are not harnessing the power of WhatsApp marketing.
DelightChat offers your business an omnichannel customer support platform that seamlessly integrates order data and customer queries across various channels such as Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, etc. in one place, thus vastly improving your ability to quickly and efficiently handle customer support. We can also help you obtain and integrate WhatsApp Business API with your eCommerce store to enable WhatsApp marketing for eCommerce.
Get in touch with us today to drive your eCommerce sales with WhatsApp marketing!