Undoubtedly, all serious businesses must have a digital presence in this era. This could be either a dynamic or a static website, depending on what is appropriate for the kind of products/services you offer. In modern times, social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, and Twitter have become essential alternatives to creating and running an actual site.
According to Statista, WhatsApp is the most prevalent mobile messenger app worldwide, with almost 2 billion monthly active users in 2022. So, if you want to sell your product offerings online but do not have the time and/or essential skills required to create a website, WhatsApp is a highly effective channel that can aid you in reaching your customers promptly, at zero cost.
Introduction to the WhatsApp Business App for Selling Products
With almost 1.3 billion people using it daily to communicate with their beloved friends and family, WhatsApp is deemed the most commonly used global direct messaging application. WhatsApp helps users spend more time chatting than on other platforms like Instagram and Facebook.
For this particular reason, even though WhatsApp was initially designed to serve as a marketing tool, businesses are quickly realizing its potential and understanding how they can use this incredibly effective channel to sell their products and/or services.
This particular platform has tremendous marketing opportunities to offer, including the ability for photographers to sell copies of their photographs, authors to sell their e-books, etc. Hence, knowing how and what amazing things you can do with WhatsApp Marketing using the WhatsApp Business app is vital.
Here is a quick overview of all the essential steps you need to follow to set up your store on WhatsApp.
- Download the WhatsApp Business mobile application
- Create a Business page
- Set opening times, business description, and greetings
- Download WhatsApp Web
- Advertise both online and offline about your business’s presence on WhatsApp
1. Download the Whatsapp Business Mobile App
WhatsApp Business app was created to attend to the needs of small business owners and retailers with the intention of helping businesses create a business profile on the application. This app is equipped with an array of features that can help you sort, automate, and instantly respond to messages.
Moreover, it is an incredibly effective way of offering your customers a stellar shopping experience over the world’s leading messenger app: WhatsApp. You can easily download WhatsApp Business from the Google Play Store for free. Its user interface and functionality are much like the regular app.
Using WhatsApp order management, you can provide excellent customer service support and share relevant info with customers. Here are some of the things WhatsApp Business lets you do:
- Make a business profile with useful information such as a description of your business, operating hours, address (with a map), website, and email address.
- Create automated messages to respond to your customers quickly. You can set an “Away” message when you are unavailable and inform the customers when they can likely hear from you. Moreover, you can also generate a greeting message to welcome customers to your page.
- Use Labels to conveniently organize customers and chats by new customers, new orders, completed orders, unpaid orders, or create a new custom label.
- Create and save Quick Replies to respond to the FAQs quickly. This feature works even better as a FAQ directory to explain the most fundamental things, such as acceptable payment methods, exchange and/or return policy, and delivery area.
2. Create a Business Page
Once you have downloaded and installed the WhatsApp Business app on your smartphone, you’ll need to create a business profile. It is worth noting that you are not permitted to use the same phone number that is already registered on WhatsApp. Hence, you need to purchase a new number that is solely dedicated to your online business.
Once you open the application, you will have to verify the phone number. Next, choose a name for your business and set up a profile pic (optional). Here’s how you can change your WhatsApp business profile:
- Open the WhatsApp Business app and click on the menu button, followed by Settings> Company Settings> Profile
- Click “Edit” on the top right corner
- Edit the fields and save your changes
3. Set Opening Times, Business Description, and Greetings
The “Settings” section differs from the regular version of the app. WhatsApp Business settings allow you to set up:
- Your business opening hours
- A greeting/welcoming message that will be automatically sent to the customer once you receive their first message
- Instant answers that’ll allow you to quickly your users’ FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)
- A notification about your absence will automatically be sent when anyone contacts you outside business opening hours.
4. Download WhatsApp Web
In this step, you need to decide which tool can be used for managing your chats. If you’ve recently started your business, you can well expect a low volume of messages. Moreover, since you manage the conversations alone, you can choose the desktop interface for WhatsApp Web as it enables you to respond to chats from your PC.
However, you can also allocate the chats to more users and manage your business page more professionally and in a structured way using a centralized management system and multi-agent support, such as SocialEpoch.
5. Advertise Both Online and Offline about Your Business’s Presence on Whatsapp
Now, you must ensure your WhatsApp Business page is discoverable so your clients can find you. In fact, there’s no possibility of being searched by location or name on WhatsApp. Hence, you should provide your contact number to your customers so they can reach out to you.
This can either be done by printing the number on your receipts in your traditional brick-and-mortar store or online from your Facebook page, your Google MyBusiness account, or your website by inserting a click-to-chat widget.
If you are tech-savvy, another way of promoting your online business is via ads that lead users to start a chat with you directly.
How to Start Selling a Product on WhatsApp
Now that you’ve successfully created a Business Profile on the WhatsApp Business app, it is time to finally manage all your incoming chats and start selling your product offerings. Depending on the nature of your services and products, you can use the WhatsApp Business app to guide your contacts towards the purchase as well as support them in the post-sale phase.
1. Create a Product Catalog
As understood, if you want to run a business on the WhatsApp Business app and sell products, you need to create a product catalog that can display all the products you have to offer. An up-to-date catalog makes it easier for people to interact with your business as all your products and services will be available in front of them. With the help of a product catalog, you can:
- Your customers can view pictures of your products.
- Take orders via WhatsApp
- Manage inventory
- Calculate the revenues and profits
Here is how you can create and maintain a product catalog on WhatsApp Business:
How to Add a Product/Service to Your Catalog:
- Open the WhatsApp Business app > More Options > Settings > Business Tools > Catalog
The “More Options” icon is usually identified by the 3 dots or 3 horizontal lines. If you are creating a product catalog on WhatsApp Business for the first them, click on “Add New Item.”
- Click on the plus icon, followed by “Add a New Item.”
- Go to the Gallery to upload pictures of your products from your Camera to take new images or Photos to add existing photographs. You can only upload 10 pictures.
- Provide a name for your product/service. In addition, you can also include additional details such as a brief description of the offerings, price, website link, and product/service code for the uploaded product.
- Once done, click on “Save.”
Note: the feature of adding prices to a product catalog is only available in some countries.
How to Delete a Product/Service from Your Catalog:
- Open the WhatsApp Business App > Go to More Options > Settings > Business Tools > Catalog
- Press and then hold a finger on the picture of the product/service you want to delete.
- Click on the “Delete” icon and select “Yes.”
Alternatively, you can delete a product or service by selecting the image of the specific item and then clicking on More Options > Delete > DELETE.
- Each image you upload to your product catalog is subject to review. This review helps in confirming that the product, service, or image adheres to the WhatsApp Commerce Policy.
- If your WhatsApp Business account is connected to a Facebook shop and you have turned on WhatsApp as a sales funnel, by default, your WhatsApp catalog will be replaced by your Facebook shop. This does not modify or delete your WhatsApp catalog. However, your contacts and you just will not see it. If you wish to return your WhatsApp product catalog at any point, you just need to hide or turn off WhatsApp as a sales channel.
2. Share Items with Customers
It has never been easier, more straightforward, and quick to sell your products on WhatsApp. After uploading your product catalog, you can share these items with your customers. Getting your customers is much easier than you might think.
You do not need to tell everybody you are starting a business, nor do you need to adjust with your contacts and expect they will purchase from you. Here are two simple ways to get customer contacts:
● Join WhatsApp Groups
You can become a part of various WhatsApp groups by searching for related items, like WhatsApp groups on beauty, fashion, etc., on Google. You can join the group and get in touch with numerous people who might be interested in these things.
In these groups, you can post 2-3 of your product samples and introduce people to the fact that you are selling apparel and other products online. If anyone is interested, you can directly message them and add them to your customer contacts.
This way, you can earn a potential customer. However, you must gradually increase your contact base so that you do not come off as a spam business.
● Your Social Media Accounts
You can get most of your contacts if you are already a part of social media platforms such as Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, etc. Post pictures of your products on your social media accounts like Instagram or Facebook page and get customers from these platforms directly.
After this, you can start sharing order information by sending them their receipt copy and tracing their buying habits.
3. Create a Website for Your Business
A website is bound to take your online business operation up a notch. In addition to managing your customer contacts and generating personalized receipts, creating a website for your online business takes only a few minutes.
After checking your product catalog, customers can place their orders and send them to you directly as a message on WhatsApp. This gives your customers a new way to shop with you.
However, investing in creating a website in the introductory phase of your business is not recommended, as it takes significant time to grow. Moreover, it also requires you to continuously invest your time and knowledge into growing it.
Once you’re able to acquire a good amount of sales through the WhatsApp Business app and wish to improve your business, even more, you can consider creating a website and directly posting the product details there and acquiring sales.
4. Promote Your Products
Now that you’ve launched your site and created and updated your product catalog, it is time to increase sales and promote your business. Take advantage of WhatsApp’s broadcast list feature to inform all your customer contacts about your website and the latest offerings. Moreover, you can also attach a link to your site on your Business profile.
5. Manage Your WhatsApp Orders
The newest feature on WhatsApp Business now allows businesses to manage customer orders efficiently. As per WABetaInfo, you can generate orders for specific customers by opening the chat share action menu.
Why Use WhatsApp for Business in Your Marketing?
More than 60 billion messages are sent to WhatsApp daily. Hence, it indicates your target customers might be using it. Furthermore, 67% of users prefer connecting with a business via chat. As per the Pew Research Center study, 42% of mobile phone users between 18 to 29 years have one or more messaging apps.
Having said that, WhatsApp can be an ideal social media channel for small business owners wanting to reach a younger audience. In addition, instant messages have far better engagement rates. This is primarily because 98% of these messages are viewed, opened, and seen. And almost 90% of these messages are read as soon as they’re received.
Now that you know it is very much possible to sell your products on WhatsApp and you have an overview of how to start selling, you can profoundly benefit from a reliable WhatsApp Business Integration CRM (Customer Relations Management) tool with multi-agent support and a centralized management system such as SocialEpoch.
SocialEpoch lets you significantly benefit from all-inclusive global leading social marketing solutions. This is also our area of expertise. We offer one-of-a-kind products and services, including social fission, WhatsApp CRM, WhatsApp Marketing, social e-Commerce, marketing training, and much more.
With more than 300 members on board, we have a tremendous deal of industrial expertise and hands-on operating technologies that guide and support us in serving clients across the globe, including gaming apps, eCommerce platforms, retail brands, financial-tech (FinTech) companies, etc.
Our target audience includes retailers, e-Commerce businesses, real estate/cryptocurrency/casino/lottery/call centers, and many other B2B businesses. We offer two popular products, namely SocialEpoch Facebook Lead Generation Tool and SocialEpoch WhatsApp CRM.
1. SocialEpoch WhatsApp CRM (the mobile version for Android is WaChat App)
The most essential features of SocialEpoch WhatsApp CRM are as follows:
- WhatsApp Business API (free of cost)
- Data Synchronization
- Professional Support
- Multi-lingual Support
- Bulk Message Sender
- Multi-account login facility (you can operate up to 10 WhatsApp accounts concurrently)
- Manage contacts (effortless import/export of customer contacts and efficiently organize customer tags and persona)
- Group Management (group broadcast and group member export, allowing you to reach your target audience accurately)
- Assigning tasks (lets you assign tasks and/or clients to your teams as needed to offer services on time).
- Create/edit user personas (allows you to sort and organize customers with personas and tags for bespoke marketing)
- Follow-up sessions (follow up with your customers and communicate all the information with the group)
- Customer journey (to keep track of how your customers behave and record the process of acquiring potential leads)
- Smart Chatbot (gather data from potential customers and solve their concerns around the clock)
- WhatsApp Marketing Toolkits (create your own website in minutes, select from an extensive array of free content templates, and customize your online business as you like)
- AI Exploring for Prospects (sanctioned by big data and artificial intelligence (AI), explore your potential customers on WhatsApp, and reach out to them swiftly)
2. SocialEpoch Facebook Lead Generation Tool
Our second service offers extensive account marketing solutions and bulk Facebook accounts. Its most essential features are as follows:
I. Marketing Center
- Auto join groups
- Bulk sharing to groups
- Bulk comments on page posts and/or group posts
II. Management Center
- Management of bulk accounts
- Automated data backup
- Insights from your audience on Facebook
III. Facebook Data Scraper
- Active users
- Marketplace Sellers
We at SocialEpoch use only the most cutting-edge private social marketing technologies and seek to provide our valuable clients with full-fledged lead generation approaches. So, if you have a vision like ours, join us, and we can aim to achieve a win-win solution.