It has been more than a year since the dreaded pandemic took over the world and left everyone perplexed as everything came to a sudden shutdown. Ever since it has been a journey of adapting to the ‘new normal. A journey that has pushed everyone to adapt to a completely digital, no-human interaction phase.
With people locked away in their homes, the usage of social messaging platforms has seen a giant surge. According to TechCrunch, WhatsApp has seen a 40% increase in usage that grew from an initial 27% bump in the earlier days of the pandemic to 41% in the mid-phase. For countries already in the later phase of the pandemic, WhatsApp usage has jumped by 51%. This very fact has pushed businesses into adopting WhatsApp as their alternate marketplace.
What is WhatsApp Commerce?
WhatsApp is a marketing method in which businesses use WhatsApp as the primary medium to interact with customers, sell products, and provide services.
WhatsApp is the most widely used messaging platform and has more than 2 billion active users worldwide. This has given businesses a common platform where they can connect to large masses and sell their products directly.
And that’s how WhatsApp Commerce came into existence. WhatsApp is now a thriving business platform for businesses worldwide thanks to WhatsApp Business and WhatsApp Business API.
Why Do Businesses Need WhatsApp Commerce
WhatsApp as an e-commerce platform or rather call it the WhatApp Commerce offers several advantages to businesses. Here are a few of them:
1. Virtual market place
WhatsApp and WhatsApp Business offer businesses a virtual marketplace that they can set up in minutes. WhatsApp allows you to contact just about anybody, as long as you have their number. By using the platform, businesses are now able to find potential leads in any part of the world and sell their products directly to them.
WhatsApp Business offers several features such as a product catalog, professional business profile, and payment through the chatbox. All this makes it super easy for customers to pick the product of their choice, place an order and make payments for it.
Since WhatsApp Commerce requires a minimum human-to-human interaction, it is one of the safest options for businesses and customers at the time of the pandemic.
2. Large customer base
WhatsApp has one of the largest user bases of 2 billion active users in 106 countries. For businesses who want to spread their horizon, it only makes sense to join the platform where there is a huge audience with whom they can interact directly.
Finding new customers is relatively easy on WhatsApp as compared to any other medium. And several factors contribute to it. The first being that WhatsApp has the highest message open and read rates of around 98%. For businesses marketing their products on WhatsApp get a better response from audiences and hence have a better chance of converting into customers.
The second factor is that WhatsApp is a social platform where people like to connect with their close contacts. Hence, if an individual comes across a great product or brand, they then share it with their network. This helps businesses grow their marketing reach organically without having to invest much time or effort.
As for the third factor, WhatsApp acts as a two-way communication platform. This gives people the medium to interact with the business directly in case they have an inquiry to make or have any issue with the product. This gives people a sense of trust in the brand or business and improves the chances of conversion.
In a time when traditional marketing is seemingly losing its effect, WhatsApp commerce can save the day for businesses selling remotely.
3. Easy customer support
As mentioned above, WhatsApp offers a two-way communication channel between a business and its customers. This makes it seemingly convenient for businesses to provide customer care through the platform.
WhatsApp is the most convenient medium for customer support as it offers multiple options for communication mode. You can interact with your customers through text messages, voice messages, audio or video calls, or even share multimedia files and pictures. This makes it easy for ven senior citizens who are not very up-to-date with technology to use WhatsApp to request a service.
WhatsApp commerce comes as a unified solution for marketing and customer support. This makes it easy for a business to keep track of interactions with each of their customers and provide instant customer care. It also helps you understand your customers better and target your ads based on their interests and preferences.
The fact that WhatsApp is a free messaging platform gives it a huge plus as a marketing platform. You can run your entire business virtually on WhatsApp without even needing to set up an office or huge resource team. This can help you save a huge amount of money that usually goes on setting up the infrastructure of a typical business.
WhatsApp can be used for running ad campaigns, brand promotions, or product advertisements at nominal costs.
Digital commerce has emerged as a superpower when the world had come to a standstill. WhatsApp commerce has given businesses a second life amid the pandemic. With WhatsApp commerce, businesses can tap into the crowd and connect with them even during the pandemic. WhatsApp Commerce is gaining popularity among both businesses and customers. This clearly indicates that it will continue to be a preferred marketing model even when the pandemic is over.