WhatsApp reigns as the most popular messaging app globally. To maintain its massive user base, the messaging platform is constantly adding new features.
A big change came in 2018 when WhatsApp Business was released. This addition provides features for e-commerce businesses to showcase their products and better communicate with customers.
Linking your e-commerce website to WhatsApp boosts traffic to your business. The setup is straightforward, but the benefits to your business are invaluable.
Pros and cons of using WhatsApp Business
Before you start your WhatsApp Business journey, there are a handful of pros and cons to be aware of when using the platform.
Pro: Simple setup
The process of setting up your Whatsapp Business app is easy. Follow along with these simple steps and you’ll be ready to expand your e-commerce website:
- Firstly, download the app and sign up with your business phone number.
- Next, go to Settings > Business Tools > Business Profile: fill in your business details i.e.: working hours, address, social media links, etc.
- Finally, once the Whatsapp team has verified your business, you’re ready to go.
Source: WhatsApp Business
Pro: Increased communication with customers
The main benefit of linking your e-commerce site to WhatsApp is customer communication.
The platform makes it incredibly easy to categorize and reply to contacts.
WhatsApp Business also utilizes features like automated messages and “Quick replies”. These features make the customer-to-business experience fast and efficient.
Source: WhatsApp Business
Pro: Communication analytics
Business owners can now access instant analytics for their communication habits via WhatsApp Business. These metrics can be studied to show how your customer communication is working, and how it isn’t.
Statistics include the number of messages sent, delivered, and received. WhatsApp’s analytics are a key benefit for future business planning and improvements to communication.
Pro: Showcase your business and catalog
WhatsApp Business offers a sleek business profile and catalog design. From your page, customers can scroll through your products. The simple, but seamless layout makes for a user-friendly experience.
Source: WhatsApp Business
Although it isn’t an e-commerce platform, your WhatsApp catalog funnels customers to your e-commerce website. With only a tap, consumers are a step closer to finalizing their purchase.
Con: WhatsApp is commonly targeted by hackers
With approximately 2 billion active monthly users, WhatsApp is a treasure trove for hackers. From phishing messages to “call-forwarding” hacks, WhatsApp’s cybersecurity is far from perfect.
An extra step you can take for your personal cybersecurity is a VPN APK download. While WhatsApp’s end-to-end encryption is a good start, a VPN adds the extra layer of encryption you might need.
Con: Lack of data protection
WhatsApp delivers convenient communication channels for an e-commerce business. However, these features aren’t designed for larger businesses. Unlike business-first messaging apps, WhatsApp doesn’t offer protection against data loss.
Features that a secure business messenger includes are:
- Remotely deleting messages and attachments;
- Disabling screenshots or the copying of text;
- Blocking access;
- Control sharing allowances.
Unfortunately, these are all missing from WhatsApp. If your business requires enterprise-level security, consider making regular data backups or using another messaging app.
Con: Private and business messages mix
This is a subjective issue, but nonetheless, an issue many business owners face on WhatsApp. On the platform, there is no distinction between private and business-related messaging.
If you’re bothered by personal and business messages mixing, this may be a deal-breaker. Alternatively, you can set up a different phone number on WhatsApp Business than your personal number.
How to find new customers via WhatsApp?
Now you’re familiar with the pros and cons of the platform, your next step is finding new customers.
While there are many ways to achieve this, there are a few tried and tested methods.
Link your WhatsApp over your e-commerce website
Your e-commerce site is ultimately your business’ greatest asset. Link your Whatsapp on your website and vice versa. Users from Google can now easily contact you and those with your Whatsapp details can find your website.
- Insert your business phone number on all social media sites
- Place your Whatsapp number on your Facebook, Twitter, and any other social media platform you use. Engaged users now have a simple way to contact you or quickly view your business profile.
- Feature your WhatsApp on Google or Facebook ads
- Take your Whatsapp information directly to the consumers. Targeted Google and Facebook ads are a proven way to increase traffic to your site. Just add a link to your Whatsapp and wait for the waves of new customers flowing in.
- Add your contact information to your email signature
Next time you’re writing a newsletter or promotional campaign for email, place your Whatsapp phone number in the footer. Possible customers now have a convenient way to contact you for more information.
Although it has its drawbacks, WhatsApp Business is a simple and free way to expand your customer base. Its renowned messaging features allow for a smooth customer-to-business relationship.
By connecting your e-commerce website to the platform, you open a new communication channel for your business.
Take advantage of WhatsApp’s global connectivity and watch your traffic and sales grow.