WhatsApp Ecommerce – Ally or Foe?

WhatsApp is one of the most used and popular messaging platforms. Although acquired by Facebook, the app has gained worldwide popularity in its own right. Bringing people one step closer to each other despite their geographical distances, WhatsApp is the number one option to connect with friends, family, or even customers.

With over 2 billion monthly active users, this app is available in 60 different languages and 180 countries. This makes Whatsapp a mine for gaining the necessary traffic and attraction for your business. Whatsapp provides stellar opportunities for businesses, especially small businesses, and e-commerce stores, to market their products, generate leads, build brand awareness, and even boost sales.

Ever heard of WhatsApp Business? Well. It’s more of setting up your business online on this messaging platform, safe enough to call it “WhatsApp Ecommerce“. WhatsApp Ecommerce has not yet been explored to its full potential, which is why many users may not aware of this segment of the E-commerce market.

So, we have compiled this article to help you understand Whatsapp Ecommerce, so to gauge if it’s truly an ally or a foe!

Pros of WhatsApp Ecommerce 

Besides its popularity as a chat messenger, WhatsApp Ecommerce proves to hold a plethora of benefits for businesses and e-commerce stores. Here is a look at some of the pross of setting up your business on this platform-

Catalogue display

Having a catalog of products and services is an inevitable part of an online business. Whatsapp makes this part easier for the businesses who can add their products and/or services along with brief info, for example, product prices, photos, link to the product catalog to your website, and much more.

Preset Responses

Online shoppers these days look out for speedy replies to their customer queries or complaints. WhatsApp Ecommerce acknowledges this need and helps you create predetermined messages to answer some of your customers’ general questions making it the best conversational commerce platform.

Customer Segmentation

Customer segmentation works a long way as it helps you to curate a personalized customer service and experience based on each segment. Whatsapp allows you to organize your contacts or chats with labels for easy retrieval. Besides these things, you can easily manage your chats with filters to sort by unread messages, groups, or broadcast lists.

Build your Distribution List

Just like email broadcasting, Whatsapp too allows you to create broadcast lists to distribute the same message to many users in one go. A very new technology, to make your content reach a bigger audience in a few simple steps.

Cons of WhatsApp Ecommerce 

No platform is perfect and there is always room for improvement. Just same is the case with Whatsapp as well. We have listed down the major areas that may not reap expected benefits for your business – 

  • Basic automation: Whatsapp provides basic functionalities like setting a welcome and away message. However, if you would like to have advanced functionalities such as personalized product recommendations, abandoned cart recovery, price drop, discounts notification, etc., you’ll need to obtain the WhatsApp Business API which is provided more for larger businesses. 
  • A separate number needed: Not much of a hassle as it may seem, but to use WhatsApp Business, you must have a separate phone number available or willing to turn your personal WhatsApp user account into a business account. That’s because each app requires a unique phone number which may become a potential hurdle if you were planning to grant access to other members of your team.

The Judgement

Now that you have a fair idea about what Whatsapp has to offer for your E-commerce business and also what are its relative shortcomings. We did like to draw an inference from the above sections that the limitations of the platform as compared to its benefits and efficiency for your business are minimal.

Also, because this platform is free to use, with minimum set-up, it empowers you to connect with customers on their terms. So just like every coin has two sides, so does Whatsapp E-commerce, hence it would be safe to say that it can be treated as your ally for setting up your business’s online presence.

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