E-commerce businesses seek to provide excellent customer service to retain their customers, especially among the high competition. WhatsApp showed promising results, specifically in Saudi Arabia, where email and SMS usage is dwindling.
If you own a small store, then WhatsApp Business App will be sufficient to deal with your target audience. However, if you own a medium or large business, you must use WhatsApp API to deal with a significant database.
Because WhatsApp is a paid service, we will walk you through WhatsApp prices and critical upcoming updates.
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WhatsApp pricing system
There is no standard price for all WhatsApp API account users; it doesn’t provide a monthly fee.
Your account usage will determine the price; you will pay for how many messages you send.
There are two message categories for WhatsApp; each category has a different price:
User-initiated messages: these are messages that people send to a store asking for a service, such as inquiring about a product. When customer service answers that inquiry, a 24-hour window will open. Within this window, the company can send unlimited untemplated messages.
Business-initiated messages: these are the messages you send as a business to potential customers to advertise a product or service. WhatsApp must preapprove these. Messages you send responding to a customer inquiry outside the 24-hour window also fall within this category. The country code of the recipient will determine the price of this message. If a customer responds, a new 24-hour window will open.
For each conversation, you only pay once, regardless of who initiated the conversation. Business-initiated messages, however, are more expensive than user-initiated messages.
New Whatsapp message categories and prices
Whatsapp maintained the same pricing system but also modified the message categories and prices. Here’s a list of the new categories, effective April 1st:
Utility messages are conversations with clients about an ongoing exchange, including post-purchase notifications, bill receipts, etc.
Authentication messages enable users to recover their accounts, such as passwords, etc.
Marketing messages: these are advertising campaigns to promote products and services.
Service messages: these are what used to be called user-initiated messages.
WhatsApp prices in Saudi Arabia
Should you consider using WhatsApp API, you must be familiar with its prices first. The new prices will be effective June 2023:
Current prices[ Saudi Riyal]
New prices [ Saudi Riyal]
WhatsApp must approve all messages you plan to use as an e-commerce business. These are called templates.
Now that business-initiated messages are categorized, you must understand how this works. This scenario might be helpful:
Whatsapp prices are determined according to the message template used to initiate the conversation
If you have an open utility conversation, you will pay 0.095. Before this conversation is closed, if you send a marketing template to the same customer, you will initiate a new marketing conversation and pay 0.15.
No additional charges will apply if you send another utility message within the exact first conversation within the 24-hour window.
Free messages tier and entry points’ window
Whatsapp entry points
To promote WhatsApp as the first communication channel for your business, you can use different entry points, such as social media ads that click to WhatsApp and Facebook buttons. Potential leads can reach you on your WhatsApp account with a single click.
When a customer reaches out to you through one of these entry points, a 24-hour window will open. With recent updates, this window will be extended to 72 hours.
You can also send any message template within this window without extra charges.
Free messages tier
WhatsApp offers 1000 free messages for businesses per month. These messages can be user or business initiated.
The upcoming updates will eliminate business-initiated messages from the count of these 1000 free messages.
This update will apply to companies relying on BSPs starting June 1st, 2023. All other accounts will witness the change starting from April 1st, 2023.
How to get WhatsApp API
To use WhatsApp, you must rely on a Business Solution Provider such as 360 Dialogue to host your number or use Meta cloud. Opt for the second choice to eliminate extra expenses.
WhatsApp API doesn’t have a user interface; you must hire tech specialists to develop a solution for your conversations. Or you can rely on companies such as BusinessChat to provide a suitable platform for your store.
Discover how to get WhatsApp APi from Here.