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WhatsApp marketing for ecommerce : Ultimate Guide

Updated: Oct 24

Discover why "WhatsApp chatbot" is the most significant opportunity for retailers during 2022 in Saudi Arabia.

If you want to grow your business, you need to be wherever the customers are. This rule is well-known in the retailing sector. Technically, it is called Multichannel Retailing.

Well, retailers started on their "physical" shops first. Then, with the internet and mobile explosion, businesses added new channels. Today, e-commerce represents 20% to 30% of their total revenues.

With the choice of social media, especially Instagram and Facebook, retailers now have new leads. They have found a space to nurture their community and keep them engaged.

However, the gold rush is on WhatsApp today. The credit goes to "conversational commerce." So naturally, companies are rushing to establish their presence on WhatsApp. The app has 2 billion global users! That's because it is the preferred communication channel for customers.

Already 5 million small businesses have adopted WhatsApp Business App. On the other hand, tens of thousands of more prominent companies have adopted WhatsApp business API. Hence, the solution is also commonly known as "WhatsApp chatbots."

Discover how you can use WhatsApp to grow your retail and e-commerce business.

What you will be able to learn through this article includes:


Why WhatsApp

WhatsApp Products and Ecosystem

Uses cases for Marketing, Ecommerce, Support & Clienteling

WhatsApp Entry Points

How to Implement WhatsApp for your Business

Conclusion


Why WhatsApp

Today, WhatsApp is the preferred channel for 80% of people in 180 countries. Users choose it for many reasons. First, it's free and straightforward. Moreover, the app is relatively user-friendly. Most people also use it for its end-to-end encryption. It gives them a safe conversational space. But why should companies opt for the use of WhatsApp?

Benefits of Using WhatsApp
Benefits of Using WhatsApp

Today, WhatsApp is rocking the business world. But it is creating a massive buzz for a good reason! To start, imagine having in hand a tool that connects you with billions of global clients! WhatsApp is the new channel that gives you easy access to customers. It is where most of your customers are if not all.

WhatsApp facilitates interactions between businesses and clients. It offers tools to automate conversations. It also enables you to provide your customers with quick responses. Of course, companies still use traditional channels to reach their customers. But, WhatsApp has a 99% open rate and more than 40% response rate. Thus, it is beating all the usual channels. Also, studies show that 75% of adults want to message businesses the same way they do with friends and family. So, it is time to use the newest channel and the leader of instant messaging.

WhatsApp Statistics
WhatsApp Statistics

Another good reason to use WhatsApp is how WhatsApp enables companies. For example, WhatsApp helps companies build deeper connections with clients. 64% of WhatsApp users admit that they can nurture a personal relationship with businesses using the app. Added to that, WhatsApp will help your business increase customer trust. Statistics show that 71% of clients trust companies more after texting them on WhatsApp. Even better, WhatsApp represents an easy way to contact a business for 68% of customers. As a result, WhatsApp will help you grow sales, nurture new leads. It will also help you enhance customer relations.

But, before we get more into the deep, let's understand how WhatsApp operates.


WhatsApp's Ecosystem

WhatsApp's Ecosystem
WhatsApp's Ecosystem

WhatsApp has been ahead of all instant messaging apps for years. But, what makes WhatsApp stronger than its competitors. What gives WhatsApp the ability to change the world of messaging? Well, the reason behind that is its ecosystem. So, let's take a look at WhatsApp's ecosystem.

WhatsApp

You are probably familiar with the app, but let's get into details. The usual WhatsApp app is the most popular product. Using the app doesn't necessitate any charges. You don't even need to pay anything to contact global numbers. So, it is totally free! Individuals use WhatsApp to reach family and friends. However, WhatsApp offers many features as well. For example, you can create a group chat. The app is for personal use only. Therefore, companies can't use it for commercial purposes.


WhatsApp Features
WhatsApp Features

WhatsApp for Business

This solution is mainly for companies. It aims to connect firms with their customers, no matter where they are. However, the solution serves small businesses. It is free to download. Essentially, the tool works in the same way WhatsApp does. But, it aims to give companies a presence within the WhatsApp community.

WhatsApp Business Features
WhatsApp Business Features

WhatsApp Business API

The final product of WhatsApp is its API. It targets medium and large companies. WhatsApp launched the product in 2019. Unlike WhatsApp and WhatsApp Business, WhatsApp API is not an app. Instead, it's a programming interface. The solution helps enterprises provide customer support and important business notifications. Also, it provides companies with a secure and easy way to reach their worldwide customers.

WhatsApp Business API
WhatsApp Business API Definition

The solution empowers medium and large companies through a bunch of features that include:

  • The ability to share business notifications and transactional messages.

  • Chatbots integration to automate responses to common questions.

  • Use of a single number by multiple agents.

  • Integration with other channels and your internal business systems

  • The ability to share media attachments and links.

  • API availability that allows a third-party integration. The tool helps you get a full view of all incoming messages in one inbox. You can also route conversations to agents in an intuitive way. Your chatbot will also sort and filter incoming messages.

WhatsApp Business API Features
WhatsApp Business API Features

With a lot to offer, more companies are heading towards the solution. WhatsApp's dominance comes from the variety of its products and its features that target businesses. With that being said, think of what you can do with the solution as a retailer or e-commerce. It can be helpful for your retail and e-commerce business more than you ever think!

WhatsApp Feature Comparison
WhatsApp Products Feature Comparison

WhatsApp Use cases for Retail and E-commerce

The E-commerce and retail sector witnessed a massive change thanks to new technologies. Nowadays, firms have new ways to engage with their customers. One of these solutions is WhatsApp API. With the broadest base of worldwide users, companies can now reach more customers using WhatsApp. Even more, statistics found that customers are more likely to shop from a business they can message in a direct way.

So, here are a few ways to use WhatsApp for your e-commerce and retail business.

Marketing on WhatsApp

Businesses can include WhatsApp in their daily marketing processes in different ways. Here are a few ideas to get you started.

Special Promotions and Offers

You can share promotional messages and discount codes with your opt-in customers. But, you can share this type of messages with your opt-in database only. Even more, you can ask your customers to share the code with friends and family. Since WhatsApp supports media, you can share the promotion in the form of an image, along with a text or a direct link to your e-commerce website.

Promotions on WhatsApp
Sharing Promotions on WhatsApp

To reach your sales goals, you can use the WhatsApp group targeting feature. Let us explain further. Once you use WhatsApp API, you can integrate a chatbot. The chatbot allows you to gather customer data in an intuitive way. Therefore, you can use the collected data for marketing goals. Your marketing team can divide the data based on similar interests. Then, you can share with the targeted promotions that go along with their choices.

New product launch

The solution allows you to share business updates with your opt-in customers. So, you can notify them every time you have something new in store. For example, if you are launching your winter collection, you can spread the word using WhatsApp. Likewise, if you have a new product that will be available on your website soon, you can share a notification. Your message can include the date and time of the launch.

Product Launch Notifications on WhatsApp
New Product Launch Notfications On WhatsApp

Product Recommendation

Retailers keep looking for new ways to recommend their products. If this is your case, then WhatsApp is the right channel. WhatsApp allows you to share product suggestions with your clients based on their recent purchases. This step allows you to make your clients more exciting about the products and encourage them to buy. Besides, WhatsApp will enable you to integrate chatbots. The integration allows tracking recent customer purchases.

Product Recommendation on WhatsApp
Product Recommendation on WhatsApp

There are different ways based on which you can recommend products to your customers:

  1. User Purchase Behavior: You can recommend products based on the last purchase. Other factors include clients' favorite brands and the time of the purchase.

  2. User Browsing Behavior: You can refer to your customer's activity on your website or app. You can also refer to the latest products they saw or searched.

  3. Milestones: You can recommend products based on essential milestones for your customers, such as birthdays.

Back in Stock Messages

WhatsApp is an excellent channel to inform your clients that their favorite or wish-listed products are available again. For example, a customer may ask about a specific product that is out of stock by that time. Thus, you can use WhatsApp to share availability alerts. As a result, your customer can resume the purchase. Moreover, you can include shopping links with payment options in your messages. Therefore, your customer can quickly finish the purchase before the product goes out of stock again.

Back in Stock Messages on WhatsApp
Back in Stock Messages on WhatsApp

To leverage the solution, you need the integration of the right 3rd party.

BusinessChat.io offers you the correct features that empower your agents. The platform provides your agents with a complete view of all customer conversations. Therefore, your agents can engage with customers promptly and efficiently.


Ecommerce on WhatsApp

With 175 million people who message companies using the app daily, WhatsApp has recently expanded the privileges of businesses. In addition, the solution has now facilitated the shopping process for customers. Here are a few ideas in which retailers and e-commerces can leverage the solution to sell online.

Product Information

Using WhatsApp, companies can now create a product catalog. Then, include it in its profile. Moreover, you can share it as part of the chat. For example, a customer may text you to ask about the available baby collection. You can then share a catalog of the products you have.

Product Information on WhatsApp
Sharing Product Information on WhatsApp

You can also add a catalog button to your main menu. Features like WhatsApp list messages and buttons enable you to do so. Even more, you can share a single item to answer your customer. You can include product details such as the price and the store in which it's available.

Product Selection and Purchase

Shopping on WhatsApp
Product List Messages and Product Display Page and Cart on WhatsApp

WhatsApp made it easier for companies to grow their sales. It created a solution that enables customers to fulfill the purchase using the app. Once your customer takes a look at your catalog, they can directly select the product they need. Then, your customer can add their payment details to finish the shopping process—all in one place. With the cart feature, your customer can easily add products to their cart. Therefore, they can place an order right from a chat.

Product Selection and Purchase on WhatsApp
Product Selection and Shopping on WhatsApp

Quick Reorder

WhatsApp allows you to take orders from your customers in the quickest way possible. But, WhatsApp does also enables your customers to make a quick reoder. The feature allows your clients to order the same order they ordered before. Let's set the example of a client that places the same order from your grocery store every week. Your chatbot will record the order details. Then, you can automate the process of ordering for them. You can add a button in your main menu with the description quick reorder. Thus, your customer can select the reorder option once they start a conversation. Your client can then place their order without the need to go through details each time.

Quick Reorder on WhatsApp
Quick Reorder Option on WhatsApp

Payment and Billing

Using the channel, your customers can now fulfill the payment process. WhatsApp allows your clients to send money easily and quickly. Once your customer places an order, they can add their payment details as well. For example, you can include the option of payment using WhatsApp buttons.

Moreover, with the chatbot integration, you can automatically share payment links. The payment link will redirect your customers to the payment platform. They can then select their bank, add their account number and the amount they wish to pay.

Payment and Billing on WhatsApp
Payment Transactions and Sharing Bills on WhatsApp

Order Confirmation

The solution enables you to delight your customers even more. You can now share an order confirmation message automatically to their WhatsApp number. This step gives your customers easy access to their order details. Even more, you can add a link that allows your customer to confirm or cancel the order. The "Order Confirmation" message will enable you to thank your customers for shopping from your business. Plus, they can check their order details to avoid any confusion or mistakes. For example, the message may include details of the product, the shipping address, and the payment method.

Order Confirmation Using WhatsApp
Order Confirmation Messages on WhatsApp

On the other hand, you can also share an order cancellation message. Once your customer cancels an order, you can automatically share a message. The aim is to reassure them that the cancellation is confirmed.

Purchase/ Order Receipts

Since WhatsApp supports media and attachments, you can easily share invoices. Just like in face-to-face shopping, you can share the shopping receipt with your customers. It can be in an image or PDF format. You can also use WhatsApp messages to notify your customers when you receive the payment. Another excellent example of using WhatsApp for billing is to share reimbursement details of returned products. This feature allows you to help your customers stay on top of their bank transactions.

Cart Abandonment

Statistics show that the rate of Cart Abandonment in 2020 reached 77.13%. The mentioned number shows that retailers and e-commerce aren't using the proper channels to share cart abandonment recovery alerts.

With a 93% open rate and 40% response rate, WhatsApp allows you to reduce your Cart Abandonment rate. As a result, you have a much higher chance to get your cart abandonment messages seen.

Furthermore, you can train your AI chatbot to send a reminder after a specific time of adding the product to the cart. Then, you will be able to turn abandoned cart users into customers.

Cart Abandonment Notifications on WhatsApp
Cart Abandonment Notifications Using WhatsApp

BusinessChat.io offers you unlimited conversations and contacts as well, all in one plan. Therefore, you can launch marketing campaigns at a scale with one click. You don't even need to worry about text limits.


Customer Support On WhatsApp

Retail and E-commerce businesses can leverage the solution to improve their customer support. With the ability to start a conversation with your opt-in clients, you can easily share relevant updates. Here are a few ideas to help you understand how to use WhatsApp to support your retail and e-commerce customers.

Delivery Tracking

Every time a client places an order on your website or by phone, you can share a message to update them about the status of their order. The message may include the order tracking number or the tracking link. It can also include the address, date, and time of the delivery.

Moreover, the process can be automatic thanks to the chatbot integration. Your chatbot can update your customer with the status of their order once the product is shipped. Therefore, you will keep your customers aware of when they will receive the order.

Delivery Notifications

You can use the solution to share delivery messages with your clients. For example, your chatbot can notify your customer that the order has been received. Sometimes, a client may choose to leave the order at their front desk. Therefore, this step is essential to reassure customers that their product is in a safe place. This step will also allow you to reduce customer questions about their orders.

Delivery Notifications on WhatsApp
Delivery Notifications on WhatsApp

Return or Refund Request

In the retail field, it frequently happens that a client decides to return a purchased product. Or, they may request a refund for a particular mistake that occurred. Mistakes happen, and these cases are common for retailers and e-commerce. But, why waste your team's time on these details while you can grant a fluid process for return and refund using WhatsApp. By integrating a chatbot and defining its flow appropriately, you can train it to deal with such an issue. First, you need to determine the cases where the client can return the product or get a refund. If the chatbot is not familiar with the situation, it will directly forward the conversation to a human agent smoothly and automatically.

Return and Refund using WhatsApp
Return Inquiries on WhatsApp

Billing or Product Inquiry

WhatsApp allows you to handle your customer inquiries at a scale. You can quickly provide customers with details about your products. You can add a WhatsApp inquiry button on your website product page. Then, you will get all product inquiries directly on your company's WhatsApp number.

Chatbots can also automatically handle product questions. Since WhatsApp Business API requires a third-party integration, you just need to use the right solution. Then, you will be able to handle all product inquiries from one dashboard.


Clienteling on WhatsApp

WhatsApp can be a powerful channel for clienteling and customer service. Retail and e-commerce businesses need excellent communication to ensure their business viability. Therefore, the solution allows you to nurture your customer relationships. Here is a glance at how you can use WhatsApp for clienteling.

WhatsApp gives retailers and e-commerce the ability to provide customers with direct and instant communication. Using the solution, clients can have an experience that stimulates a live interaction with an agent. The ease of connection that WhatsApp offer takes your clienteling to a whole new level. With the ability to select the branch they need, your clients will be able to feel just like they went to your physical store. Moreover, WhatsApp allows your customer to choose the agent they would like to reach.



Now let's assume that your client is searching for a specific type of shoes, but they would like to pick the order from a particular store of yours. Once the client indicates the place factor, your chatbot will directly route the conversation to the live agent that works in that store. Your client can then speak to the agent and get the information they need easily and quickly. Moreover, your agents can also deal with the customer conversations they usually deal with, just like when they visit your store. This step creates brand consistency and allows you to build solid relations with customers. In addition, this allows your customers to have one-to-one through seamless digital conversations. That's what we call clienteling!

But, the WhatsApp solution comes in the format of an API. It is "a piece of code without user interface." Therefore, to leverage the solution, you need to obtain the right 3rd party platform that empowers your agents in the right way.

BusinessChat.io offers your agents a mobile app version that helps your agents deal with customer conversation at scale. Therefore, your agents will be able to serve your customers even if they don't have access to their computers. BusinessChat.io platform also offers your agents a complete view of your customer conversations with your business no matter the channel.

With 35% of customers who expect to speak to the same agent through any communication channel, this feature is essential.

By choosing the right conversational platform, you can nail your clienteling. But, unlike other messaging channels, businesses can message their opt-in customers only. If a customer contacts you for assistance, you can always respond. But, if you wish to send them notifications, you need to gather their opt-in data via a third-party channel. Then, you can text them using template messages. Therefore, companies need to build their opt-in list. Now, how can businesses encourage customers to message them using WhatsApp?


WhatsApp Entry Points

To grow your opt-in database, you need to encourage customers to message you via WhatsApp. The best way to do that is to use WhatsApp's entry points. Here are a few ideas that you can use.

WhatsApp Entry Points
Where do people start a WhatsApp conversation with a Brand From

WhatsApp Thread: You can share the link to your opt-in list when your customer has a conversation with an agent or chatbot on WhatsApp.

Social Media: Share the link in your social media posts. Or, Ads that click to WhatsApp, like Facebook, Messenger, and Instagram ads.

Website: Share the link once the customer completes a purchase. You can also include it in your live messaging sessions.

Calls: Your agent can offer your customer the option of subscribing during the call.

SMS Campaigns: Include the opt-in link in your SMS campaign messages.

In-Person: Your agent can suggest to your customer to opt-in once they visit your physical store.

QR Codes: Add a QR code to your packages, employee cards, and more. Once the customer uses the code, they will opt-in.

But, you'd better diversify your entry points and use the available options. This step will lead to the growth of your WhatsApp messages volume.

WhatsApp Entry Points
WhatsApp Opt-in Methods

WhatsApp Entry Points
How to Encourage Customers to Contact your Brand Using WhatsApp

How to implement WhatsApp for your Business

To integrate WhatsApp Business API for your company, you need to follow these steps:

  • Start by listing all your problems and the needs that you will treat using the solution.

  • Gather your stakeholders from all the different stages of the customer journey.

  • Select a Business Solution Provider from Facebook's directory.

  • Create your Facebook Business Manager account

  • Get the verification of your Facebook Business account. Check our blog to learn the step-by-step process of verifying your account.

  • Create your WhatsApp Business profile.

  • Verify your WhatsApp Business number.

  • Build your business catalog on Facebook Catalog.

  • Build your opt-in list using the entry points.

  • Define your opt-in and opt-out steps.

  • Build your chatbot flow.

  • Test your chatbot.

  • Launch your WhatsApp API and send a test message.

  • Evaluate, measure your performance. Then, enhance and improve.

How to Implement WhatsApp Business API
Necessary Steps for Implementing WhatsApp API for Your Business

Talk to BusinessChat.io now to set the goals and build your WhatsApp solution. We can help you get your Facebook Business account verification. We can also help you design the right chatbot for your company.

Conclusion

When it comes to retail and e-commerce businesses, WhatsApp capabilities are limitless. You can leverage the solution to share marketing campaigns. Or, you may use it to share business notifications. You can also use it to improve your customer service and experience. But, the solution will certainly help you grow your sales. Moreover, it will help you lower the work overload for your agents.

If you are interested in getting the solution, schedule a free demo with BusinessChat.io now.

BuinessChat.io can help you access the WhatsApp API. We can but also help you get integrations set up for your e-commerce business.

If you want to learn more about what we offer, simply contact our team.