Every day millions of people chat with a business on WhatsApp to ask questions, get customer support or receive crucial information such as boarding passes or shipping updates about recent purchases.
WhatsApp has now expanded the WhatsApp business API, allowing businesses to send additional proactive (non-transactional) marketing messages to people who opt-in to receive them, creating a very powerful conversational marketing solution.
With its extensive reach, highly engaged user base, and rich communication capabilities, it has the potential to be one of the most impactful customer engagement channels in the omnichannel ecosystem, especially for businesses that are serving thousands of customers globally.
How to Get Started With The WhatsApp Business API
With this latest expansion, WhatsApp has opened up more testing to the following countries: Singapore, Malaysia, South Africa, United Arab Emirates, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Israel, United Kingdom, Netherlands, Spain, Italy, Germany, Nigeria, Egypt, Brazil, Colombia, Jamaica and USA. Businesses working with CommBoxt will be able to send non-transactional notifications.
You will need to partner with Commbox as one of Whatsapps’s global business solution providers. We’re messaging experts in enterprise business to customer communications.
There is no change to the message template creation process in Business Manager or via API. Businesses should choose one of the eleven categories for templates when submitting a non-transactional template, such as the “alert update” category. Templates will still go through a review process to ensure there are no Commerce or Business Policy violations and that the formatting is correct. See here for additional detail.
Businesses on the Business API can proactively message people who have opted into hearing from them on WhatsApp about existing transactions, such as a delivery update or receipt.
Use Cases by Vertical for The Whatsapp Business API
There are countless ways to leverage Whatsapp for businesses across the customer journey. Here are suggested use cases by vertical:
- Travel: Price alerts for flights the customer is tracking, custom deals based on travel preferences, upsell offers in context (e.g. car booking), cart abandonment reminders for flights not yet purchased
- Telecommunications: proactive outreach for top-ups before minutes run out, reminders about plan renewals before expiration, relevant offers and deals.
- Financial Services: product recommendations based on recent purchases (ex. signing up for a new credit card, line of credit or installment plan), relevant offers and deals (ex. credit card discounts and/or partnerships)
- Ecommerce/Retail: Back in stock reminder, product recommendations based on recent purchases, relevant offers and deals, cart abandonment reminders for products not yet purchased, relevant new product introductions.
It’s also important to highlight that people are fully in control when they message with businesses on WhatsApp. People can block or report a business at any time. When people block a business, they also can choose to tell them why, such as “Didn’t Sign Up”.
WhatsApp Business API’s real power lies in the programmatic notifications you can send through it. Once customers make a purchase and allow (or select this as the preferred way to receive notifications) your business to send them notifications, you get a very powerful tool to offer a great post-purchase experience to your customers.
Whatsapp Business by the Numbers
- 50 M+ businesses across the globe have an active WhatsApp Business Account
- 2 B people worldwide use WhatsApp to communicate
- Over 175 M people message WhatsApp for Business accounts daily
- 2nd most popular platform for customer service
- 5400% growth predicted in the number of medium and large businesses deploying WABA between 2019 and 2024
Taking these numbers into consideration, it’s no surprise that more and more consumer businesses are adopting WhatsApp to engage with their customers.
WhatsApp Business vs. SMS
SMS Messagingraditional SMS messaging has its place as a valuable promotional channel. However. the character limit for a single SMS message is 160 characters. However, some phones and networks use a concatenation process to segment and rebuild messages up to 1600 characters. And on the other side, messages not using GSM-7 encoding are restricted to 70 characters only.
Whatapp Business WhatsApp marketing, on the other hand, allows you to stay in touch with your customers much more fluidly. More than half of WhatsApp users check the app multiple times a day. You can be sure they will get your offers better yet, as WhatsApp messages have a 98% open rate. Additionally, your customers trust brands with chat apps more – 53% of people say they would buy from companies they can reach via chat.
Is WhatsApp Business API free?
No, it isn’t. But that being said, it does leverage the strongest and most involved user base, sending approximately 65 billion messages around the world in a single day. So, whether you want to use WhatsApp to generate leads, provide customer service, or encourage user engagement using a combination of chatbots and live agents, integrating the API into your business is without a doubt the best way to go.
Applying for the WhatsApp Business API can be a complicated process, but with the help of Commbox as your customer communication management solution provider, it’s a much smoother process. Knowing that Commbox services are fully compatible and compliant, the value your business will derive from reaching your leads and customers where they feel most comfortable is definitely worth the spend.
How to Get Started With the Whatsapp Business API
As an official partner of WhatsApp, Commbox supports you at every step to deploy a feature-rich WhatsApp Business solution, built on our powerful AI Conversation Platform to ensure you get an industry-leading solution from day one. Our AI Conversation platform provides a secured, scalable, and reliable solution that can be integrated with dozens of endpoints.