WhatsApp Business: shopping, payments, and customer service innovations

WhatsApp, the instant messaging app created in 2009, is in constant evolution with the introduction of innovations. 

More than two billion users in over 180 countries use it daily to keep in touch with friends and family. WhatsApp Business, on the other hand, was created in 2018 and as stated in the company blog “is a free to download app available on Android and iPhone, and was built with the small business owner in mind. WhatsApp Business makes interacting with customers easy by providing tools to automate, sort and quickly respond to messages. It’s also intended to feel and work just like WhatsApp Messenger. You can use it to do everything that you’re used to doing, from messaging to sending photos”. 

In July 2020, WhatsApp Business introduced new features, such as the chance to start a chat directly with the company using the QR code and the chance to see all the services and products through the catalog link. 

A few days ago, precisely October 23, the company owned by Facebook announced the next updates. The main goal is to make messaging one of the most useful tools for putting businesses and consumers in direct contact. 

The pandemic has led to many changes and the dynamics of the relationship between seller and consumer are also undergoing changes. Now more than ever, companies need alternative approaches in order to communicate with their customers and in order to be able to close sales in a simple, fast and effective way. 

A research has shown that customers make a purchase if they can message a business and get help; every day more than 175 million messages are sent to WhatsApp Business accounts. 

There are three main aspects concerning the innovations launched. For what concerns the purchases, a shopping button will be introduced, it will give access to the catalog from the chat. Products added to the cart can be paid directly from the app and the customer service will be expanded and strengthened. For what concerns Facebook hosting services, companies will have a new option to manage messages with hosting services. Companies will thus be able to start their own business on WhatsApp, keep their catalog updated, sell services and products and reply quickly to customer requests. In closing, a rate will be charged to business customers in order to take advantage of some services offered. 

In the company blog we can read that: “This will help WhatsApp continue building a business of our own while we provide and expand free end-to-end encrypted text, video and voice calling for more than two billion people”. 

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