Messenger for customer retention and loyalty • 29.05.2020

WhatsApp Business: A direct line to customers

About the installation, functions and advantages of the app

WhatsApp is a popular communication channel used by millions of people worldwide. Now small and medium-sized retailers or restaurants can use WhatsApp Business to quickly and easily engage and interact with their customers and build customer loyalty. With chatbots and third-party payment options, the app can do a lot.

The app aims to directly connect with customers and deliver immediate service. Questions about products or pricing can be answered immediately in a one-to-one chat, using a platform that the vast majority of consumers already know and appreciate immensely. It’s a big plus from a marketing perspective as it delivers a faster and more personalized way to reach out to customers. According to several studies, this is exactly what customers want.

What WhatsApp Business can do

The free messaging tool runs on smartphones (Android and iPhone), but can also be used as a desktop app via WhatsApp Web. On the startup page, the app shows the business profile including business hours, address, email, and website. As with the private WhatsApp version, there are chats, voice and video calls. Users can integrate media such as images and videos and create groups.

Questions about product availability, order updates and billing, return or refund requests can be handled via WhatsApp. The statistics feature shows how many messages are sent, delivered, read, and received. Another practical tool: the catalog for products with uploaded images and brief descriptions. The products can be integrated into chats.

Screenshot smartphone with WhatsApp Business app
The business settings and functions

Bots and automation: Third-party tools at a fee

Businesses have access to other features thanks to APIs (= application program interface, specifies how software components should interact) - however, WhatsApp works with third-party solution providers in this case and the feature comes at a cost.

Chatbots use artificial intelligence to instantly answer frequently asked questions in a personalized manner. This also applies to greetings or absence messages (similar to the out-of-office automatic reply in Outlook). Multi-user platforms make it possible for all customer service employees to access the messages to assist consumers.

A study by LivePerson from 2019 indicates, "91% of German respondents ’agree’ or ‘strongly agree’ that they're more likely to do business with a company that can answer their questions immediately." When it comes to using chatbots, customers are becoming more open to trying new technologies: "When assured bots are secure and have useful information available, most people are willing to use them for a wide variety of customer service and sales use cases.”

WhatsApp payment option 

Prompted by imposed Coronavirus restrictions, many consumers are increasingly using contactless payment options. As a result, WhatsApp has also seen a significant uptick in demand for payment via a payment link facilitated by connected payment platforms from third-party payment providers. The customer orders and gets a payment request from the retailer via Paylink on WhatsApp chat. After confirming the link, customers select their preferred payment method. The retailer can monitor in real-time once the link is clicked and initiate the delivery process. Payments are based on PSD 2.0, the second Payment Services Directive, designed by the countries of the European Union, and are back-office documented. The electronic payment receipt is then available as a PDF download – making it a paperless process.

Is it secure?

WhatsApp chats are secured with end-to-end encryption. According to WhatsApp, only you and the person you're communicating with can read what's sent. Third-party services use APIs to ensure GDPR compliance.

WhatsApp Business advantages at a glance

  • Free-to-download
  • Use with mobile phone or computer
  • Reaches millions of users
  • Intuitive to use, as users and customers are already familiar with the Messenger tool
  • Organized message overview
  • A more personalized approach than traditional newsletters and emails
  • Instant responses – automated replies for frequently asked questions via API and bots
  • Supports customer service (brief messages versus long phone calls)

How to get started: Create an account

  • Download and open the app (Google Play Store and Apple App Store)
  • Enter your phone number to verify the WhatsApp business account: you can use a mobile or landline number. If you use both WhatsApp Business and WhatsApp Messenger, the mobile phone number cannot be the same for both. An easy way to fix this: get a second prepaid cell phone and install the app on this device.
  • Now enter the "business name" and follow the steps to create your profile by tapping “Settings” and “More Options“.
Screenshot Abbildung smartphone with WhatsApp Business catalog...
The simple catalog is produced in little time
Source: WhatsApp

Create a product catalog

  • Select “Catalog“ in Settings.
  • Upload images and brief descriptions. You can also add prices, links and codes.
  • Save products in chat using the catalog symbol (in Media folder). 

Trend: Messenger as a service channel

Software provider MessengerPeople conducted a representative sample in Germany and discovered that nearly two-thirds of business decision-makers consider Messenger to be the future of customer service. The provider reports early successes of its use: “BMW has automated its workshop customer service using WhatsApp, thus enabling customers to have 24/7 access to check on the repair status of their vehicle. The callback requests have dropped by 60 percent. Germany’s market leader for natural textiles, hessnatur, has handled customer complaints much faster since it introduced WhatsApp. This reduced the return rate, and saved the company a lot of money in the process. ”

The features of WhatsApp Business plus API features such as automatic messages and payment options at a fee via third-party providers, present fresh opportunities for any retailer and make it easy to connect with customers. The use of Messenger as a customer service platform is a great tool to facilitate customer relationship management and increase conversation rates.

Author: Natascha Mörs

related articles:

popular articles:

Thumbnail-Photo: Upturn for brick and mortar retail in city centres?...
17.07.2020   #brick and mortar retail #customer relationship management

Upturn for brick and mortar retail in city centres?

Economic development and city marketing about current measures

Bonn's inner city – like all other cities in Germany – is struggling with the consequences of the Corona lockdown. We asked directly on site what support there is from the economic development and city marketing departments. This ...

Thumbnail-Photo: Connected Retail Experiences and StartmeupHK Festival 2020...
01.04.2020   #online trading #brick and mortar retail

Connected Retail Experiences and StartmeupHK Festival 2020

New dates for the events announced

Bailey Communications and InvestHK have confirmed today that the Connected Retail Experiences and StartmeupHK Festival 2020, the flagship event of the startup community event has been rescheduled and will now take place during the week of 6th July, ...

Thumbnail-Photo: Consumer product demand in wake of Covid-19 crisis...
29.04.2020   #coronavirus #food retail

Consumer product demand in wake of Covid-19 crisis

Newly launched IRI CPG demand index

IRI® released the IRI CPG Demand Index™, a proprietary metric measuring weekly changes in consumer purchases, by dollar sales, against the year-ago period across departments, categories and retail formats.“The COVID-19 pandemic has ...

Thumbnail-Photo: Coronavirus: digital commerce spend to fall by 14 percent in 2020...
28.04.2020   #online trading #e-commerce

Coronavirus: digital commerce spend to fall by 14 percent in 2020

Spend set to recover in 2021 as offline spend moves online

A new study from Juniper Research found that global spending on digital commerce will fall by 14 percent in 2020 as lockdowns and reductions in consumer spend are felt. Spending will fall from $11.2 trillion in 2019 to $9.7 trillion.The new ...

Thumbnail-Photo: The Virtual Africa Big Retail Expo 2020 (ABRE 2020)...
06.07.2020   #digital marketing #marketing research

The Virtual Africa Big Retail Expo 2020 (ABRE 2020)

The spotlight is on the emerging trends in the retail industry at The Virtual Africa Big Retail Expo 2020, set to take place on 6th August 2020

The event is scheduled to begin from 0900 EAT till 1400 EAT. This exhibition is the first annual event which is dedicated to discussing the following:How do retailers keep up as the world tries to deal with the enormous pressure to adapt to ...

Thumbnail-Photo: Smart clothing to drive fitness wearable revenue...
10.06.2020   #trend research #fashion

Smart clothing to drive fitness wearable revenue

New report forcasts a rise of 11 billion Dollar by 2025

A new report from Juniper Research forecasts that annual revenue of integrated fitness clothing will rise from approximately $1 billion in 2020 to $11 billion in 2025. This rapid growth, boosted by higher pricing, will see smart clothing become the ...

Thumbnail-Photo: Cashier as british Vogue cover star
02.06.2020   #cashpoints #brick and mortar retail

Cashier as british Vogue cover star

Keyworkers chosen for front cover providing a special moment of thanks during pandemic

British Vogue is breaking with their usual cover stars - a space normally reserved for ‘A’ list celebrities and supermodels, and instead have devoted their iconic cover for the July 2020 issue to honouring key workers who have been ...

Thumbnail-Photo: German prestige beauty industry generates 3,2 billion € in sales for...
14.04.2020   #online trading #brick and mortar retail

German prestige beauty industry generates 3,2 billion € in sales for 2019

Sales are driven by skincare and fragrances

The sales of beauty products sold in the prestige beauty market generated 3,2 billion € in sales during 2019, according to The NPD Group. Within the five largest countries for sales of prestige beauty products in Europe, which are tracked by ...

Thumbnail-Photo: Online channel may not be the savior clothing retailers hoped for...
13.04.2020   #online trading #e-commerce

Online channel may not be the savior clothing retailers hoped for

Closing distribution centers for employee safety

Since the UK Government enforced stores to close for the foreseeable future, many non-food retailers hoped that customers would divert spend onto their online channels. However, last week, Next – the UK’s third largest clothing retailer ...

Thumbnail-Photo: Buy now, pay later options drive increase in e-commerce...
19.05.2020   #online trading #e-commerce

Buy now, pay later options drive increase in e-commerce

New data from Klarna about sales of travel services and event tickets

Klarna released new data from its app in the US, indicating that travel services and event ticket sales are beginning to recover. While still significantly lower compared to an average pre-COVID week, the Airlines category saw a 26 percent ...

Supplier

POS TUNING Udo Voßhenrich GmbH & Co KG
POS TUNING Udo Voßhenrich GmbH & Co KG
Am Zubringer 8
32107 Bad Salzuflen