WhatsApp - the world’s most widely used messaging application - celebrates its tenth anniversary this year. In this decade, it’s getting down to business. Enterprises are using the WhatsApp Business API to roll out chat commerce, stay ahead of the competition with chat commerce and chat banking, and improve the overall customer experience.
Companies in sales, food delivery, and finance report reduced costs and streamlined customer service using the WhatsApp Business API.
The WhatsApp Business API was launched late last year, and here’s why it’s attracted leading medium to large businesses:
Massive global reach at 1.5 billion users
It’s secure, with end-to-end encryption
Around 78% of users (outside the USA) regularly send texts
Mark Zuckerberg has clearly recognized this business opportunity, adding that messaging helps customers “communicate more naturally with businesses”.
This isn’t a vision of a new world dreamed up by Zuckerberg.
In China, WeChat gives 1 billion consumers access to chat commerce features, and the ability to make hotel bookings, pay restaurant bills, book taxis, and to make peer-to-peer payments.
WhatsApp is the ideal platform to bring this digital retail revolution to the rest of the world. While WeChat dominates in China, WhatsApp has the clout when it comes to global penetration and it’s particularly strong in countries like Brazil, Canada, South Africa, and Australia.
A combination of that global reach and customer-centric features make WhatsApp a natural fit for businesses who are committed to improving customer experience.
Setting up your business profile is the first step to getting started with the API. This profile includes contact information, along with operating hours and location if you’re a physical store.
When a user contacts an enterprise, businesses can respond for free within 24 hours. If you can’t answer within 24-hours, WhatsApp suggests directing customers to other channels. Even better, you can integrate chatbots, thus activating real-time engagement.
Hundreds of businesses started onboarding WhatsApp’s business API when it was unveiled, with industry giants such as Netflix and Uber among the first to test the service.
In finance, Absa partnered with Clickatell to strengthen its digital experience. Absa customers can now perform a range of financial transactions via chat banking including:
Purchase electricity and airtime
Pay existing beneficiaries
Additionally, UK-fintech firm, WorldRemit, offers simpler money transfers and provides customers with instant updates on transactions.
Booking.com uses WhatsApp to communicate with customers “naturally via their preferred channel”. “That's why we're exploring how to share booking confirmations and other handy updates with our customers via WhatsApp,“ said Booking.com’s Adrienne Enggist.
KLM Royal Dutch Airlines sends flight status updates, check-in notifications, and offers 24/7 support.
Chat commerce, or conversational commerce, enables on-demand, real-time transactions. Online retailer Wish.com allows shoppers to keep track of their orders, reporting “outstanding results”. Retailers could also send consumers alerts about products that they’re interested in.
In the era of omnichannel communication, WhatsApp ties with other communication and customer relationship management tools. For instance, Clickatell integrates the API into our Touch solution so you never keep your customers waiting.
Customer expectations are evolving. Your communication must be personalized, secure, and fast. The WhatsApp Business API meets these requirements, crafting a seamless customer experience.
Clickatell is an authorized WhatsApp Business solution provider. This means verification and approval is managed for you, making the onboarding process faster and easier. You also get business profile management and support so you can build a powerful WhatsApp presence right from the start. If you want to take your customer experience to a new level or enable a chat commerce solution, check out our integration for the WhatsApp Business API.
SMS and two-way channels, automation, call center integration, payments - do it all with Clickatell's Chat Commerce platform.