There’s an unconventional yet impactful statistic that puts the hype around instant messaging apps into perspective.
Sample this: While the world’s most popular religion – Christianity – took 19 centuries to gain 600 million followers, WhatsApp went on to acquire 700 million users within a mere 6 years of its founding, by 2015!
Over the last decade, instant messaging apps such as WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, WeChat (in China), Viber, and Telegram have increasingly been adopted by consumers to stay connected with their personal and professional networks.
These new-age channels of communication have gradually eaten into the functional significance of traditional channels such as phone calls, emails, and SMS.
Set in this backdrop, the eternal challenge for marketers, i.e. reaching the right customer with the right message at the right time, through the right channel, has become even more magnified.
If existing and potential customers continue to adopt and use these instant messaging apps at scale, it only makes sense for businesses to reach them there – opening up opportunities to drive greater customer engagement, monetisation, and retention on a channel of their choice!
Enter: the era of conversational commerce and marketing!
What is Conversational Commerce?
Chris Messina, the former head of the Developer Experience Team at Uber, coined this term back in 2015. Conversational commerce is about “delivering convenience, personalisation, and decision support while people are on the go, with only partial attention to spare”. It refers to the intersection between instant messaging apps and e-commerce.
This means that customers can now make online purchases, ask questions, interact with customer support, receive personalised product/service recommendations, transactional messages, critical updates, and time-sensitive notifications from businesses – directly over instant messaging apps.
Having recognised the need for businesses to engage with their customers in real-time across such apps and platforms, we, at Smartech, have introduced a new channel of customer engagement to our AI-powered growth marketing suite in the form of WhatsApp Business Notifications!
Why Should Brands Use WhatsApp Business?
Here are some key reasons for using WhatsApp Business for brands across industries:
- Massive captive audience: With over 1.6 billion active users across 180 countries, WhatsApp’s remarkable growth story has been mind-boggling. India alone has over 200 million.
- Exceptional customer engagement rates: 98% of all messages delivered on WhatsApp are opened and read. 90% of these messages are opened and read within 3 seconds of delivery! Moreover, the average user checks his/her WhatsApp notifications more than 23 times a day. This is in stark contrast to emails, SMS, and even mobile push notifications.
- Higher customer buy-in sentiment: Unlike other traditional marketing channels, customers are more willing to engage with brands on WhatsApp (and other similar apps). In fact, according to Nielsen’s Facebook Messaging Survey, 67% of app users stated that they “expect to use chat more for communicating with businesses over the next 2 years”.
- Easier re-direction to website and apps: Certain messages sent through WhatsApp Business can be used to divert customers to the website or mobile app. For instance, a relevant “price drop” alert from an e-commerce player on WhatsApp can help direct the customer straight to the product page, by embedding the right back link.
- Rising industry adoption: Over 3 million companies are already using WhatsApp Business to fuel real-time customer engagement, monetisation, and retention, addressing diverse use cases across multiple industries.
Why Should Brands Adopt Smartech’s WhatsApp Business Solution?
While Smartech offers marketers a host of data-driven, cross-channel campaign management options, here’s how brands can benefit from using WhatsApp Business on Smartech:
- Consent management is easier than everDelivering marketing communication is dependent on securing the target customer audience’s complete buy-in. Smartech’s in-built consent management solution enables brands to adhere with WhatsApp Business’ opt-in/opt-out policies, enabling them to deliver WhatsApp notifications to only those customers who have explicitly agreed to receive them.Spamming will only result in brand dissonance and customer disengagement, while permission-based marketing through WhatsApp Business will help brands move the needle positively on their marketing efforts.
- Get started with use case-specific templatesCreating transactional messages for WhatsApp on Smartech has never been easier. Marketers can choose from a comprehensive collection of templates for various use cases. This ensures that your communication remains personalised and brand-consistent.
- Deliver personalised communication at scaleRegardless of marketing channel, sending personalised and contextualised messages to customers is critical to driving higher conversions, engagement, and retention. By using WhatsApp Business on Smartech, you can build on your personalisation efforts at different stages of the customer lifecycle.You can also add rich elements to these messages such as images, GIFs, videos, audio, PDF files, and QR codes.
- Orchestrate more impactful customer journeysMarketers no longer have to rely on just the existing marketing channels such as email, SMS, web messages, or mobile push notifications. Smartech’s intelligent routing logic enables brands to deliver the right message to the right user segments as part of existing or new customer journeys.Customer journeys can be optimised based on the response or non-response across other channels to trigger WhatsApp messages in the form of important information, urgent updates, or other transactional communication.
- Use a data-driven approach to gauge performanceSmartech’s seamless, data-rich dashboards allow marketers to gain real-time insights into the WhatsApp messages delivered and read across various customer journeys.This allows marketers to measure the effectiveness of WhatsApp Business as a channel of customer engagement on Smartech and accordingly optimise their marketing automation strategy.
What are Some Use Cases that WhatsApp Business Can Address?
The industry-agnostic nature of WhatsApp Business as a channel of customer engagement, makes it suitable to solve multiple use cases for different app categories and web businesses. Here are some of these use cases:
- Industry: E-Commerce
- Send confirmation when payment is completed and order is accepted
- Update customers on shipment status and/or delivery agent details
- Inform customers when item added to the wishlist is back in stock
- Share “price drop” or “limited stock” alerts on relevant items added to the wishlist
- Offer personalised product recommendations
- Recommended Read: How Netcore’s WhatsApp Chatbot Helped Flipkart Deliver Customer Delight at Scale
- Industry: Travel
- Send details about ticket booking confirmation, failed payment, cancellation, and/or refunds initiated
- Share critical, value-added messages about web check-in, boarding pass, details in the form of attachments, etc.
- Update customers about scheduled flight timings, boarding gates, and/or changes in the same
- Share “price drop” alerts or personalised recommendations on flight, train, bus, etc. tickets to relevant destinations based on customers’ previous in-app or online activities
- Seek feedback in terms of app ratings and reviews on trip completion
- Industry: Ticketing
- Send movie/event ticket confirmations instantly on booking completion with details in the form of attachments, etc.
- Provide important movie/event-related updates before the same, if any
- Share personalised recommendations based on past booking history
- Allow customers to pre-order food and beverage items by re-directing them to the mobile app or website
- Secure feedback on the viewing experience, app ratings, and/or reviews
- Industry: Food Delivery
- Send order confirmation details once payment is successful
- Share delivery status along with delivery agent details that can re-direct back to the live tracking feature on the mobile app or mobile site
- Provide fresh details on discounts on next order, refunds, credits added, time period valid for, etc. in the event of wrong or incomplete delivery of order
- Inform customers in case delivery agents are unable to contact them due to delivery address-related issues
- Send “thank you” or “delivered before ETA” messages on order completion to reinforce customer-centricity
The rise of instant messaging apps and platforms in today’s multi-channel and cross-device environment is a reality that all consumer-focused brands need to accept and embrace.
Our latest cutting-edge offering, at Smartech – to empower marketers with an additional channel to deepen customer relationships through WhatsApp Business is aimed at reimagining personalised customer engagement at scale!
To learn just how brands can leverage the power of WhatsApp Business, be sure to gain early access to our solution today!