WhatsApp Business is a free app available to download on iOS and Android devices for small business owners. WhatsApp is the most commonly used messaging app all across the world. WhatsApp has an estimated 1.5 billion users across the world. Being convenient and user-friendly, it quickly gained popularity and is continuing to amass more and more users every day. Due to its popularity, it can be used by small business owners to conduct their daily activities. The WhatsApp Business app had its origin in January 2018 to help small businesses. The purpose of WhatsApp business is to have a completely separate version on WhatsApp that can be used to connect businesses and consumers. The app was designed to provide business owners with a platform to communicate with their customers and better organize their orders. With several features that are designed specifically for the convenience of small businesses, the app is slowly gaining huge popularity among entrepreneurs.
How is WhatsApp Business Different from WhatsApp?
The two apps are very different in their purpose and user base. While WhatsApp is a messaging app used to stay in touch and communicate with people, WhatsApp Business is designed specifically for business operations. WhatsApp Business gives its users the opportunity to conduct their business, promote their brand, and communicate with their customers.
Why Use WhatsApp for Your Business?
Firstly, the vastness of WhatsApp’s user base and its audience size makes it very appealing to use. This is especially helpful if you want your business to reach a wider consumer base and in countries with a large number of users. India is said to have approximately 300 million users. Even in the US, where WhatsApp is not as widely used, it is said to have 23 million users.
WhatsApp Business vs. WhatsApp Business API: How To Use WhatsApp For Small Businesses Or For Enterprise
The WhatsApp Business App is available to download from PlayStore or Apple Store but it can also be used by the online platform, WhatsApp web. If you have a business account set up for your company then you can also access WhatsApp web from the browser itself. It is free to use and it convenient to let smaller businesses organize their presence on WhatsApp. The WhatsApp business app is a little limited in terms of features as compared to WhatsApp business API. The type of account your business should be using will depend on the size and messaging needs of your company. The WhatsApp business app is used to cater to the needs of local businesses and is restricted to one user on one phone.
The API does not have an interface thus making it possible to answer messages from multiple users across multiple devices. The API is suitable for bigger businesses. Setting up a WhatsApp business account will require you to have a phone and a sim card whereas the API needs you to apply for verification. Your company will be required to submit information about your business for WhatsApp to review and the verification takes a couple of days.
With the app, you can send an unlimited number of messages and there is also no restriction on the type of messages. However, with API there is a restriction on the type of messages you can send.
The main features of the WhatsApp business app
Business Profile: The WhatsApp business app allows you to create a profile for your business. This profile will be visible to your customers as well as new contacts who wish to communicate with your business. Here you can upload all necessary and relevant information about your business. These include email addresses, location, mobile numbers, and links to websites, product descriptions, logo, hours of business, and a lot more.
WhatsApp Web: Once you have a business account on WhatsApp business, you can send and receive messages even by operating WhatsApp from your computer browser. This feature is called WhatsApp web and lets you access your messages even without your phone.
Quick Replies: This feature allows you to save some messages that you use frequently so that you can send prompt replies. This can be used to answer some frequently asked questions. You can access these messages by pressing “/” and clicking the send button.
Automatic Greeting Message: WhatsApp business app lets you create greeting messages. Customers will automatically get such messages when they start a chat with you or after a certain period of inactivity.
Setting Away Message: Setting away messages, similar to greeting messages can be saved and automatically sent to customers who try to contact you after working hours. These can be in the form of custom messages where you inform them to contact you at a later time.
Label Contacts: WhatsApp Business app allows you to organize their group your contacts into categories and label them. This helps to access your contacts easier. If you are looking for a particular contact, instead of scanning through a massive phonebook you can simply search for them in a smaller group. You can categorize these contacts on the basis of city, country, etc.
Access Message Statistics: WhatsApp for Business similar to WhatsApp gives you access to essential information such as how many of our messages have been sent, delivered, and read by the recipient.
Catalogs: Catalogs allow you to upload pictures of your products so that people can easily check them out. Taking attractive pictures of your products may sometimes be a convincing factor for a customer to readily buy it. With the help of catalogs, you will not be required to send each customer all your product pictures, along with their prices and descriptions. All this information will be available in one place for everyone to see and choose from. You will also not be required to ask your customers to go to another website to check out your products.
Follow these easy steps to set up your WhatsApp business account
- Download the WhatsApp Business app onto your mobile. It is a free app available to download on the play store or app store.
- Verify or validate your phone number or business number.
- Sign up as a business manager. To set up a business account, you are required to complete this step.
- Add your business name and change the profile picture to the logo of your business.
- Select the category that best represents your business.
- Add your business description.
This is the initial setup of your business profile.
Just like the normal WhatsApp app, you will see chats, status, and call features.
You will be able to see the option “Business Tools” where you can streamline sales, communications, and automation. Here you can make your business account, add catalogs, and links to your business website. With the help of messaging tools, you can set up automated messages, greeting messages as well as quick replies.
Some Important Facts about the App
- You cannot have multiple users or multiple accounts on WhatsApp for business.
- You can have your personal WhatsApp converted into WhatsApp for business by downloading the WhatsApp for the business app and transferring your account. You can only have one account active at any point in time.
- WhatsApp for Business API is used by bigger businesses. Here the businesses can get verified after approval from WhatsApp.
- With WhatsApp for business, you can broadcast messages to 256 users just as normal WhatsApp. In the API however, broadcast messages are not allowed.
It is definitely one of the most downloaded apps on the market today and will continue to gain popularity due to its extensive reach and potential to cater to a global market. If you want to stay at par with your competitors, make your presence known, and provide extreme customer satisfaction, you might want to set up a WhatsApp business account right now!