WhatsApp for Ecommerce: How To Make The Most of WhatsApp Business API

Naziba Ali

Content Editor

Providing excellent customer experience is now more critical than ever before. And if you are an eCommerce store owner, you definitely know this better than anyone. 

According to Salesforce, 84% of consumers believe that the customer experience of a brand is just as important as its products and services. As such, numerous brands are turning to WhatsApp Business to successfully enhance customer interactions, edging out competitors who are still relying on traditional CX channels. 

Since 2015, Adidas has responded to consumer inquiries via WhatsApp, and in 2017 the company innovated by allowing amateur teams to request a professional athlete for a single game via an Adidas WhatsApp group. The Spanish fashion retailer Zara allows clients to use the messaging platform to contact the company instantaneously and chat about common difficulties such as materials, sizing, order updates, returns and so on. 

In this piece, we will take a look at how you can get ahead of the game by leveraging WhatsApp Business API for your eCommerce store.

Shedding Light On The Increasing Popularity of WhatsApp

While the world's population is currently 7.5 billion, the volume of WhatsApp messages shared on the network outnumbers it by 13X.

The majority of these messages are transmitted between family members, friends, and others. However, since the advent of WhatsApp Business, the majority of these interactions have taken place between businesses and their clients.

Now, let’s see why businesses should focus on customer interactions via WhatsApp. 

  • Higher open-rate: Despite their widespread use, emails and SMS only have 21.33% open rates, according to a Mailchimp analysis. Only 2% to 5% of recipients actually click on the links that are included, making click-through rates much lower.

On the flipside, WhatsApp has a 98% open rate, which means that 98 out of every 100 messages sent are read. This is as a result of WhatsApp's widespread use as a messaging service, which has over 2.2 billion users globally.

  • Higher conversion rates: As you can see, there is a stark discrepancy between WhatsApp message open rates and email open rates. However, simply having the message seen by the users isn't enough.

So, how many conversions can you expect from WhatsApp? 

As reported by Accenture, 83% of WhatsApp customers have used the channel to make purchases at some point during their purchasing journey. Engaging those users with tailored advertisements will improve their experience while increasing your revenue.

  • Abandoned cart recovery: By automating WhatsApp abandoned cart recovery notifications, 45-60% of the abandoned carts can be recovered.

WhatsApp Business API:  How Does it Work

From integrating with existing e-commerce platforms to introducing the automation required to support the next-generation customer service stack, WhatsApp Business connects

While small firms may just download the WhatsApp Business app, the company has created a scalable API for medium- to large-sized organizations. WhatsApp Business gives businesses the tools they need to enhance customer service. The API enables scaled one-to-one client engagement. The WhatsApp Business API offers the chance to send pro-active notifications and is a perfect choice for a higher level of customer service. Other features designed for businesses include the possibility to list helpful information like opening hours and locations, as well as automated answers like greeting or away messages.

To summarize, here are the 2 basic features of WhatsApp Business API:

  • Send messages to up to 1,00,000 unique users every day
  • Provide live customer support to users in a 24-hour chat window

Thus the implementation of WhatsApp Business reduces pressure on your customer service team, increases sales, and removes friction within the purchase process.

How eCommerce Businesses can use WhatsApp Business API

1. Frictionless Customer Journey

Consumers expect a seamless experience and exceptional support at every stage of the customer journey. 

Customers can become easily overwhelmed by the sheer number of product options when shopping online. WhatsApp Business facilitates customized interactions to reduce friction during the Discovery phase.

Purchase: The Purchase stage might be the trickiest phase in the buying process. Multiple web forms, long load times and transaction failures can all make the purchasing process unnecessarily difficult.

Let’s say you want to order food. In this regard, restaurants can share the menu as PDF or URL, customize the order with extra information via Interactive Buttons (2), add special instructions via Interactive Buttons, confirm the order, and monitor its progress until it is delivered.

Post-purchase: It is equally important for consumers to be able to easily return their purchases and be rewarded for their loyalty as it is for them to shop and browse on their own terms.

Given that more than 75% of consumers prefer messaging to phone calls or emails for product or service support, WhatsApp Business is a great fit for customer service: 

  • Customers can send photos and PDFs of their inquiries, allowing for a more efficient and personalized customer support experience
  • Agents can use the platform to address multiple customer service issues at once, increasing agent efficiency
  • Brands can ask for reviews and feedbacks conveniently

Let’s reflect a bit on the last point. Most customers won't bother to open emails that ask for reviews after they've bought something. And only a small number of those who do will go to your website to write something, unless they had a really bad time.

Eliminate this friction by simply creating and sharing a WhatsApp review request message template. Then, all a customer needs to do to leave a review is reply to the message.

2. Better Customer Service

24/7 Availability:
WhatsApp is the most used channel for consumers worldwide and 90% of those customers say they want to engage through messaging. This makes WhatsApp the ideal channel for businesses to be where their customers are at.

Zellbury, a Pakistani fashion retailer, determined that WhatsApp was the best option for interacting with customers and answering their questions because of its popularity in Pakistan. The brand's WhatsApp services allowed customers to track the status of their orders, file complaints, request refunds, check product availability, get pricing and location details, and even place orders.

Thus, businesses using WhatsApp Business API can communicate with their customers in two ways:

WhatsApp Message templates: If a customer initiates a chat with you on WhatsApp, you may continue the conversation for up to 24 hours. However, after 24 hours, you can only send messages using approved Message Templates for a fee.

Essentially, WhatsApp templates are predefined messages that you can use multiple times to communicate with your audience after they have agreed to receive messages from you.

Previously, only transactional messages were able to be templated. In September 2021, however, WhatsApp enabled the creation of templates for promotional/non-transactional messages by businesses worldwide.

Source: Meta for Developers

With WhatsApp business API, you can create 250 templates by default. But if you need more than 250 templates, you will have to contact WhatsApp stating your request & reason.

Customer segmentation: If you have different types of buyer personas, such as businesspeople and students, you can sort them into distinct groups, label them, and then send each group specific information about the goods and services that are most likely to pique their interest. Besides, Labels help to organize your contacts or chats for easy retrieval.

Besides, WhatsApp generates reports for basic metrics such as the number of messages sent, delivered, and read, which can help you better understand customer behavior and send personalized recommendations. 

3. Generate Referrals

The "secret sauce" for hacking your e-commerce growth is word-of-mouth (also known as referral marketing). And WhatsApp is the optimal channel for increasing referrals.

That being said, how exactly does one go about utilizing WhatsApp to get referrals? 

  • Choose a reward, such as money off their next purchase, a discount, or a gift card
  • Launch a landing page for your referral program
  • Spread the word about the program in your personal networks, in email newsletters, and on social media. 
  • Once a user registers, they are given a personal referral link
  • You can make it easier for customers to get their rewards by making it so that if someone makes a purchase after clicking on their referral link, they will automatically receive their reward

Benefits of connecting WhatsApp Business API with MyAlice

Since WhatsApp doesn't provide an Interface for the Business API, you'd need a WhatsApp Business API provider like MyAlice to access the API. With MyAlice, you can use WhatsApp Business API to:

  • Send WhatsApp Broadcast to up to 1,00,000 unique users
  • Integrate WhatsApp Chatbot for around-the-clock customer service
  • Send promotional messages via WhatsApp
  • Offer multiple live chat support on an unlimited number of devices
  • Automate abandoned cart, shipping alerts, payments & more notifications on WhatsApp
Join The WhatsApp Crowd 

While many of your competitors may not be utilizing this platform at the moment, they will soon realize its potential as a fantastic marketing, sales, and customer support tool, making the competition in your niche even fiercer. So what are you waiting for? 

Download the WhatsApp API now, or better yet, integrate it with MyAlice for even better results!

Do you find yourself chasing down new customers because current customers aren't sticking around, and you need to keep your eCommerce business afloat? Is it a sustainable strategy to run your eCommerce business?

We hear you saying no because it actually isn't. It's time you need to focus on Customer Lifetime Value (CLV).

In this competitive narrative, you can't really go far by keeping on investing in getting NEW customers rather than keeping your OLD customers. What you really need to concentrate on is maximizing your revenue from your present customers. And this is where customer lifetime value comes into play.

According to Tim Cameron Kitchen - CEO of Exposure Ninja, "In order to increase your customer lifetime value, you need to pull two levers. One, increase the number of purchases. And two, increase the purchase value of each customer. And of course, a good business will have a combination of both of these levers."

We want your business to have high customer LTV. So we noted down a series of pointers that you could follow to increase your customer lifetime value and higher profits. Before we dive into the strategies, let's start with the basics.

What is Customer Lifetime Value (CLV)?

According to Omniconvert, "customer lifetime value (CLV) shows how much revenue a business can expect from one customer compared to how long the company predicts that customer will stay."

Customer lifetime value is an important metric for eCommerce brands to measure the average accumulating total of their purchase for some time.

Lifetime value helps you determine if your business will scale the ROI from marketing. It also helps you evaluate the retention strategy depending on how low or high your LTV is.

How To Increase Customer Lifetime Value

You can increase your customer lifetime value by either increasing your Average Order Value or Average Purchase Frequency. An increase in either of these metrics will rise Customer Lifetime Value. Apart from that, let's take a look at the other ways to increase CLV.

Improve Your Customer Support

Treating your customer right is the core to increasing customer lifetime value. According to Tim Han, an international speaker and author from success insider - "treating your customers like family is the key to recurring customers."

Now we're not telling you to turn a blind eye to their red flags and keep on supporting them. But we definitely recommend you to go a bit above to give them special treatments. In fact, according to research from PWC,  86% of buyers are willing to pay more for a great customer experience. So enhancing your customer support is an absolute must.

A solid customer support strategy includes attention to the customer pre, mid and post-sale. Your customer support should cater to your customer at every stage of their buying journey. A great way to make sure your customer's queries are always answered in no time is by using an AI-powered chatbot. Having a live chat available can turn a customer question into a sale or complaint into a resolution. We recommend you check out MyAlice as their chatbot can actually automate your entire selling process from start to finish. And the best part is, MyAlice is completely free to sign up!

You need to make sure your customers are returning again and again for the delightful experience you provide.

Send out occasional gifts

Who doesn't like free stuff? Especially when it comes as a surprise from a place you shopped from. We find ourselves leaning towards shops that offer great discounts or free goodies in most cases. And that's because this is a psychological trick that all of us fall for.

Lippincott's creative consultancy provided a scientific and psychological-based study called the "Happiness Halo" - proving exactly that. In the "Happiness Halo," the author stresses, "Appeal to customers' reason and they're yours for a day. Appeal to customer's emotions, and they're yours for a lifetime."

And nothing is more solid than sending gifts to appeal to your customer's emotions. It shows them that you care about them more than just a means of getting some sales.

We're not telling you to send out gifts 365 days a year to every customer for every purchase. But rather, identify your loyal set of customers and potentially loyal customers, and then send out occasional gifts to show them you care.

Nudge Your Customers into Subscriptions

One of the most popular ways (that works) of increasing the number of purchases of your customers is by bumping them into subscriptions. They're one of the new trends of e-commerce. And they can be lucrative enough that we even see big names like GoPro getting into the subscription realm they previously didn't opt for.

You can nudge them into a subscription by displaying a subscription-biased pricing option of your product.

This basically means you will show the pricing option of a one-time purchase on one side. And on another, the pricing option is based on subscription. However, you need to show your customers how the subscription pricing will be more effective and profitable.

This will incentivize them to opt for the subscription rather than going for a one-time purchase.

Another way of getting your customers into subscriptions is by showing the subscription as the default purchase method. And if customers want to go for a one-time purchase, they need to click on that purchase method.

You can do to level up the subscription game by giving them an option to allow your customers to customize the time frame and the amount of product for the subscription. This way, they will not have too much stock of the product based on their lifestyle. And they are less likely to cancel the subscription altogether.

Integrate Add-ons and Upsells

Another great way to increase the average order value of your customers is by adding add-ons and upsells. Big names like GoDaddy GoPro have been using this pricing strategy for years now, which has helped them generate more sales.

Everything that you throw at your customers before and after purchasing the products is for one thing - increasing the order value.

And therefore, there's an increase in customer LTV. Some of your add-ons and upsells features may seem annoying to your customers. But it's a genius idea for your business.

Since you are competing in a very competitive and price-sensitive space, If you want to maximize your customer acquisition, you need to maximize the value of every customer you get through the door.

By doing so, you can save the money that you would have otherwise spent on getting new customers. So you can now invest it in other business activities. Like - marketing. Which will help you build market share without increasing the price of their core product.

— Introduce Premium Versions

Introducing a line of premium versions of the same product can incentivize your customers to opt for better options. But, you need to make sure you can present it in a manner that demonstrates why the premium versions are better than the regular ones.

That way, customers who always want the best of everything are more likely to opt for the premium purchase. The pricing of the premium product will also be higher than the regular, which may be a problem for some of your customers. In such a case, you can introduce split pay for that.

Now split pay is absolutely everywhere and another massive trend of e-commerce over the last few years. One of the biggest players in the split pay market -Klarna, claims to increase the average order value by up to 58%.

Split pay will help you get more sales for your premium products and end up increasing the average order value for your customers.

Drawing Conclusion: Loyalty Brings Revenue

The right customer lifetime value model can boost your company's growth and progress in many ways. It puts more money in your business's wallet by lowering customer acquisition costs and saving money on marketing and sales activities.

Delivering a great deal of value, understanding the customers being in their shoes, prioritizing customer service are what they need to come back to you again and again.

Learn More:

  1. How Customer Service Can Help Sustain Your E-Commerce Business
  2. How To Get Repeat E-commerce Customers: Encourage Them To Return For More

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