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If you didn’t already know, WhatsApp is the biggest messaging app in the world, with a staggering 2 billion users! WhatsApp prides itself on simplicity, security, and reliability – it’s an app where people create ‘digital living rooms’ and catch up with friends and family. And users love it – more than 100 billion messages are sent every day!
WhatsApp has opened its doors to businesses. Their goal? Making it just as easy to reach a business as friends and family. From a business point of view, this offers an exciting new channel to drive revenue and build closer relationships with customers.
Not surprisingly, many businesses have jumped at the chance to open such intimate conversations with their customers. Together with the IDC, we surveyed over 355 businesses worldwide, and 61% said that WhatsApp was a key channel for conversational customer engagement.
Let’s look at the top 5 reasons these companies use WhatsApp business messaging.
Reason 1 – 2 billion users!
Seriously, that’s a massive worldwide audience – no one can argue that. So if you’re a global business looking to reach customers, it’s a no-brainer.
WhatsApp is huge in Latin America, India, much of Europe and Africa, and some countries in Asia.
This map shows the countries where WhatsApp is the number one messaging app. It's number two in many other countries too!
It’s also growing fast in the U.S, with 75 million (and counting) using it today. Did you see the WhatsApp advert in the U.S during the Superbowl and the Oscars? It was kind of a big deal for them!
Most WhatsApp users are below 45, but there’s a significant user base in older age groups, too, so it’s an excellent channel to reach a broad audience.
Reason 2 – Customer engagement over WhatsApp is what people want
People are crying out for easier, more convenient ways to talk to businesses. According to Salesforce, 71% want to speak to companies in real-time. In a survey by Meta, 75% of adults want to communicate with brands like they do with friends and family. And many are doing this today, with 175 million messages sent over WhatsApp businesses every day.
WhatsApp ticks all the boxes for what consumers want – live chat, easy access, personal, but what about what businesses want? With features like rich media messages, branding, verified accounts, quick-reply buttons, and more, WhatsApp’s got you covered. So whether you’re marketing products or providing support, customers get an exceptional customer experience!
Reason 3 – WhatsApp for marketing helps cut through the noise
WhatsApp is just beginning its journey for business - promotional messages have only been available since late 2021, so it’s still pretty new. Businesses that jump on it fast will have the edge over others. What’s more, stats show that for mobile messaging channels like WhatsApp, the average message open rate is 98%!
Innovative companies like Carrefour are enjoying great success with WhatsApp for marketing. The grocery retail giant switched its printed catalog for a digital one sent via WhatsApp and saw 45% of recipients browse the catalog for an average of 3 minutes! Reduced printing costs and accurate analytics – it’s a win-win.
Reason 4 – WhatsApp business messaging helps speed up the sales cycle
More and more businesses are turning to WhatsApp to sell products and services. Sometimes right off the back of their marketing campaigns in the channel itself. With product messages and shopping carts: and the ability to connect with sales teams directly, users can receive a marketing promotion, browse a ‘WhatsApp shop’, and get pre-sales questions answered, all without leaving the app. Talk about reducing barriers to purchase!
Sporting retail company Intersport uses WhatsApp to support their sales staff, who are often too busy in-store to provide the high level of service they’d like to offer customers. With WhatsApp for sales consultations, customers can get advice before coming into a store. It’s more efficient, and customers get a highly personal service leading to a 90% in-store conversion rate.
Reason 5 – WhatsApp for customer support improves customer satisfaction
52% of consumers surveyed by Kayako said they were more likely to make a repeat purchase if a business offered live chat. Customers don’t want to spend time on hold to ask a quick question or get support - they want convenience. And what’s more convenient than using an app you already have installed to shoot a message to a brand?
Integrating WhatsApp into existing contact centers or support systems is easy. If you’re not offering live chat yet, there are plenty of contact centers available that come with WhatsApp already built-in.
It’s also a breeze to add automated messages or chatbots to handle simple FAQs - filter queries and free up support teams to focus on more complex cases.
BMW added a WhatsApp chatbot to help with massive call volumes, specifically for updates on car repairs. 80% of all queries were successfully answered by the chatbot, and 90% of customers recommended it!
So there you have it, a quick breakdown of why so many businesses turn to WhatsApp to engage their customers.
Learn more about WhatsApp and get tips for setting up a new messaging channel in our ultimate guide to messaging channels.