5 min read

Create A Better Online Shopping Experience With WhatsApp Business API

by | Jun 10, 2021

As more consumers turn to online shopping, their expectations also continue to rise. In today’s highly competitive e-commerce market, providing exceptional customer experience is the only way to sustain and create competitive differentiation. 

A research conducted by Bain & Company reveals that a 5% increase in customer retention rate can produce a 25% increase in profit. 

The only way to increase the customer retention rate is by stepping up on your customer experience, which is why e-commerce companies are constantly looking for ways to offer a personalized customer experience.

A recent study reveals that support teams are ten times more likely to resolve customer complaints through a private communication channel like WhatsApp than via other communication channels.

WhatsApp Business API has opened up a new avenue of customer engagement for e-commerce businesses. 

WhatsApp is one of the most used instant messaging platforms, with over two billion active users worldwide. Most of the WhatsApp users are active on the platform and send over sixty-five billion messages daily. This is why many consumer businesses have started using WhatsApp Business to engage with their audience.

Here are some ways e-commerce companies can integrate WhatsApp in their communication strategy.

Respond to common queries by sending out proactive notifications

E-commerce companies are likely to receive tons of emails and calls from consumers inquiring about the services. Answering each of these questions can be a daunting task for the customer support team. However, there is a way to handle these queries with proactive notifications. 

The WhatsApp Business API allows sending Message templates, which are pre-approved messages that brands can send to consumers who have opted-in for WhatsApp notifications. All the commonly asked questions can be answered and sent in the form of notifications to the users; this way, the support team will be able to handle other vital tasks.

Virtual assistants for customer service

Around 76% of the current-generation consumers prefer a fast self-service solution for resolving all the issues they may have while shopping.

E-commerce businesses can consider deploying a virtual assistant over WhatsApp to act as the point of contact for both existing and new customers. The virtual assistant can greet visitors and answer some of the most commonly asked questions. When all the self-service options get exhausted or when the inquiry is identified as high-priority, a customer representative can be connected to the chat to take over the conversation.

Product recommendation

E-commerce companies can consider using WhatsApp Business API to help customers pick a product that fits their needs. Customers can get in touch with e-commerce brands via WhatsApp and submit a simple inquiry detailing their requirements. 

The customer representatives can then set up automated responses to showcase relevant products/services using videos and images or recommend other products based on the customer’s previous searches and purchase history. E-stores can also integrate a payment gateway and send users the link to make a payment once the customer finalizes the product they want.

 Recommending products via WhatsApp Business not only helps companies in generating revenue but also enables them to deliver a highly personalized shopping experience for their customers.

Provide updates on delivery and returns

From the moment a customer places an order, e-commerce companies can share a real-time delivery update through WhatsApp until the product is delivered. WhatsApp Business API can also handle real-time responses, enabling customers to modify their delivery preferences almost instantly. The two-way communication channel makes it easy for customers to clarify all their queries related to the product delivery and get an update regarding the same.

With WhatsApp Business API, e-commerce companies can also streamline the returns process by scheduling collections, requesting exchange forms, or submitting photo evidence. Using WhatsApp Business to handle distribution and returns considerably improves operational efficiency and customer satisfaction.

Here is an example of how OTTO simplified the shopping experience with the WhatsApp Business API

OTTO is a famous European e-commerce brand. The company wanted to create a better shopping experience for its customers and was looking for ways to improve their support channels.

Previously, their support team used to handle customer complaints and product-related queries via email/calls. The process was tedious and time-consuming. OTTO wanted to open a direct dialogue with its customers by providing a user-friendly channel that they could use to connect with the customer service team instantly.

As part of the process, OTTO trained its customer support team and set up service centers to handle WhatsApp requests after integrating WhatsApp Business API into their systems. 

With WhatsApp, OTTO’s customer service agents were able to interact with customers in a direct and personal manner, thereby resolving their issues much faster. There was a 15% decrease in average handle time for simple customer requests, compared to email.

Final Thoughts

E-commerce companies should map their customer journey and find opportunities at each phase on how their brand can over-deliver on customer service. Once that is done, it is easy to have systems and processes in place that can provide an outstanding customer experience. 

Enabling personalized customer service is critical, and if e-commerce brands can make it happen on the instant messaging channels favored by their customers, they will reap the rewards that come with stronger customer relationships and better shopping experience. WhatsApp Business API enables e-commerce companies to meet the growing expectations of today’s customers seamlessly.

WhatsApp UpdateWith more consumers turning to chat with businesses on WhatsApp, the instant messaging service provider recently announced updates to the WhatsApp Business API that will make it quicker for businesses to get started and for people to easily chat with these businesses. As per the latest update received from WhatsApp, all the existing businesses on the WhatsApp Business API from the following countries, i.e., Singapore, Malaysia, South Africa, United Arab Emirates, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Israel, United Kingdom, Netherlands, Spain, Italy, Germany, Nigeria, Egypt, Brazil, Colombia, Jamaica, USA, Indonesia, and Mexico will be able to send non-transactional notifications to their opted-in customers.

With this new update, businesses can drive many new use cases on the platform, such as sending product recommendations, promotional offers, and most importantly, re-engaging with their users by sending regular reminders and updates related to their products and services. All the businesses that belong to one of the countries listed above as the country setting in Business Manager can send non-transactional notifications. There won’t be a need for any additional integration.

Harish Thyagarajan

Harish Thyagarajan

Content Marketer at Kaleyra