Why you need a Website when you can WhatsApp | WhatsApp Business for small businesses

In this startup era, website or e-commerce site looks essential for any business of any domain. With increased competition in the web and mobile development industry, one have get a pre-defined frame site or application between ₹4999- ₹14999! But the cache lies here! Once your site or application is ready, you need the following:

  • Content or SEO content
  • Product shoot, product content and upload
  • Customer service person for chat and interaction
  • CRM for managing customer and label them
  • Apart from above recurring costs annual
  • Payment gateway charges (min is 1.75%)

Apart from above recurring costs you have fixed annual costs like web hosting, domain charges and web maintenance charges which comes around roughly around  ₹10000! annually. PLEASE NOTE THAT here I am considering a very basic engagement for self funded small startups and home based entrepreneurs.

Don’t worry!! Here is the solution which is handy, widely used application in our India, family member of very renowned brand FACEBOOK and, IT IS ABSOLUTELY FREE! Presenting you my very own and favourite WHATSAPP BUSINESS, I am currently using for 2 of my businesses.

Why small startups, home based business, local shops, boutique and, service vendors should use this application? Here’s why!

  1. FREE TO DOWNLOAD AND USE: The WhatsApp Business app was built with the small business owner in mind. With the free-to-download app, businesses can interact with customers easily by using tools to automate and quickly respond to messages.
  2. MAKE AND SHARE YOUR BUSINESS PROFILE: For businesses that want to easily be seen and discovered by customers, WhatsApp Business App allows users to create a business profile with helpful information for your customers like your address, phone number, business description, email address, and website.
  3. SMART MESSAGING TOOLS: Save time with the new WhatsApp messaging tools. Features like Away Message (Automatically reply with a message when you are not available on application. You can also schedule it as per your convenience and choose the type of recipients like Everyone, Everyone not in address book, Everyone except or only sent to…. )
  4. CUSTOM GREETING MESSAGE: Greet customers when they message you the first time or after 14 days of no activity. As above like automated message tool, here too you can choose the recipient type!
  5. QUICK REPLIES: This tool lets you save and reuse messages you frequently send so you can easily answer common questions in no time. You can draft your quick replies and allot them short key.
  6. Short Link: Give your customers a short URL that they can use to start a WhatsApp chat with you in no time. You can also create a default message, it will be received by the customers on opening your short link.
  7. MESSAGE STATISTICS: The messaging statistics feature of the app allows businesses to be able to review simple metrics behind the messages being sent. You can access important metrics such as how many of your messages were successfully sent, how many were delivered and read etc.
  8. WHATSAPP WEB: Aside from using the App to send and receive messages from customers, you can also send and receive messages with WhatsApp Business on your desktop or laptop making it more accessible for business especially those with customer support team.

There are 3 most important features of WhatsApp Business which I thought of explaining you separately and in more elaborative way!

  • CATALOGS
  • LABELS

Catalogs: Catalogs are a mobile storefront for businesses to showcase and share their goods so people can easily browse and discover something they would like to buy. Previously businesses had to send product photos one at a time and repeatedly provide information — now customers can see their full catalog right within WhatsApp. This makes business owners look more professional and keeps customers engaged in the chat without having to visit a website.

Screenshot of Business Catalog from Bunny Bash

Labels: Labels can help you easily organise and find your chats and messages. You can create labels with different colours or names, and add them to an entire chat, group, or certain messages within a chat.

Apply Labels:

  • To an individual or group chat: Swipe left > More > Label Chat.
  • To a single message in a chat: Tap and hold the message > More > Label.

Alternatively, you can add an existing label or create a new label by going to Chats > swipe down > tap Labels > Add New Label > enter a name for the new label > tap Save.

Note: You can create up to 20 labels.

Manage Labels:

To manage your labels, go to the top of the Chats tab and swipe down. Then, tap Labels.

  • Edit a label: Tap a label > Edit.
  • Change the color of a label: Tap a label > Edit > tap the color palette icon > Choose Color > tap Save.
  • Delete a label: Tap a label > Edit > Delete Label > Delete.
Screenshot of Contact Label Page

Every business is different, thus please try it yourself and check the feasibility and note down the additional features you are looking for! Some of the features like payment integration, API for integrating it to CRM (Customer Relationship Management) applications and advance statistics are on the way.

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