WhatsApp for Business now Available in India too, WhatsApp Business App owned by Facebook Inc. was Launched earlier in other countries and here is your guide on how to use the WhatsApp Business Application. This Business App is currently available on Android devices along with its native WhatsApp Desktop & Web Application.
The WhatsApp Business App has finally debuted in India just days after its initial roll out for markets like UK, Italy, Mexico, Indonesia, and the United States.Facebook-owned WhatsApp announced the plans to kick off its WhatsApp for Business initiative back in September last year and launched a pilot by partnering with companies such as BookMyShow, Netflix, and MakeMyTrip.The standalone app offers a simple tool for small businesses to let them communicate with their clients and customers in an easy way. Although, the app was initially tested in India and Brazil ahead of its public release.
The WhatsApp Business app , Targeted at small businesses, allows companies to connect with their customers and be a part of the messaging platform that has over 1.3 billion users worldwide. The business-centric App allows businesses to create their own profiles with information such as business description, email, or store addresses, and website unlike the original WhatsApp app. It also provides smart messaging tools to let businesses use quick replies and give fast answers to frequently asked questions. The app also has options to send greetings messages to new customers and set away messages when the companies are busy. Further, there are metrics such as the number of messages read and WhatsApp Web support to let companies send and receive messages directly through a desktop.
The company explained all the new features in a detailed blog post on its WhatsApp blog highlighting how small business owners use WhatsApp to connect with their customers and other business partners. WhatsApp acknowledged that the normal ‘WhatsApp’ app is not meant for business owners and instead, it is meant for people. ‘WhatsApp for Business’ is a free to download app for Android users which will make it easier for business owners to connect with their customers.
Let's run down on what additional features ‘WhatsApp Business’ has in addition to the regular ‘WhatsApp’ mobile app.
1. ‘Business Profiles’ will help customers get additional information such as the email or the store address, website or any extra description of the business.
2. ‘Messaging Tools’ allow business owners to set quick replies to ensure that they can quickly send answers to frequently asked questions in addition to greeting messages that introduce customers to their business or custom away messages when the owners are busy or during off hours.
3. ‘Messaging Statistics’ provides business owners with a simple metric about the number of messages that were read so that they can tweak the content of quick replies or their strategy of contacting their customers.
4. ‘WhatsApp Web’ is the regular web interface of ‘WhatsApp Business’ allowing owners to send or receive messages using a desktop.
5. ‘Account Type’ One of the most important parts here is the fact that business owners can list themselves as businesses after installing the app to ensure that the customers contacting them know that they are business owners. WhatsApp pointed out that over the time business accounts will get ‘confirmed accounts’ after it is confirmed that the operator of the WhatsApp Business account is using the same number as the actual business contact number.
It is not clear how companies will obtain consent from users for contacting them on WhatsApp. Currently, multiple businesses ask for a user’s phone number for providing services. These numbers are then stored in a database and used to market services and products through SMSes. For instance, if you ever book movie tickets through BookMyShow, you inevitably share your mobile number with the service. So BookMyShow has your number in its database, but to use that number to contact you on WhatsApp, the company will need to obtain necessary permits from you. How it will do that still remains to be seen.
WhatsApp has over 200 million monthly active users in India, as per the official data provided in February last year. The instant messaging platform is making things difficult for its rival by introducing compelling features such as Delete for Everyone, YouTube integration, and Notification Channel support for Android Oreo devices. Moreover, it is exploring new avenues and is apparently even set to integrate a UPI payments feature in the near future.
Source: FirstPost, Digit, WhatsApp blog, NDTV