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WhatsApp Business API for eCommerce

A smiling woman wearing a yellow scarf with WhatsApp Message Templates for Fashion.

By Manuela Marques, Sales & Marketing Growth Director


6 minute read

A smiling black man using a cell phone in an office while engaged in eCommerce activities.
A smiling black man using a cell phone in an office while engaged in eCommerce activities.

The best long-term sales strategy is to have as many happy customers as possible. In the competitive online retail market, focusing on customer happiness is a core part of business. That’s why many e-Commerce companies, large and small, are so eager to get started with the WhatsApp Business solution.

As mentioned in our Four Advantages for Using the WhatsApp Business API blog post: “With the largest chat app globally, retailers have a great opportunity to get conversational commerce up and running. The intersection of messaging apps and shopping, conversational commerce means that businesses can interact with customers via chat apps and drive engagement from there — providing customer support, answering questions, offering personalized recommendations, and even clicking to purchase within messaging apps. These use cases can be handled via human agents, virtual assistants, or both.”

So far, the implementation of conversational commerce has been patchy. Only China’s WeChat and Japan’s LINE have been able to pull it off, mostly due to the massive use in their respective countries, allowing businesses to benefit from the network effect of these chat apps.

The WhatsApp Business solution provides very similar conditions for companies to implement Conversational Commerce appropriately. With more than 1.5 billion users and leading chat app in 100+ countries, WhatsApp brings the network reach needed to make it a core communication channel to inform, support, and engage with customers.

This carries massive consequences for retailers, that battle abandoned shopping carts, delayed deliveries and security breaches, while being confronted with high customer expectations. The use of WhatsApp Business solution can help e-Commerce merchants to deliver more than products — they can deliver an exquisite shopping experience! Here’s how:

1. More Conversions

One of the main issues in online shopping is abandoned carts: 67.45% of online shopping carts are abandoned before a customer closes a sale. As more customers, especially millennials, look for deals on their mobile phones, it’s clear that mobile-driven conversion strategies are needed.

With the WhatsApp Business solution, communication is less marketing-driven in order to avoid spam. Hence, the way you engage buyers has a new angle: instead of obviously selling a product with coupons and deals, ask if the customer needs guidance to complete a purchase. Perhaps their checkout wasn’t completed due to a technical issue or maybe because the customer found it too complicated. Your role here is to clearly guide them in order to convert the sale.

Once the customer replies, initiating the 24-hour “support window”, the two-way communications can flow more freely, as WhatsApp does not have to approve the messages exchanged during this time frame. It doesn’t mean, however, that you can spam your customer during this time. You can still promote your services, as long as the conversation allows you to do so (e.g. customer asks about pricing or product information), and if it’s not invasive.

In addition, functionalities such as real-time conversations and large character limits make WhatsApp Business solution a powerful tool to combat shopping cart abandonment, enabling you to recover sales opportunities.

2. More Security

Many online retailers avoid security and two-factor authentication (2FA), afraid that these measures will affect conversions. It very may well be — it all depends on how you implement your security process.

Fact is: cyber crime continues to create massive issues, from stolen payment information to account takeover and fake transactions. To minimize this issue, e-Commerce companies need to implement a security layer to keep accounts safe.

The WhatsApp Business solution is great to increase security. First of all, when a company becomes a verified business account, it creates the trust needed for customers to share sensitive information over the channel. It’s easy to recognize: verified business accounts have a green badge in their profiles. In addition, end-to-end encryption brings new confidence to interactions.

Companies can also use the WhatsApp Business solution as a channel to send 2FA codes. The benefit: due to its encryption, it’s more secure than email or SMS. If you’re using the WhatsApp Business API for your customer core engagement, it’s user-friendly, securely encrypted, and GDPR-compliant.

3. More Open Communications with Package Deliveries

Delivery is one of the main phases of the e-Commerce shopping journey. When a shipment is delayed, it can trigger negative feedback from your customers. While it’s impossible to guarantee that delivery will always be on-time, you can certainly control the delivery communications workflow in case something goes wrong.

That’s why open, transparent communication is essential when handling package deliveries. For starters, keep your customers informed every step of the way with — “your delivery is on the way” and “your package is expected to be delivered on {{timeframe}}” — messages. Allow your customer to track their delivery and, in case it’s delayed, ask you for more information. This is why two-way communication is so essential.

You can enhance your delivery services even more by giving your customers the option to schedule or re-schedule a delivery according to their convenience. All of these small options and an open communication policy make a real difference in a world where most people are busy. They will appreciate that you value their time!

4. More Happiness

As a retailer, you already know how customer support is critical. Retaining customers is, after all, cheaper than acquiring new ones. Omnichannel engagement, especially with WhatsApp as one of your core channels, enhances your chances of retaining more customers, with more up-sell and cross-sell opportunities. Remember, 82% of customers take their business elsewhere due to a poor customer experience.

Using the WhatsApp Business solution in your customer support strategy brings many advantages. First, interacting on WhatsApp Business solution means no on-hold calls to customer support, allowing your business to focus on only the calls for urgent matters. It also helps avoid support emails getting lost in full inboxes, never to be opened or read (only 25% of emails are opened, in contrast to 98% of mobile messaging). Most importantly, the WhatsApp Business solution enables you to answer customer questions and utilize proactive messaging for product recalls, reviews, re-engagement, purchase confirmations, and more.

Integrating the WhatsApp Business solution with your CRM strategy helps you track ticket resolution, enrich your customer data, and monitor your customer evolution. This will help you personalize communications and improve engagement in the long-run.

Conversational Commerce – Available Now with tyntec

If marketplace differentiation is a priority for you, focusing on customer experience is a must. The WhatsApp Business solution provides a great framework to start conversational commerce — and wow your customers.

tyntec helps you to get started and manages the entire process for you, from the access signup to the creation and management of message templates and technical installation. We provide a simple and robust REST API, allowing access to the WhatsApp Business API as easy as possible.

Are you ready? Get started by filling out the form here.

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