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The holiday season is here, and your eCommerce business has a great chance to increase revenue during the shopping frenzy that’s about to happen. However, it can be challenging to take advantage of this opportunity. In this article, we’ll discuss how eCommerce businesses can connect with customers and achieve success via WhatsApp.
Cashing in on the holiday season
The success of your eCommerce business during the holiday season depends on how well you communicate with your customers through the appropriate channels. Some key factors to consider in your marketing strategy include identifying the best channels to reach your customers, timing your messaging correctly, and finding ways to attract and delight customers during the purchasing process.
Where email and traditional marketing channels prove ineffective, WhatsApp creates new opportunities to connect eCommerce businesses with consumers. During the holiday season, you can use WhatsApp to:
- Share promotions
- Announce new products
- Gift discount coupons to loyal customers
- Give special offers to VIP customers; and more.
However, jumping into the holiday season with great anticipation can turn into a disaster for an eCommerce business unprepared to face challenges head-on. From resource shortages to traditional marketing noise to failing to meet customer expectations, there are many pits you have to avoid.
Can WhatsApp turn challenges into opportunities?
Two-way communication between a business and a consumer has the potential to address common issues in e-commerce. With WhatsApp messaging, companies can directly interact with their customers, helping them make decisions and improving their satisfaction after the sale. Let’s see how it works in practice.
WhatsApp can help you connect with potential customers earlier in the buyer journey
Establishing relationships with customers early in the buyer journey can lead to more engagement with your brand. WhatsApp allows you to customize and personalize conversational flows around your products.
Connect with your customers via click-to-WhatsApp ads
Linking your ads to WhatsApp would be helpful if you are advertising online. From there you can provide information about your products and services and guide potential customers in the sales process.
Utilizing two-way messaging is a good way to share special deals, sales, or early access to new products. This can incentivize customers to return to your business by offering them the chance to be among the first to shop, leading to a memorable shopping experience and potentially even repeat business.
Improve customer retention by providing more enjoyable experiences
The eCommerce experience shouldn’t end once your customers have made their purchases. Improving the post-purchase experience can lead to increased loyalty and brand appreciation.
So, how do you improve the post-purchase experience? Provide more than just updates on shipping and delivery. Utilize two-way messaging to strengthen your connection with customers and share relevant content at appropriate times, and be ready to respond to customer messages.
What can you do to prepare your eCommerce business for the holiday season?
Before we dive into the marketing strategies to help you take advantage of the upcoming holidays, let’s talk shortly about the world of WhatsApp. With over two billion active users, WhatsApp is the most popular messaging app. Currently, there are over fifty million businesses taking advantage of WhatsApp Business which, according to Tyntec, has been shown to significantly improve customer service response times by 225%, as well as increase sales by 27% and improve conversion rates by 20%.
With all that said, let’s see how you can utilize the business features of the WhatsApp Business app:
Set up your Business profile
Create a Business profile by adding information about your company, including your business name, address, category, description, email, and website. People can easily see this information when they look at your profile.
Add a product catalog
By add a product catalog into your business profile on WhatsApp, you can easily share and showcase your products and services to customers. Each item in the catalog has a unique title and optional fields for information such as price, description, website link, and product code.
Customers can browse your products within the app, message you with questions about specific products, or share items with their friends. In addition, you can send your entire catalog to customers or share the catalog link on social media to increase your brand visibility.
Set automated greeting messages
With the WhatsApp Business app, you can set up simple automation such as welcome and away messages. ‘Tis the season, so welcome customers with season’s greetings to set the tone and increase engagement.
Using labels allows you to organize your chats and messages, making them easy to locate. You can create labels with unique colors or names and apply them to entire chats or specific messages within a chat. This makes it simpler to find and access particular conversations.
WhatsApp broadcasts can be a valuable tool for increasing sales by allowing you to send messages to up to 256 people at once. You’d need to follow a few rules to comply with WhatsApp’s Business messaging policy, such as collecting opt-ins from your customers. More importantly, your customers have to save your WhatsApp number in their phone’s address books to receive your messages.
Here are some tips for using WhatsApp broadcasts effectively:
- Clearly define your target audience: Identify the group of people you want to send the broadcast to, and ensure the message is relevant and valuable to them.
- Create engaging and informative messages: Use a clear and compelling subject line, and provide information about your product or service that will entice your audience to take action.
- Include a call to action: Encourage your audience to purchase or take other desired actions by including a clear and specific call to action in your message.
- Use images or videos: Including visual elements can make your message more engaging and help it stand out.
- Test and measure your results: Experiment with different messages and calls to action to see what works best for your audience. Use metrics like open rates and conversion rates to track the effectiveness of your broadcasts.
The holiday season could create a bottleneck in your communications on WhatsApp, as you may (hopefully) experience an increase in customer inquiries and orders during this time. This could lead to more extended response time for customers seeking assistance.
To help manage the increased volume of messages during the holiday season, you could consider implementing some strategies such as:
- Prioritizing urgent inquiries: Encourage customers to use specific keywords or phrases to indicate urgent inquiries, so your team can prioritize those messages.
- Staffing up: Consider hiring additional customer service staff or temporary agents to help manage the increased volume of messages during the holiday season.
- Communicating with customers: Keep customers informed about potential delays in response times, and provide them with updates on their inquiries or orders status.
- Upgrading to WhatsApp Business Platform/API: The WhatsApp Business app has significant limitations, such as broadcast lists limited to only 256 customers, only five agents can answer customer queries (one phone and four additional devices), no advanced automation, no detailed analytics, and no collaboration. You can overcome all these drawbacks by signing up to use the WhatsApp Business Platform/API.
Changing the game with WhatsApp Business Platform/API
The WhatsApp Business Platform/API is more advanced than the app. To use the WhatsApp Business API, you must subscribe to a Business Solution Provider (BSP), as it is not publicly available.
You can then connect the API to a customer communication platform like Rasayel and leverage the advanced features such as:
- Team inbox
- Detailed analytics
- Advanced broadcasts
- Chatbots, and more.
These features can help you to improve communication with your customers and streamline your business processes.
Rasayel’s team inbox is a shared messaging platform allowing team members to collaborate and communicate more effectively with each other, and with customers via WhatsApp.
Some key features include:
- Collaboration: Team members can work together to respond to customer inquiries and requests in real time, improving the speed and quality of customer service.
- Complex automation and chatbots: Automated messages and responses can be configured to handle common customer inquiries and requests, freeing up team members to focus on more complex or urgent issues.
- Detailed analytics: The shared team inbox includes analytics tools to track and measure the performance of customer service efforts, such as response times and resolution rates.
With the WhatsApp Business Platform/API, you’re not limited to only 256 contacts per broadcast list, allowing you to run large-scale campaigns. You can send anywhere from 1K to an unlimited number of messages per day, depending on your messaging limit level.
WhatsApp broadcasts are created using message templates, which you can customize and personalize by adding variables and placeholders. The placeholders are automatically filled with relevant data for each customer, such as their name.
You can also use interactive message templates, which give the recipients options of answers to choose from or actions to take by tapping on their desired option in the message. Interactive messages are a huge engagement driver.
It’s important to note WhatsApp must approve that message templates before sending them to your customers. It takes about 24 hours to get approval.
A WhatsApp chatbot can be utilized at various points in the customer journey to automate repetitive tasks and free up staff time. If there are tasks that take a significant amount of time and effort on the part of your staff, they may be good candidates for automation using a chatbot.
If you want to learn more about WhatsApp chatbots, read our articles:
- A WhatsApp Chatbot for Your eCommerce Business (Coming soon!)
- How to create a WhatsApp chatbot in 5 steps (Coming soon!)
- A simple strategy for creating a user-friendly WhatsApp chatbot
In conclusion, WhatsApp can be a powerful marketing tool for eCommerce businesses looking to get ready for the holiday season. By leveraging the platform’s messaging and automation features, you can communicate with your customers more effectively, promote your products and services, and drive sales.
Some specific ideas for using WhatsApp to boost holiday sales include sending personalized holiday greetings and promotions to customers, setting up automated messages to respond to typical customer inquires and requests, and using chatbots to handle repetitive tasks. With a bit of creativity and planning, you can use WhatsApp to create a seamless and engaging customer experience that helps you stand out in the crowded holiday marketplace.
If you’d like to learn more about how WhatsApp can help you grow your business, please reach out to us on WhatsApp at +13024070488.
We also offer a free consultation session where we review your use case, answer any questions about WhatsApp, and help you build a strategy to make the best out of the platform. Book a call with us here. We’d love to speak with you: