On this page you learn what interactive messages are, their use cases and how other businesses are using them.
What are interactive messages?
Interactive messages offer your business an easy way to ask your customers questions and help them find what they want, whether it’s a product or service, payment method, or answer to a question, all within WhatsApp.
Interactive messages are different from interactive message templates; You can use interactive messages only within the 24-hour customer service window. Whereas you can use interactive message templates either to start a business-initiated conversation or within an open customer service window.
Types and use cases of interactive messages
There are four types of interactive message templates:
With list messages, you can provide your customers with a menu of up to 10 options. They don’t need approval from WhatsApp and you can only send them within 24 hours of the last message sent by your customer.
They appear as below in customer’s inbox:
Once the customer clicks on “Click Here”, the message expands and the customer can select:
List Message Components
List header (optional): At the top of the list, you could have a title. For example, “choose a store”.
Section title (optional): With this, you could provide additional information about the list. For example, “Store locations”
Row title (compulsory): Each row (selectable option) must have a title. For example, if this is a list of stores, each title could be the names of the stores in the city.
Row description (optional): Under each option, you could provide brief information. For example, if the rows are the names of shops, the descriptions could be their exact address.
Single send button: After selecting an option, customer clicks this button to confirm their selection.
Use Cases of List Messages
List Messages are best for presenting several options, such as:
- A customer care or FAQ menu
When customers contact you, you can give them a main list of options to choose from. For example, when a customer contacts Nissan Saudi Arabia, the WhatsApp chatbot gives a list of options.
A take-out menu
If you run a restaurant and want to give a “food menu” to your customers, a list message could be a good option.\
A selection of nearby stores or locations
Give customers a list of your locations in the city to choose from with a list message. For example, Carrefour in France has a WhatsApp chatbot that asks customers for their postcode and gives a list of nearby locations accordingly:
- A selection of available reservation times
If you have a restaurant and let people book a table or provide a service that requires booking appointments, such as a doctor consultation, you can give clients a list of available days and times with a list message.
Reply buttons are used for asking customers questions and giving them up to 3 options in the form of buttons. They’re the same as quick reply buttons (interactive message templates).
The maximum number of characters for each button is 20. Similar to list messages, you can only send reply buttons within 24 hours of the last message sent by your customer. They don’t need approval from WhatsApp.
Reply button components
Header (optional): The format could be text, photo, video or document (PDF and Word). If it’s text, maximum of 60 characters are allowed.
Body (compulsory): This can be in text only and a maximum of 1024 characters.
Footer (optional): It can be text only and a maximum of 60 characters.
Buttons (compulsory): There could be up to 3 buttons in text format only. Each button could include up to 20 characters.
Use Cases of Reply Buttons
They are best for offering quick responses from a limited set of options. Below are some examples:
- Receive consent
You must receive an opt-in from customers before messaging them. When a customer messages you for the first time, your first message could ask for their consent to be contacted by you. Below is how HBL bank does it:
- Choosing a payment method
If you are in India or Brazil, where WhatsApp Pay is available, you could use reply buttons to receive payment from customers. But if WhatsApp Pay is not available in your region, you could use a reply button like below to learn about customer’s preferred mode of payment.
Other situations where reply buttons could be used are:
- Airtime recharge
- Changing personal details
- Requesting a return
- Reordering a previous order
- Adding optional extras to a food order
Customers cannot select more than one option at the same time from a reply button message.
They include a single product item from your inventory. Customers can view the product and take further actions described under Actions Customers Can Take After Receiving a Single or Multi-Product Message.
Components of a single-product message:
Body - Optional - 1024 characters maximum
Footer - Optional - Text only, 60 characters maximum
Action - Mandatory - Text only, 20 characters maximum
After a customer clicks on “View” they can see the details of the product as seen below:
They include up to 30 items from your inventory. Customers can view the products and take further actions described under Actions Customers Can Take After Receiving a Single or Multi-Product Message.
Below is how a multi-product message template looks like in the customer inbox:
When the customer clicks on the message, the list of items to choose appears:
Actions Customers Can Take After Receiving a Single or Multi-Product Message
When customers receive these messages, they can do three things:
- View the product(s) — Whenever a customer clicks on a product, WhatsApp fetches the products’ latest information from the business’s inventory, and the products are displayed in a Product Detail Page (PDP) format. Currently, the PDP format supports images only. Videos and GIFs cannot be displayed.
- Add products to a shopping cart — A customer can add up to 99 units of each single catalog item to a shopping cart, but there is no limit on the number of distinct items that can be added to a cart. The shopping carts don’t have an expiration date and stay in the chat between the customer and the business until the cart is sent to the business. If a customer has multiple devices connected to the same WhatsApp account, the single-product and multi-product messages will be synced between all of the devices, but the shopping cart is local to each device. Only one shopping cart can be created per chat thread.
- Send shopping cart to the business — Once a cart has been sent to a business, no edits can be made. The business can define the next steps, for example, by requesting delivery information or offering payment options. Customers can send a new cart if they need new items or want to change their order. Businesses cannot send carts to customers.
Single and Multi-product messages are generated in real-time and will always reflect the latest item details, pricing and stock levels from your inventory. They could be forwarded from one user to another and can be reopened by a user within the same conversation. To learn about what happens if the business updates its products, please visit Meta’s Share Products With Customers page.
Use Cases of Single and Multi-Product Messages
You can send them to customers when
- Responding to a customer’s specific request
- Providing a recommendation
- Reordering a previous item
They give simple and personalized experiences to the customers by giving them a subset of items most relevant to them, rather than browsing a business’ full inventory. For example, below, a customer has asked for a specific product and the business sends them a single product message:
Other Specifications of Interactive Messages
- Interactive messages can be combined together in the same flow.
- They are supported on iOS, Android, and web.
Benefits of Interactive Messages
Seamless Customer Experience
Interactive messages simplify how customers interact with your business. They can easily find what they are looking for, whether it is a product or a service, a payment method, or an answer to their question from an FAQ menu. They give the recipients a smoother experience than text-based messages. In fact, WhatsApp reported that compared to text-based lists, people had higher comprehension levels while interacting with interactive messages.
Higher Conversion Rate
With WhatsApp’s interactive messages, like single and multi-product messages, you bring your products and services to the tip of your customers’ fingers. In other words, it becomes easier for them to view your products, ask you questions in the chat and buy. As a result, customers have a higher incentive to make a purchase. In a study, WhatsApp found that:
“During testing, chatbots using interactive messaging features achieved significantly higher response rates and conversions compared to those that are text-based.”
Imagine many customers asking you questions about your products throughout the day. It is very time-consuming to answer each of them and guide them separately. With interactive messages, you let the customers find the answers to their questions and the products that they are looking for. This lets you save time and focus on other important aspects of your business. If you use an inbox with a chatbot that replies to customers automatically, you save an even greater amount of time. See Chatbot for more information.
You can create interactive messages programmatically. For more information, please view Meta’s Share Products With Customers page.