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It can be a helpful marketing tool for business in future. Popping up in someone’s chatbox can be a better option than becoming a mummy in his or her mailbox.
How do you invite your friends for a birthday party? Or how do your relatives send good morning texts to you? In both of the mentioned cases, WhatsApp is the most convenient and handy tool that one can think of. Before WhatsApp, not only were the messages a bit slower but used to cost a lot higher.
There are a number of problems which WhatsApp solved. We are going to discuss these things, in detail, later in this article. By then, let’s understand where it started and how things have changed recently.
The WhatsApp Messenger application, that now became an integral part of our life, was not like what it is now. Over a decade ago, two US based internet entrepreneurs, Brian Acton and Jan Koum got the initial idea for WhatsApp. The Idea was to make an application that can show status for each of the saved contacts. It took no time when the app transformed into a messaging app and 2009 was the inception year for what we now call a revolutionary service.
Initial Investment for WhatsApp was USD 250,000 which the founders raised from friends and family. By 2014, the revenue shot up reaching USD one billion. FaceBook, now Meta Platforms, spent more than USD 19 billion and took over WhatsApp.
Talking about the user base, currently, there are more than two billion users at a global level from which around 450 million are in India. The users are expanding at a very fast pace as more and more new features are rolled out. With its parent company Meta swiftly shifting towards integration of the digital world with the real world, WhatsApp is indeed turning into a marketing tool for business.
Due to its nature of being easy to use yet free software, the company succeeded in acquiring a good user base. The acquired user base in 2022, according to the data research website Statista, was almost two billion users. It is now not only the most popular software that people use to send and receive messages but is becoming a tool for business. Some of the recent updates WhatsApp has been working to be a business friendly tool that serves all the needs of businesses.
Future of WhatsApp can be seen as becoming a more and more marketing focused application and this thing can be understood by the type of features it is rolling out. The speciality of WhatsApp being an easy to use mobile app has made businesses do a promotion on it. It enables them to add their business category, details, products catalogue, website and other tons of similar details in the profile section that lets users know more about them. WhatsApp Business can also be connected through location services like Google Maps to help their customers reach offline stores.
It can be a helpful marketing tool for business in future. Popping up in someone’s chatbox can be a better option than becoming a mummy in his or her mailbox. Currently, WhatsApp Application Programming Interface (API) — about which we will talk later — shows some best conversion rate and the future is said to be brighter than now.
Money is an integral part of development. As we earlier mentioned, WhatsApp is turning itself more and more into a Business tool, we must understand the fact that payment collection is also a necessary part of it. It has already announced Peer to Peer payment feature. This means users do not need to use a separate app for payments. All of them are going to get covered in WhatsApp itself. In India, National Payment Corporation of India is the Authority who manages payment companies. WhatsApp had launched a payment feature only for 20 million users, out of 450 million, in collaboration with ICICI Bank.
In future, WhatsApp is said to launch a payment request and notification feature. Such features will definitely help businesses in easy collection and notification of the due amount to the customer.
WhatsApp launched its business version (named WhatsApp for Business) with a core focus on businesses. It gave businesses a number of tools with which they can focus on their businesses. As there are a number of businesses with similar or similar sounding names WhatsApp Business provides verification service to businesses. A green tick or verified sign appears after the profile area. This shows that the business having green tick after name is verified and there are very less chances of any fraudulent activity happening from the related account.
Businesses may add their category, business details, products catalogue website and similar details in the profile section that lets users know about them. They can also connect it through location services like Google Maps to help their customers reach offline stores.
Businesses are of different types and no software can work for all kinds of businesses. To solve this problem, WhatsApp Business Application Programming Interface (API) helps businesses to get additional features for WhatsApp. It helps them receive and answer unlimited WhatsApp messages seamlessly. As it is an interface, it can be connected easily with the Customer Relationship Management Tools to manage leads.
It becomes very hard for any business to solve queries and revert on Emails of every customer. Doing so consumes a lot of resources. Also, not a lot of people know how to write E-mail or submit a query over any other methods. Therefore, a number of businesses use WhatsApp as a tool to resolve customer queries. To help such businesses, WhatsApp has rolled out an option for business users to automate the replies. The message automation helps small businesses interact with customers, show catalogues and create orders. Welcome messages and automatic replies can be sent through WhatsApp that can help make the customers engaged and not feel left out even in the off hours. API also lets them add a direct message button which lands customers directly into their WhatsApp chat box. A lot of improvement could be seen in the next few years.
WhatsApp would become more practical in terms of problem solving. You might have already seen businesses helping people out with the help of WhatsApp. It will be seen helping customers with tasks like placing the order, tracking the delivery and even complaining about the fault in case of any problems. Businesses now share invoices on WhatsApp. WhatsApp has changed the way we used to send and receive information. This is just a small case. The Indian government,in partnership with DigiLocker , launched a helpline number to get required documents and save them for later use.
With more users, it is becoming a more and more globalized tool which connects people from people. It currently supports 11 languages and will be available in more languages in future. This multilingual support will help people use it with more ease.