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WhatsApp Business: What The New App Could Mean For B2C


30 January 2018, Danielle de La Bastide

B2C (Business to consumer) engagement usually requires a certain amount of understanding between brand and stakeholder. Often a campaign is centered on a consumer concern like WIIFM or “What’s in it for me?”
“Whether B2B or B2C, good marketing essentials are the same. We all are emotional beings looking for relevance, context, and connection,” said Beth Comstock, GE Vice Chair.
Instant messaging juggernaut WhatsApp recently debuted their consumer-focused Business App, targeted at small businesses and their clientele with the aims of enabling the 1.3 billion loyal WhatsApp users worldwide to connect with companies a lot easier.
“People will know that they’re talking to a business because you will be listed as a Business Account. Over time, some businesses will have Confirmed Accounts once it’s been confirmed that the account phone number matches the business phone number,” WhatsApp said in a statement.
The business app also allows users to create a standard business profile boasting a “quick replies” feature which saves and reuses frequently sent messages.

Probably the most useful aspect of the new application is the messaging statistics element, giving access to insights such the number of messages sent, read and received.
So far, it’s available solely on Android in Indonesia, Brazil, Italy, Mexico, the United Kingdom, and the US but a global release is expected in the next month. No word yet on when it will appear on iOS.
WhatsApp isn’t the first messaging service to create a system specifically with e-commerce in mind, Chinese-owned competitor WeChat already hosts 10 million official business accounts for 980 million monthly active users. In this case, however, WhatsApp is arguably more universal. Time will tell how much of a ripple it will create in the B2C universe, but until then we have a few predictions.

Consumer engagement

B2C messaging is quickly becoming an asset to most brands and is seen as a personalised way to communicate with the modern consumer. Most marketing strategies consist of a multi-screen system of promotion and engagement. So what will the debut of WhatsApp Business mean for the way a company connects with their clientage?
“WhatsApp is an easier medium to access for all age groups compared to emails, besides, it’s extremely easy for emails to get lost in all the chaos that a 2018 inbox is,” writes blogger Prateek Malpani. 
This implies that using a medium like WhatsApp can only bring customers, closer. According to Braze, “the longer that a customer goes without engaging with your brand, the less likely they are to be retained.” Ease of access to consumers through a community messaging system such as WhatsApp will more than likely create an environment of interaction.

Strengthen small businesses

The app is targeted at small businesses which can’t usually afford a large-scale promotional campaign. As such the app may just put smaller enterprises on par with the giants. B2C-infused technology is desired in certain corners of the world, more than 80% of small to medium businesses in both India and Brazil use WhatsApp to communicate with customers, claims a Morning Consult study.

WhatsApp Business

For now, WhatsApp is trying their hand in the smaller enterprise arena, but the plan is to eventually roll out to large sectors such as airlines and banks. The Facebook-owned company is set to monetise the growing B2C trend, and we think they just might blow it out the water.
Via: WhatsApp, Business Insider, Braze, Blue Leadz. 

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