Social media platforms are being used by brands to inform and engage consumers online for more than a decade now. Facebook (2.167 billion users), Instagram (800 million users), Twitter (330 million users) and LinkedIn (260 million users) are some of the leading social media platforms that brands use to reach their target audience and market their product and services effectively.
Amid all this, one platform that was till recently overlooked by marketers is WhatsApp. Yes, WhatsApp has more users than Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn combined. With over 1.5 billion active users spread over 180 countries, WhatsApp opens a new world of possibilities for marketers. In India, there’re more than 200 million WhatsApp users. Moreover, the open rate of WhatsApp is 98%, which makes it a must-have for marketers.
The suitability of WhatsApp for business needs also stems from the fact that it offers a wide array of unmatched benefits. These include:
- Offers unmatched data security
- Allows brands to interact directly with consumers
- Facilitates sharing of images, videos and brochures and receiving of feedbacks
- Makes customer service a lot more effective
- WhatsApp applications such as chatbots can be made quickly and at lower costs
- Brings a user-friendly UI and ease of use
Marketing possibilities with WhatsApp
WhatsApp Chatbots are the cornerstone of marketing on this platform. They can be built at lower costs and in a lesser amount of time, and enable marketers to achieve a range of objectives. No wonder, there are 3 million WhatsApp business users worldwide. Take a look at how chatbots can be used to fuel marketing initiatives.
An ecommerce checkout feature can be integrated into WhatsApp Chatbots to enable visitors to do transactions with ease. For instance, MakeMyTrip uses its WhatsApp chatbot to forward vouchers, promotional messages, cancellations and more. The company sends invoice and ticket details via WhatsApp chatbots. Similarly, BookMyShow made WhatsApp chatbot a default ticket confirmation platform. It uses the WhatsApp API to send the booked tickets to users on WhatsApp with a confirmation text or a QR code.
Some of the major Indian banks are also using WhatsApp Chatbots very effectively. The foremost among them is Kotak Mahindra Bank, which was one of the first banks in the country to launch banking services on WhatsApp in 2018. The bank has served nearly 20 lakh customers on its WhatsApp Banking channel till date. The bank observed a massive surge of 98 per cent in the customer base accessing WhatsApp Banking in FY 2020 as compared to the last financial year.
WhatsApp chatbots are enabling brands to cut down on their customer care costs and provide better services to achieve enhanced customer satisfaction and build loyalty. With 24x7 support and multi-lingual support, they are changing the customer care game forever.
In the post-lockdown world, customers will be hesitant to visit customer care centres world due to the fear of transmission. On top of it, customer care centre will operate with reduced staff strengths owing to social distancing measures. In such a scenario, WhatsApp Integration with CRM will help brands provide effective customer support at home and ensure enhanced customer satisfaction. Some Indian brands are already making the most of it. For example, MakeMyTrip has achieved 80% reduction in the calls made to its customer care after launching its WhatsApp chatbot. Tata Sky Chatbot allows its customers to check their balance, plan details and top-up options. Besides, customers can add or remove subscriptions to channels and get answers to frequently asked questions. Similarly, Nykaa, one of India’s largest beauty ecommerce websites with over half a million happy customers, uses an automated WhatsApp chatbot to interact and communicate with its millions of user daily.
WhatsApp chatbots can help brands keep their retailers committed and motivated to ensure sales post-lockdown and beyond. As consumer needs will change, and they will demand new, improved products, brands will have to provide the right product is available at retail outlets so that customers don't switch to the competing brands. WhatsApp chatbots can empower retailers to send orders in no time and get supplies faster.
Brands can use WhatsApp Chatbots to acquire new customers. Using the chatbot, the consumers will be able to get comprehensive information about the brand offerings. When the consumer shows an intent to purchase, the chatbot will track his location with his permission and shows him the nearest retail outlet they can visit for more information. On the other hand, retailers will be able to see all leads on a dashboard and follow them up for conversions.
As brands navigate the new normal post-lockdown, WhatsApp can be a powerful tool to ensure faster business revival and growth. Some of the key reasons behind the preference of this platform over others are its user-friendliness, cost-effectiveness and wide array of possibilities that it offers.
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