From your local grocer to a local clothing brand that’s just set up shop, all businesses will be able to connect with their customers via the new WhatsApp Business app which goes live in many markets today. The free-to-download Android app for small businesses will be available today in Indonesia, Italy, Mexico, the UK and the US. The app will roll out to other markets, including India, soon.
WhatsApp claims the new app will make it “easier for companies to connect with customers, and more convenient for our 1.3 billion users to chat with businesses that matter to them”. The app will offer business profiles that will give customers useful information such as a business description, email or store addresses, and website. There will, of course, be messaging tools like quick replies that provide fast answers to frequently asked questions and backed up with statistics that show reach and effectiveness. Plus, the popular WhatsApp Web will bring WhatsApp Business also to your desktop.
While people will clearly know they are interacting with a listed Business Account, WhatsApp will take this a step ahead and offer ‘Confirmed Accounts’ to some businesses later. Regular users will continue to have full control over the messages they receive, with the ability to block any number, including businesses, as well as report spam. In India, 84 per cent of SMBs think that WhatsApp helps them communicate with customers.
According to WhatsApp, over 80 per cent of small businesses in India and Brazil say WhatsApp is used by them to communicate with customers and grow their business today.