How Does the Whatsapp Chatbot Abilities Compare to Other Platforms Such as Messenger & Facebook Business Chat?

“Jewellery shopping is not like shopping for clothes in a mall where you just pickup clothes, try them out and go to the billing counter. When a customer comes to buy jewellery they come with their family and spend at least two hours,” said Ramesh Kalyanaraman, executive director, Kalyan Jewellers.

As more people get married at home—in —with no expenditure on food, decor, venue; jewellery takes precedence. “Most of the shopping that happens on WhatsApp video calls is for weddings. These are usually big purchases. It goes up to lakhs of rupees,” added Kalyanaraman.

What is WhatsApp Business API?

What is WhatsApp Business API?

Bata, which controls about 21.5% of the country’s footwear market, meanwhile, is increasing footfall by directing customers from its website to its Business account. Once a customer signs up, they receive an automated message detailing four ways to buy Bata’s products. If you choose step 1, you’d be assisted with the location of the nearest store.

Brands are getting one significant thing on WhatsApp. Personal touch in times of social distancing. After all, luxury brick-and-mortar retailers have previously used WhatsApp to build customer relationships, promote, and even sell their products among their existing customer base. Even as far back as 2014, Ethos—a chain of stores selling watch brands such as Rolex and Rado—and Reliance Brands—which runs luxury brands Steve Madden and Tiffany’s in India—were in touch with their customers through WhatsApp.

“This was the first version of our selling over WhatsApp,” said Kinjal Shah, group vice president at Reliance Brands. “At that point the idea was to aid selection or a way to intrigue customers to get them to the stores. Now, during the lockdown it is more to facilitate distance selling,” he added.

This is a big advantage, especially since the growth opportunity for online shopping is immense in India. In 2019, online sales made for only 1.6% of the total retail sales in the country. Compare this to China, which stands at 15%, with global online sales at 14%.

Who Can Use WhatsApp Business API to Develop a Chatbot?

WhatsApp could potentially grow the online channel’s share of the retail pie due to the personalised manner in which companies are using it. Small businesses can also easily connect with customers. Shoppers who would earlier go to stores to shop, due to limited store timings, unpredictable lockdowns and hygiene concerns, might end up buying through the app.

“Selling through WhatsApp makes it quite personalised,” said Preetam Nath, co-founder of SuperLemon Apps—an app that helps small businesses integrate WhatsApp as a sales channel. “WhatsApp’s Business (API-integrated) account does not allow sharing promotional messages like text messaging does. So sellers cannot spam people with loads of unnecessary messages. They will have to present their messages and write it in such a way that people end up making a purchase,” added Nath.

“Users who are not comfortable using online shopping or have never used it before might be willing to use WhatsApp. Speedy online shopping is required when people don’t have time. Now people have even more time to shop. So, they might be okay with going through the extra steps while shopping through WhatsApp”