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How to use WhatsApp in your business

Even if you’re not  part of the 2 billion users that use WhatsApp a lot in their personal lives, chances are your friends and family use the app daily. And now, you can tap into that 2 billion person network to grow your business. With WhatsApp Business, the new app specifically for entrepreneurs, you can use the social messaging service to better interact with customers. 

What is WhatsApp Business? 

Just like WhatsApp for personal use, WhatsApp Business is a messaging app that’s free to download on the Apple and Google app stores. WhatsApp Business is tailored explicitly towards professionals. 

Apps with two versions have existed before. Companies like Uber have apps for personal and business users, but WhatsApp Business takes the concept to another level. WhatsApp has a massive amount of users, so WhatsApp Business caters to businesses ranging from groceries stores to bakeries to online retailers like Amazon.

Difference between WhatsApp and WhatsApp Business

The major difference between WhatsApp and WhatsApp Business is that with a WhatsApp Business account, you can set up and verify your business profile.

These profiles give customers information about your business like your email address, store location, and operating hours. You can also include a description and photo of your business to give customers some background on who you are. 

Just like the regular WhatsApp, WhatsApp Business supports WhatsApp Web, so you can interact with customers from your laptop as well as your smartphone. 

Setting up a WhatsApp Business account

It’s pretty easy to set up your WhatsApp Business account. After you download the app, you’ll have to agree to the Terms of Service, then you can begin. 

Your WhatsApp Business account only takes a few minutes to set up, since there aren’t many steps. You simply have to: 

  1. Select your country and enter your phone number. Then, enter the 6-digit verification code sent to that number. 

  2. Allow WhatsApp to access your contacts and photos. This is optional, but recommended so that you can more easily import contacts and flesh out your business profile. 

  3. Create your account. Choose a business name, business category, and a profile picture. 

  4. Flesh out your business profile. By tapping ‘Explore’ and then ‘Business profile’, you can add information about your business. Let customers know how to contact you, where to find you, and anything else you think is important. 

Once you’re done setting up your WhatsApp Business account (and are ideally verified), you’re ready to start chatting with customers. As a service designed specifically for business owners, the WhatsApp Business app boasts lots of features designed to make your customer interactions as simple and satisfying as possible. To start, let’s take a look at how a WhatsApp Business account can help you organise your business. 

Using WhatsApp Business as an organisational tool

Sort your contacts

The first thing you can do to make your life easier is sort your contacts. WhatsApp Business lets you create as many labels as you want and sort contacts accordingly. Some ideas for categories include: 

  • New customer

  • Repeat customer

  • Payment pending

  • Order complete

  • VIP member

Try out whatever organisational scheme makes sense to you, whether it’s by order status, frequency of business, or both. You can create labels and sort customers into them from the customer’s chat page. 

Make a Catalog

Want to make it easy for customers to see your products without having to leave WhatsApp? That’s why WhatsApp Business has a Catalog function. With Catalogs, you can list all your items directly in the app, including price, photo, and an item description

Catalogs make it easy for customers to scroll through your goods and find things they’re interested in. To make browsing even more convenient, sort individual items into Collections. That way, customers can search based on the type of product they’re looking for. 

After you’ve created a Catalog or a Collection, you can edit it at any time to keep the information up to date. 

Statistics

One of the reasons WhatsApp Business is valuable to users is that it provides you with data you can use to measure performance. You can see how many of your messages have been sent, delivered, and read from the ‘Statistics’ tab in the ‘Business Settings’ menu. 

The WhatsApp Business app also makes dealing with customers much easier. From introducing your business to answering FAQs all the way through to finishing the sale, customer interactions are streamlined as much as possible. 

What can WhatsApp Business do?

Quick replies

Tired of answering the same questions over and over again? WhatsApp Business takes the hassle out of managing these common queries with Quick Replies. 

Using Quick Replies, you can save frequently sent messages, so you don’t need to type the answer every time. Just tap ‘/’ to bring up the menu of replies you’ve saved. 

Automatic greetings

You can create an automated greeting message using WhatsApp Business that will welcome your customer as soon as they begin an interaction with your business. You can also set the message to send after 14 days of inactivity, so it can be used to pull customers back in. 

Set up your welcome message by navigating to ‘Settings’, then ‘Business settings’, and then ‘Greeting message’. 

Away messages

Away messages are the inverse of greeting messages. If a customer tries to contact your business outside of operating hours, they’ll get one of these messages. 

Your away message can be sent at different times depending on what you choose in the ‘Activate away message’ menu. 

Interactive messages

You can make customers’ lives easier by sending interactive messages. These are buttons that customers can click on to be instantly redirected to where they want to go. 

You can use either quick reply buttons or CTA buttons. Both only require customers to tap their choice for the interaction to proceed, but a CTA button directs your customer to a new page whereas a quick reply does not. 

Even though interactive messages are much simpler and quicker for customers to understand, they’re not free. And building these buttons takes a little bit of coding. 

WhatsApp Business also recently introduced list messages and reply buttons as more ways for customers to answer interactively. List messages have up to 10 options enabled, while reply buttons have 3. 

Selling from WhatsApp Business

One of the major innovations of the WhatsApp Business account, particularly when you’re using interactive buttons, is that you can sell to customers directly from the app. There are a couple of ways you can do this. 

Integrate Facebook shops

If you have a Facebook shop already, you can connect it to your WhatsApp Business account. To do this, you need to: 

  • Have a phone number registered to the WhatsApp Business app.

  • Be an admin on your Facebook business account. 

  • Have management permissions for both the Facebook page and WhatsApp Business Catalog. 

  • Add your WhatsApp Business number to your shop, and set that as your primary contact method. 

Once you’ve done all that, customers can start chatting with you on WhatsApp Business by tapping the Message icon in your shop. 

Send customers to your store

If you have an online store, it’s easy to send customers there to buy from you. All you’d need to do is send a CTA button that links to your store. Customers can click and go straight to checkout. 

If you don’t want to pay for interactive buttons, one idea is to include links to respective product pages in your product descriptions. That way, customers can easily find whatever item they’re interested in. And by including these links in your carousel, customers don’t need to start a conversation before purchasing. 

Want a fast, free, and intuitive online store? With SumUp, it only takes a few minutes before you’re ready to sell to anyone at any time. Open and operate your fully customisable store and start accepting payments remotely. 


The only time you’ll pay to use your Online Store is a 1.67% fee per transaction. 

Build my store

Summary

A WhatsApp Business account is free to open and makes customer service a breeze. The automated messages and ease of answering FAQs mean customer engagement is just a tap away. 

Introducing interactive buttons to the WhatsApp Business app made it even easier for customers to find what they need, whether it’s to place an order, track an order, or call support. And with new features being added as they’re conceived, WhatsApp Business will remain an important tool for entrepreneurs for some time. 


For more tips on growing your business, check out the SumUp Business Guide.

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Max Elias