9 Ways to Use WhatsApp for Sales

In long sales cycles, slow and steady wins the race. Weeks or months can pass by before the customer decides that your solution or service meets their needs. That's why it’s crucial to keep the communication alive.

For purchases of everyday products, live chat can help reduce customer churn and skyrocket your conversions. But this requires your customers to remain online which is not practical for longer sales cycles.

WhatsApp, on the other hand, is more aligned with our modern-day nomadic lifestyles. With more than two billion users worldwide and impressive open rates of 98% , it’s the ideal channel for staying in touch and answering questions over a long period of time.

In this blog post, you’ll learn how to engage prospective and existing customers by leveraging the benefits of WhatsApp for sales .

The benefits of WhatsApp Business for sales

Low barrier. WhatsApp lets you communicate with customers on a channel they’re already using. Most people check their messages several times a day which makes WhatsApp the easiest and most convenient way for them to get in touch with businesses.

Your customers won’t also have to check their emails constantly to get an update on their order/query-

Global reach. WhatsApp is billed as the top messenger app in 128 countries , allowing you to cast your net wider than with other channels. It’s especially a popular choice in countries such as Brazil, Mexico and Malaysia where a whopping 60% of the population use WhatsApp.

Speed. One of the biggest customer frustrations is endless waiting lines and delayed responses. WhatsApp messages are shorter and more direct than email, meaning you can react faster to customers’ questions and problems, reducing the likelihood of churn.

Brand perception. There’s something intimate about making it onto your customers’ list of phone contacts. It shows your customers you’re on their level and gives off a more relaxed vibe than phone or email.

Privacy. In the age of the GDPR, data privacy concerns are on the rise. Thanks to its end-to-end encryption and its commitment to protecting user privacy, WhatsApp is the safe choice for customers wanting to message businesses. It also ensures a spam-free experience.

This is not an exhaustive list. To learn more about the benefits of WhatsApp for Business, check out our beginner guide .

Let’s look at some of the ways WhatsApp can be used to boost your sales:

1
Improve your product visibility

The catalog feature in the WhatsApp Business App serves as a mobile storefront for businesses to showcase their products. This saves businesses the hassle of sending photos one at a time and repeating information.

For each item in its catalog, a business can add information including price, description, images, product name and number.

Similar items can be grouped together in one catalog. Alternatively, you can create a separate catalog for each item and upload variants of the same picture.

Cakes displayed in WhatsApp catalog
Source: Guiding Tech

There are limitations as to the products which can be added. Some of these are obvious (drugs and explosives), others not so much (contact lenses and bandages), so be sure to check out the full list.

This video guides you through the setup:

2
Promotions

WhatsApp as a promotional platform has untapped potential. You can send your customers informational or promotional content via the “Broadcast” feature without breaching their privacy as it works like the BCC feature in emails.

And because you need your customers’ consent to send them WhatsApp messages, you can be sure that you’ll only be targeting interested leads.

With the “Status” feature, you can share information about flash sales and promotions. As an updated status is only available to 24 hours to its viewers, this can be used to tap into your customers’ scarcity mindset to increase conversions.

3
QR advertising

WhatsApp offers a “click to chat” feature that lets you start a chat with someone without having their phone number saved. This is convenient for customers who don’t want to store the number of every business they interact with.

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You can use the tool to create a link which can then be converted into a QR code.

Alternatively, you can simply display your QR code on billboards or promotional materials. If it piques the customer’s interest, they can start a conversation by scanning the QR code with their smartphone.

4
Facebook "click to WhatsApp" advertising

A “click to WhatsApp” ad can help you attract customers through their preferred messaging app. To drive them to WhatsApp, you can create an ad on Facebook with a “Send Message” button that will open a conversation in WhatsApp when people click on it.

By adding a ‘click to WhatsApp’ button to Facebook ads, businesses can now make it even easier for people to learn about their products, set up an appointment or use their service.

Pancham Gajjar, product marketing manager, Facebook

Allowing customers to contact you with the click of a button speeds up the buying process which means more conversions. You can include a default message which customers can edit to start the conversation.

Clicking on 'Send Message' in Facebook opens the ad in WhatsApp and then a conversation with the ad in the message.
Source: TechCrunch

5
Product demonstrations

A product demonstration helps you get your customers excited about your product. It’s also an effective way to address product-related concerns.

Take Hellman’s. While everyday products like mayonnaise don’t exactly require instructions, there are only so many dishes you can make with it.

In an initiative to inspire new uses of the product, Hellman’s launched live cooking demonstrations via WhatsApp for its Brazilian customers.

Once customers signed up online, they were asked to send photos of the contents of their fridge via WhatsApp so that live chefs could provide bespoke tips and recommendations.

This challenge not only resolved cooking dilemmas but boosted customer engagement.

The main learning was that it’s not about just advertising; it’s about creating a relevant service; it’s about creating real conversations, real connections with consumers; and answering a real need in the exact moment that they are needing your help.

Thana Uchino, digital marketing manager, Unilever

6
Concierge service

The word concierge evokes images of a white-gloved butler attending to the needs of elite hotel guests. But a concierge-style customer service isn't only reserved for the privileged few.

cartoon of a chat bubble wearing a monocle like a sir

Shopping for items such as lingerie can be an embarrassing affair, especially, if you’re searching for a gift for your partner. To spare customers’ blushes, Agent Provocateur ran a WhatsApp campaign to offer discreet advice and service to its premium customers.

Over two days, WhatsApp users had the opportunity to invite a personal shopper into a group conversation with their partner to discuss what they wanted for Christmas. And in a world of automation, style advisers personally engaged with each couple and answered their questions manually.

7
Order and delivery updates

Auto email confirmations risk getting lost in the clutter of the hundreds of emails your customers are likely bombarded with every day. They may even land in your customers’ spam folders.

The high open rates on WhatsApp guarantee that customers won’t miss crucial order confirmations and status updates.

To incentivize customers to opt in to messages, KLM allows customers to receive booking confirmations, flight information and boarding passes all within WhatsApp.

8
Post-sales support

The customer relationship doesn’t end after they’ve made a purchase. At some point, everyone has bought a product that doesn’t meet their needs or that they don’t know how to use.

If a customer has to jump through hoops to chase a refund or to seek product assistance, they won’t hesitate in cutting you loose.

WhatsApp is a low-effort way to provide post-sales support to your customers without your customers enduring the frustration of long waiting lines or repeating information. In a study by Facebook, 50% of customers who messaged businesses did so throughout their customer journey - to ask about opening hours, to make a purchase or share feedback.

For products that don’t require technical expertise, you can offer video tutorial support. Refund requests can also be processed quickly without the back-and-forth of emails.

9
Customer relationship building

Creating great customer relationships is the holy grail for most businesses. The appeal of WhatsApp is that you’re connecting with your customers on a channel they’re using to communicate with their loved ones.

Coupled with faster, more direct and more personalized service, WhatsApp can bring you closer to your customers, and ultimately greater conversions.

How to get started with WhatsApp for Business

Now you’ve learnt about the different ways you can implement WhatsApp Business for sales, head over to our post Your WhatsApp Business Account – From App to Z for everything you need to know to get started.

While most people are using WhatsApp, other channels haven’t lost their prominence. With Userlike , you can consolidate all your customer interactions, no matter where the conversation takes place.