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How to Grow Your Online Business with WhatsApp

Social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram are great for your business' marketing strategy. But did you know that WhatsApp can also take your business to new heights?

Here, we dive into everything you need to know about incorporating this popular app into your operations, how doing so can improve customer service, and how to use WhatsApp to grow your online business.

What is WhatsApp?

WhatsApp is an instant messaging app. It’s similar to Facebook messenger and other apps like Line.

As with most instant messaging apps, WhatsApp uses your device’s internet connection to connect with others who are also on WhatsApp.

Here’s why business owners love using WhatsApp for their business:

  • It’s completely free
  • It’s popular, and has over two billion users
  • There’s a range of features on WhatsApp including texting, voice messages, audio and video calls
  • You can share files and media on WhatsApp easily

Why you should consider using WhatsApp to grow your business

WhatsApp isn’t just another instant messaging app. It’s the third used social media platform in the world, behind Facebook and YouTube. That makes it a great tool to connect with your customers.

On top of that, most users on WhatsApp are active. About 58% of WhatsApp users use the app at least once a day. That gives you an opportunity to market to your customers directly on WhatsApp.

As the most popular messaging app in the world, WhatsApp is a great tool for business that want to expand beyond their local region.

How to set up WhatsApp Business 

Setting up WhatsApp Business is super easy—and completely free.

1. Download WhatsApp Business on the App Store or Google Play.

2. Agree to the terms and conditions.

3. Fill in your phone number.

4. You can explore the business tools or exit it to fill up your business profile.

WhatsApp Business vs WhatsApp messenger

Can you use your personal WhatsApp account for your business? Sure, if you want to!

However, we’d advise you to download WhatsApp Business instead to have more separation between your work contacts and personal contacts.

WhatsApp Business also has a range of features that aren’t available on the standard WhatsApp messaging app.

Your business profile allows you to set open and close timings so that customers know when is the best time to contact you.

Additionally, you can also set quick replies and automated messages when you’re away. That can help you stay on top of customer queries even when you’re busy with other tasks at hand.

How much does it cost to use WhatsApp Business?

The app is free to download. However, conversations are priced differently.

Here’s how it works:

Conversations initiated by your customers are known as “user-initiated conversations” while conversations initiated by you are “business-initiated conversations."

You’ll need to reply to your customers’ messages within 24 hours for the conversation to be categorized as “user-initiated."

Any response you give beyond that time frame is considered “business-initiated.”

This categorization is important because different countries have different rate cards when it comes to pricing. 

If this turns you off, don’t worry. The first 1,000 conversations (not messages) are free of charge and each conversation is measured in fixed 24-hour sessions.

Charges only apply after you’ve maxed out the free tier. You can learn more about WhatsApp Business pricing here.

How to incorporate WhatsApp into your workflow

Now that you’re all set up, here’s how you can use WhatsApp Business in your workflow.

1. Send quick replies for FAQs

Do customers ask you similar questions on a regular basis? To help you streamline your workflow, use WhatsApp’s Quick Replies feature to help you tackle FAQs.

With FAQs, it’s best to keep it short and to the point, especially on an instant messaging app. You don’t want customers to feel overwhelmed and lose interest. Read this guide to learn how to craft FAQs.

2. Automate “Away” messages and greetings

Can’t be on the phone the whole day? Don’t worry about it!

Use automated messages to help you stay on top of customer queries and give them peace of mind that you’ll get back to them.

Having automated messages helps you retain customer interest even when you’re not available to chat immediately.

3. Connect WhatsApp with your Cococart account

Receive orders instantly on your WhatsApp when customers make an order on your Cococart website. 

Here’s how you can easily set it up:

1. Log in to your dashboard

2. Turn on WhatsApp ordering in Settings > General

3. Key in your phone number

Here’s what customers will see after placing orders at your Cococart store:

And here’s what you’ll receive in your WhatsApp messages:

The best part? This feature is completely free on all Cococart plans. Set this up in just a few clicks and seamlessly integrate WhatsApp with your Cococart account now!

Get started with Cococart to enjoy seamless WhatsApp integration

With millions of users all over the world, integrating WhatsApp into your business creates opportunities for you to grow your business. Sign up for a Cococart account if you want to enjoy the benefits of a seamless WhatsApp integration today!

FAQ

How do I start my home-based business (HBB)?

You'll first need to ensure that the business you have in mind meets governmental requirements. If you're based in Singapore, you should register your business with ACRA and check out the Home Office (HO) Scheme.

What ecommerce platforms should I run my online business on?

You can opt to sell goods and services on your own ecommerce website or in a marketplace. Marketplace examples include Lazada, Shopee, Amazon and Carousell.

Ecommerce website builders include Cococart, Shopify and Wix. Both options have their pros and cons. Read this guide to find out more.

Is it possible to start a business with no capital?

Yes! It’s entirely possible to run a business on your mobile device even if you have no capital! Selling digital products online, or offering your skills as a service to others are great places to start.

You can also sell Print-on-Demand (POD) products if you’re tight on cash. Read this article to find out how you can start a home-based business with little to no capital.

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