Growing focus on customer retention has made transparent communication one of the key baselines of running a successful Shopify business. And no platform has risen up to the challenge as much as WhatsApp.
WhatsApp has evolved continuously alongside fast-changing consumer demands. Today, this messaging platform allows entrepreneurs to conduct most of their sales and marketing here. It’s a relatively inexpensive way to encourage business-client relationships. It’s also a hundred times more effective than SMS or email communication.
While WhatsApp by itself only serves as a messaging and payment gateway, the WhatsApp Business API offers amazing features for businesses to use. We’ll discuss all that and more in the following parts!
2) Game-Changing features of the WhatsApp Business API
The WhatsApp Business API is a boon to every ecommerce business of today. Let’s see which features set it apart.
2.1) Automatic Messages
Two features allow businesses to send automated messages on WhatsApp - quick replies and away messages. Both these features are extremely useful when you have your hands full of order and shipping responsibilities.
The Quick Replies feature allows you to save time and automate responses to some of the most common questions asked by customers. These could be about your business hours, product availability, return policy, etc.
With Away Messages, Shopify sellers can set up custom messages for every time a customer messages when they are away. Customers can reach out to businesses at the oddest of hours with questions. While you don’t want to turn them away by not replying, you surely can’t do it all by yourself. Setting up away messages ensures customers are informed and never feel ignored.
Every Shopify merchant knows higher customer engagement means higher chances of conversion and sales. While WhatsApp Business’s Away Messages and Quick Replies can answer customer queries promptly, chatbots are the answer to keeping them hooked.
WhatsApp chatbots can be built by any developer accustomed to programming languages. It’s also a key offering by all WhatsApp Business providers. Once you’ve installed a chatbot on your store, customers can engage and get to know your website and product selection better.
2.3) Promotional Broadcast Messages
WhatsApp Business Broadcast Messages enable Shopify users to share their messages with hundreds of customers at one go. These need not be promotional in nature at all. Businesses can use this feature to update their customers about their latest business developments, upcoming sales, stock clearance alerts, etc.
Be careful not to use this feature too frequently for promotional activities, as WhatsApp sees such marketing efforts as invasive. Overusing the feature may lead to penalties or account suspension.
2.4) Personalised Communication
WhatsApp supports multilingual communication in 10 languages, which means you can talk to your customers in their preferred vernacular. On top of that, connecting your Shopify store with WhatsApp allows it to pull existing customer data and use it for more personalized communication.
For example, “Hi, Tim! Thanks for your purchase!”. In many cases, if customer data is not synced with the platform, WhatsApp may use Order Id numbers instead of names in the messages.
3) How to Integrate Your Shopify Store with the WhatsApp Business API?
Integrating your Shopify store with the WhatsApp Business API is truly simple and does not require any prior knowledge. To start, create a WhatsApp Business Account with a fresh phone number. All your teammates will access customer WhatsApp messages from this single number only.
Next, get verified by Meta. Some businesses encounter a few snags in this process and choose to opt for WhatsApp Business Service Providers. You could do that if you like or go at it by yourself. In our experience, if the documentation is correct, it doesn’t take too long to get approved.
Once you’ve been verified, it’s time to start reaching out to old and new customers via a WhatsApp message, letting them know you’ve arrived. That’s it. You’re now ready to start your WhatsApp marketing efforts in earnest and bring in more shoppers than ever to your store.
4) 9 Ways to Use the WhatsApp Business API to Boost Your Shopify Store
4.1) Onsite chats
Shopify businesses can increase customer engagement and reply to customer queries by inserting the WhatsApp chat button on their websites. If you already have a chatbot installed on your store, a developer can help you replace it with the new one.
The best thing about WhatsApp chatbots is that they are consistently live and responsive unless your website faces a downtime. This means customers from across the world, regardless of their time zones, can reach out and communicate with your business. In short, you’ll be making sales even when you’re asleep!
4.2) Notification opt-ins
Many customers today are familiar with WhatsApp opt-ins even though they may not always know the particular name of the service. Have you noticed how you sometimes get WhatsApp messages from brands you’ve recently shopped from? These are known as WhatsApp Business notifications.
Such notifications mainly include news about the store’s latest collection, sale days, abandoned cart messages, etc. The purpose of these WhatsApp notifications is to bring back customers who have already shopped from you before and turn them into repeat ones.
However, to send these messages, businesses need customer information like phone numbers and names which can be procured through google forms or other types of data collection activities like email marketing, etc.
4.3) Campaign ads and CTA
Netflix, Lenskart, and Adidas have all used WhatsApp to run campaigns for customer acquisition, increased brand awareness, and social welfare. By tying your Shopify store to a WhatsApp Business account, you can drive campaign messages to WhatsApp.
With the Click-to-WhatsApp campaign, your customers will get a chance to directly communicate with you and ask questions. This provides merchants a great opportunity to provide top-class customer service and increase footfall and sales.
4.4) Cash on Delivery Order Verification
Although most shoppers today prefer cashless transactions, some of them are still wary of online platforms and choose to pay on delivery with cash. This trend is mostly seen in countries of the Indian subcontinent and the Middle East.
However, the problem with COD orders is that many of them eventually become RTOs when customers refuse their packages at the time of delivery. To distinguish legitimate orders from unserious ones, Shopify sellers can use WhatsApp Business to send automated COD verification messages.
Every time a customer opts for COD, WhatsApp will trigger a notification to the customer asking them to confirm the order. This increases the chances of an affirmative response from the customer.
4.5) Order Tracking Updates
With the WhatsApp integration in place, you can now send real-time order tracking updates to customers on their WhatsApp! What’s more, the moment their package is shipped, you could start sharing the live location of their order so they can track it all the way.
In this way, they won’t even have to visit the carrier website several times a day to check their order status and can stay updated on any delays. Live order tracking alerts are crucial for customer satisfaction, and getting it on WhatsApp is an added bonus.
4.6) Personalized recommendations
The main benefit of using WhatsApp for Shopify is to add value to your customers’ buying experience. By sharing personalized product recommendations, you tell your customers you know their likes and dislikes.
For example, if you know a customer always shops for home organization equipment, you could drop them a message any time you make an addition to that segment. Doing this makes customers feel valued and noticed. Isn’t that the crux of every great customer experience?
4.7) Collect Feedback
Every Shopify store owner knows the importance of customer feedback in improving business performance. But getting that feedback from customers can be tricky. Most people steer clear of filling in tedious Google forms. Replies to email feedback are also negligible.
However, with its highest engagement rates, WhatsApp is one of the best platforms to collect customer feedback. Sellers can share enquiries with clickable buttons for answers, which makes it an easy and efficient process.
4.8) Start loyalty programs
Introducing loyalty programs is an amazing way to keep your customers satisfied and increase their lifetime value. With WhatsApp Business, you can share automated messages indicating points earned every time a customer makes a purchase or shares your content on social media.
In a similar way, Shopify users can keep shoppers updated on their store points or inform them when they have enough redeemable points for a product in their cart.
4.9) Actionable Insights
Tracking analytics is crucial to constantly improving your shipping and store experience. With WhatsApp integrated into your Shopify business, you can track metrics that matter to you. These include - team performance, automatic routing, unanswered messages, response time, total leads, conversions, and much more.
Evaluating these statistics is important to gauge whether WhatsApp is performing according to your expectations to bring in added sales and revenue.
5) How Can ClickPost Help Online Stores with WhatsApp Business API Integration
As we’ve discussed above, integrating your ecommerce shop with a Whatsapp chat widget or a Business API is possible but time-consuming. Therefore, most online sellers opt for a shipping management platform like ClickPost to enable WhatsApp services on their platform. The added benefit of having a partner like ClickPost is the extra help and expertise you get along with the service.
Moreover, being a shipping platform, ClickPost comes pre-integrated with 450+ shipping carriers that any business would be happy to have at their disposal. Not only that, it can provide detailed analysis reports on how well your WhatsApp account is performing in terms of sales and engagement. For any store owner who wants to succeed in this breakneck ecommerce space, this data is pure gold.
Shopify businesses are using WhatsApp to reach their customers across the world. Today’s ecommerce enterprises think customer service is the biggest tool to running a successful business.
If you aren’t using WhatsApp Business yet, it’s time to start now. We hope this detailed guide will walk you through the integration steps and set you up quickly. Please drop us a line if you have any questions!
7.1) How can Shopify products be added to the WhatsApp Catalog?
To add Shopify products under Catalog, click on ‘More Options” and select “Business Tools.” Then, tap on “Catalog.” You can now add items by tapping on the “Add Item” section. Be sure to add their name, price, and description to help customers find it easily. You can click on “More fields” to add a website link and item code. Lastly, add an image to your item. That’s it!
7.2) Is the WhatsApp Business API Shopify store integration free of cost?
No, gaining access to the WhatsApp Business API comes at a cost because businesses need to pass Meta’s verification process either on their own or through BSP. For a free version, opt for WhatsApp Business.