WhatsApp Business Rolls Out In Select Countries; Coming Soon To India!
WhatsApp Business is the new messaging platform made for businesses to reach out to their customers easily.
WhatsApp Business is finally here and it rolling out around the world.
It’s been years since the Facebook-owned company has been carrying out trials and tests, and now finally businesses can have their very own WhatsApp solution. The company has rolled out the final version and it has been named WhatsApp Business. It is available to download in the Google Play Store in select countries around the world. Unfortunately, India is not one of them.
The new app from WhatsApp will provide all the advanced functionalities a business messaging platform would need. Businesses can create their own profile with useful information like description of their business, address and contact information and so on. They can even enable quick replies for answers to some common questions. Greeting messages can also be created. Businesses can then use analytics to see which messages are the most effective in making the connection with their customers.
The app is already up and running on the Play Store in Indonesia, Italy, Mexico, U.K. and U.S. The rest of the world, including India, is expected to get access to the app in a few weeks, but the company hasn’t mentioned a specific timeline.
WhatsApp Business – Features & Tools
WhatsApp Business has been specifically designed to make it convenient for businesses to reach out and connect with their customers. It will offer following features and tools to its users;
It will provide customers with useful information about business like their description, email and other contact information, store address and their website.
The Business app will come with some smart messaging tools like Quick Replies for frequently asked questions, Greeting Texts to introduce customers to the business and Away Messages to let customers know that no one from their side is available at that point in time.
Companies can use the Messaging Statistics feature to review some simple metrics like the number of your messages that have been read, which message has been read the most number of times and to see what’s working and what’s not.
The Account Type will let users know if they are talking with a business or an individual user. Business profiles which will be listed as Business Accounts. Genuine businesses will have the status of Confirmed Accounts (something like the blue tick on twitter), once WhatsApp verifies the account’s contact information and other details.
WhatsApp Business – Web Version
Just like the WhatsApp messenger has a web version, WhatsApp Web will also get its own web version which can be operated through a PC or laptop. WhatsApp’s web version has similar functionalities like its mobile app. You can send and receive messages, documents and media.
Since WhatsApp Business will have its own standalone app, regular WhatsApp will continue to work as usual. So, if you are not a business, you do not have to download anything new to be able to continue using WhatsApp.
Regular users will continue to have full control over the messages they receive. They will have the ability to block any number they want, including business accounts. If they feel that a business and they can even report as spam.
Whatsapp Business In India
WhatsApp has stated that according to their estimates, close to 84% of Indian SMBs think that WhatsApp helps them communicate with their customers better. Around 80% of the SMBs think WhatsApp will help them grow their business further.
WhatsApp ran a beta test with their Business app with Indian internet players BookMyShow, redBus, Goibibo and MakeMyTrip, which allowed them to access specific WhatsApp APIs to send ticket confirmations to customers.
The current set of features on WhatsApp Business will remain free in the long term. But, WhatsApp plans to charge businesses for additional features and capabilities in the near future.
The company will eventually adopt a freemium model, but won’t take away any of the existing features. Whatsapp has earlier confirmed that the Business app will remain free forever for small and medium-sized business.
WhatsApp plans to roll out the Business app and its services in India in a few weeks’ time. They eventually plan to release the iOS and Windows versions as well.