Are you connecting with your customers on the apps where they spend their time each day?
Traditional marketing channels are in decline, and it’s getting harder to catch the attention of customers in crowded newsfeeds and cluttered inboxes. Why not go to where your customers already are and interact with them on the messaging platforms they use everyday?
Today, individuals spend over four hours a day on their mobile devices and 44% of that time is spent on social media or messaging apps — and your brand should be there, too. With 2 billion users worldwide, if you’re not interacting with customers on WhatsApp, you’re likely missing out on serving your current customers, and depriving yourself of the ability to gain new customers as well.
Are WhatsApp users interacting with brands on the platform? According to our new report on the “State of WhatsApp Business Messaging,” they certainly are. 57% of respondents say they regularly communicate with a brand on the platform — and that number increases in regions like Latin America (75%) and Asia-Pacific (71%). Additionally, half of those respondents have messaged with a brand at least eleven times, and sometimes upwards of forty times or more.
What other insights did we uncover that can prove to marketers that WhatsApp is where they want to be? Here are three reasons why you should be on WhatsApp messaging with your customers.
#1: Build brand affinity on WhatsApp
Engaging with customers on WhatsApp is a sure way to create a strong positive impact on your brand perception. 70% of those surveyed say that messaging with a brand on WhatsApp has positively impacted their perception of that brand. The majority of those interacting with a brand on WhatsApp then went on to purchase products from that brand.
But why does messaging with a brand on WhatsApp create a positive experience for customers? The top reason why they like to message is because it’s fast — faster than trying to email or call a company with questions. They also like it because it’s convenient. Instead of trying to find contact information on a website or fill out a form which may take days to hear a response from, they simply open their app and type a question. Messaging on WhatsApp is informal and fun, and may prompt customers to ask questions during their exchange that they may not ask through more formal channels.
#2: Influence purchase decisions.
Not only can interacting with your brand on WhatsApp increase your customers’ affinity for your brand, it can increase their willingness to purchase and pay as well. Those positive experiences they have while messaging with you translate into sales, as 69% of respondents say they are more likely to buy from a brand if that brand has a WhatsApp option available. Additionally, 64% say they are likely to spend more if a brand has the option to communicate via WhatsApp.
This doesn’t just mean that messaging with customers on WhatsApp will earn you more sales. It also means that giving customers the option to message on WhatsApp differentiates you from other brands who don’t have that option. You can gain a competitive advantage by positively differentiating your brand from competitors with a better WhatsApp experience.
Considering that product and service related questions is the primary thing customers message with a brand about, messaging also gives you the ability to guide customers to the products they’re looking for and provide them personalized recommendations on WhatsApp as well. Consider too that 56% of customers have abandoned a purchase because the company was too slow to respond to their inquiry — meaning that even responding in a timely fashion can positively influence purchases.
#3: Open a new marketing channel.
Finally, with traditional marketing channels in decline, marketers should be looking for new approaches to connect with customers. WhatsApp offers a new channel through which you can engage and convert customers by building a directly reachable audience you can continuously monetize.
Not only does WhatsApp messaging help build brand affinity and influence purchase decisions, customers are interested in using messaging for other purposes as well. Other than customer support, respondents want brands to help them find products based on their unique preferences and needs, which brands can do using guided conversations. Similarly, customers also want to receive personalized offers and coupons through their messaging exchange. Use WhatsApp to drive sales by segmenting customers based on their preferences and sending personalized follow-up offers. Other studies show that 78% of customers say they would be more likely to make purchases with a brand if their offers were targeted to their interests and needs. Your WhatsApp channel also provides an excellent opportunity to collect zero party data. This is the data customers voluntarily share with you about their purchasing habits and what you can later use to personalize offers based on their preferences.
Getting Started with WhatsApp
Brands messaging on WhatsApp are already seeing the benefits listed above, including increased brand affinity, increased sales, and elevated willingness to pay. First movers will gain a competitive advantage, and brands not on WhatsApp, or who haven’t yet figured out a responsive WhatsApp strategy, are currently missing out on many opportunities to grow their audience.
Why not get started with WhatsApp today? Add a WhatsApp button to your website — the preferred way of starting a conversation with a brand, as per our respondents — and start messaging with customers on an app they already use every day.