There is no denying that it's been a shaky year for retailers around the world. Since the COVID-19 pandemic spiraled out of control, stores have rolled down the blinds and closed the doors. Canceled flights mean fewer international customers visiting retail hubs like Dubai, where experts predict a 20 percent drop in store-based sales in 2020. With some countries looking to revive their economy once more, the spotlight is being shed on various smart solutions to make the process easier.
During these unprecedented times, communication is more important for retailers than ever before. This is where a solution like WhatsApp Business API comes in useful. It optimizes communication for retailers significantly. Unlike the WhatsApp Business app, where verified retailers share information about products and services, WhatsApp Business API targets medium and large enterprises for bigger-scale communication with customers.
This happens in two major ways:
- Customer care messages (session messages) where customers chat privately with agents and resolve service issues.
- Notification messages (template messages) started via timely alerts or notifications.
Here are some benefits of the WhatsApp Business Solution for retailers in the region.
1. Acquire new customers
Retailers struck by the coronavirus can capture new customers and forge new relationships. Through the WhatsApp Business API, retailers lead prospects through sales pipelines and turn them into genuine paying customers. This happens by establishing a direct line of connection with customers where all information is available at their fingertips.
2. Personalize experiences
With personalized messages, retailers can increase sales and create rapport with customers. This makes conversations easier and opens customers up to products and services. Seventy-two percent of customers say they only engage with marketing messages customized to their interests.
3. Collect critical data
Retailers who collect data through the WhatsApp Business API get to know their customers better. With the right data, retailers make smarter decisions, fine-tune their marketing campaigns, and generate valuable insights into their business. Retailers stuck in a sales slump because of the pandemic could collect relevant data and grow their business in the months and years to come.
4. Upsell or cross-sell products
Through session messages, agents upsell and cross-sell relevant products and services to customers. This not only increases rapport but could generate an additional income stream. Research shows that upselling increases revenue by up to 30 percent and upsells are 68 percent cheaper than acquiring a brand new customer.
5. Offer instant help guides
Reduce agent time by providing customers with instant help guides that solve the most common problems quickly. Sometimes, a hint or two is more enough to satisfy a customer who can't work out how to use a product. You can also direct customers to help guides on your website.
6. Seamless and secure transactions
Agents can also receive payments through the WhatsApp Business API. This is useful in upselling and cross-selling environments. These payments are seamless and secure. Introducing seamless payments this way provides you with an additional revenue stream.
7. After-sales support
Customers expect excellent support pre- and post-sale. The WhatsApp Business Solution facilitates after-care support for customers who have queries about products and services. Whether it's template or session messages, retailers can improve the customer experience long after the first transaction. The result? Customers are more likely to purchase products and recommend services on social media.
8. Real-time shipping updates
Shipping times are in a constant state of flux at the moment. Imagine there was a way for retailers to provide real-time updates to customers. The WhatsApp Business API can. Real-time shipping updates help retailers manage customer expectations and free up agent time.
9. Collect customer feedback
Good customer feedback helps retailers improve their products and services. But research and surveys can be expensive. The WhatsApp Business API provides retailers with a cost-effective solution where agents can ask customers for their feedback. Alternatively, retailers can send out template messages that ask for feedback.
10. Enroll customers in loyalty programs
Through the WhatsApp Business Solution, customers can enroll in loyalty programs. This improves rapport and brand loyalty. Eighty-two percent of companies agree that customer retention strategies (like loyalty programs) are cheaper than customer acquisition strategies.
How CEQUENS helps
These are just 10 benefits of incorporating the WhatsApp Business API into your organization. By making a few minor changes, you could generate additional revenue, boost loyalty, personalize experiences, collect valuable data, and more.
As a global Communications Platform as a Service (CPaaS) provider, CEQUENS brings customers and retailers closer together in a post-COVID world. Using the latest cloud and mobile technology, our omnichannel communication APIs and services enable retailers to increase sales, build new relationships, and grow their business.