Unleashing the Power of WhatsApp Business API for e-commerce Success

Unleashing the Power of WhatsApp Business API for e-commerce Success

Understanding the Whatsapp Business API, how to choose the right Business Solution Provider and the main use cases in e-commerce.
 Unleashing the Power of WhatsApp Business API for e-commerce Success
Pietro Di Chio | Full Stack Developer
Pietro Di Chio | Full Stack Developer
December 7, 2023

In the fast-paced world of e-commerce, staying connected with your customers is the key to success.
Just consider the following data: only 2.86% of ecommerce website visitors convert into customers. 

This means that just bringing users to your website is not going to be enough. 

Consider that the average rate for abandoning carts is over 70%.
“Traffic” is not enough, you need “conversions”.

That's where WhatsApp Business comes in to help you!

In fact, WhatsApp can help you boost your e-commerce sales and increase your ROAS (and consequently, increase profits).

With an average 98% message open rate and 50% click-through rate, WhatsApp is the most useful platform to increase the profits of your e-commerce store. With over  2,7 billion users worldwide, WhatsApp provides a direct and familiar channel for customers.

In order to do so, you need to implement WhatsApp Business API - a game-changer function of WhatsApp that is revolutionizing customer communication online.

In this blog post, we'll dive into the main features of WhatsApp Business API for e-commerce, exploring its benefits, use cases and the role of solution providers in optimizing your online business communication.

WhatsApp Business API
WhatsApp Business API

1. Understanding WhatsApp Business API:

Let's kick off by understanding what an API is.
An Application Programming Interface (API) serves as a bridge between different software applications, enabling them to communicate and share data seamlessly.
In the context of WhatsApp Business API, this technology acts as a gateway, facilitating interaction between businesses and the WhatsApp Business platform.

There are 2 ways to activate and manage a WhatsApp Business channel. One is the WhatsApp Business app, the other is the WhatsApp Business Platform (or WhatsApp Business API).

WhatsApp Business vs WhatsApp Business API

Due to the very similar name, there is often a tendency to confuse the two. But, despite the “name similarity”, the functionalities, the possible uses and their costs are very different.

1) The WhatsApp Business app is completely free (downloadable from the Google Play Store or the App Store).
It is the ideal choice for small & local businesses that want to use this channel to communicate with customers.

This app allows you to open a professional account (without using personal mobile numbers) and manage a practical, simple and effective contact channel within the same WhatsApp platform.
For example, it allows you to create tags, chat with clients,  enter office hours, create a product catalog and so on.

The WhatsApp Business App, despite being a great tool, has 2 significant limitations:
a) it remains linked to the smartphone on which it is installed and
b) allows for an exclusively manual management of the messaging feature. 

So this is not ideal for those companies (especially e-commerce websites) that need to use this strategic channel for marketing automations and make it scalable for complex activities.
For example, you can only send messages to 256 people at one time, and there are no “advanced functionalities” like automation and analytics, which are instead available in WhatsApp Business Platform (API). 

2) The WhatsApp Business API is the solution specifically designed for large and/or growing companies.
This version provides advanced and unique features, optimized for online business settings, that you will not find in the standard WhatsApp Business.
First of all, there is no WhatsApp interface or app when you use the APIs . Companies that use it must necessarily connect the WhatsApp API endpoint to an external platform, for software integration and support. 

For example, if I would like to connect WhatsApp Business to your Shopify store, TextYess is the perfect solution!

These external platforms allow you to access solutions and features not available on the “standard” WhatsApp Business App. 

One main use case is using APIs in marketing automation systems, sending transactional notifications or customer support messages (widely used for example by shipping and e-commerce companies). 

But there are 2 main aspects to consider:
1) access to the WhatsApp Business API is limited to companies and in no way available to individuals,

2) operating costs, since these functions are not free.

There are 2 main costs of a WhatsApp Business API:

  1. WhatsApp cost per conversation: a business pays Meta (WhatsApp's parent company) for every WhatsApp conversation it has with a customer. But there is a free service option: in fact, when using WhatsApp Business API you will have 1,000 free conversations per month.
    But if you need to have more conversations than this “limited version”, you must pay for those in “excess”, based on their type.
    To give you an idea about the pricing of Meta, these are the costs per conversation for the WhatsApp Business API in Italy (country code +39):
  • Marketing conversation: €0.0572
  • Utility conversation: €0.0347
  • Authentication: €0.0313
  • Service conversation: €0.0319
  1. Software provider costs: most companies using the WhatsApp API partner with a WhatsApp Business Solution Provider (BSP) for software integrations and support. They will likely charge monthly fees for the software, and an additional small fee per conversation.
    You may also pay set-up costs (this is often negotiable).

As we said, to request access to WhatsApp Business API, you will need to start a company verification process directly with Meta (the owner of WhatsApp). This verification phase is handled directly by Meta and can take anywhere from a few hours to several weeks to complete

Although it is possible to request access to the API directly to WhatsApp, in practice it is complicated and expensive.
Requesting the WhatsApp API by choosing a BSP (Business Service Providers) is certainly the most accessible and fastest method.
TextYess is a great service provider to help you connect WhatsApp with your Shopify store!

So now it’s time to discover BSPs !

By the way, if you would like to know more about WhatsApp and WhatsApp Business, here is a great article for you!

2. Choosing the Right Solution Provider:

The BSPs (Business Service Providers), are official suppliers, authorized by Meta , to provide access to the WhatsApp Business API.
Basically, they are large companies specialized in the corporate communication sector that have been selected by WhatsApp to manage both API access and billing.

These companies are officially listed by Meta as solution providers that know how to work with the WhatsApp Business API and can help brands unlock their potential.

WhatsApp defines BSPs as "...a global community of third-party solution providers with expertise on the WhatsApp Business Platform. These BSPs can help you communicate with your customers on the WhatsApp Business Platform." 

WhatsApp Business API is a powerful tool, but selecting the right solution provider is crucial for seamless integration and optimal performance. 

In fact, besides helping you to implement WhatsApp Business API, your solution provider should also offer other two benefits.

  • Help with legal issues: you'll be collecting people's data through WhatsApp, so you need to make sure your BSP keeps you on the right side of the law, in particular with GDPR in the EU.
  • Offer expert, always-on support: in a new channel like WhatsApp, you'll need to build an understanding of WhatsApp Business best practices. You'll need your BSP to help you manage the channel and make it a success – and you may need extra tech support for the moments you're sending out WhatsApp campaigns.

Ok, now you would like to integrate WhatsApp Business into your website, but you don’t know what provider suits you best.
No problem!

Here are the key features to look for in a solution provider:

  1. Integration with CMS: your provider should enable CMS integration, to ensure that your sales & customer support functionalities on WhatsApp can directly integrate with product pictures, prices and descriptions. 
  2. Easy interfaces and engaging CTAs: in particular the provider should give you the possibility to easily generate chat bubbles or generate other CTA and have a user friendly conversations interface to manage customers interactions. 
  3. Compliance and security:  when you’re choosing your provider you should consider if it offers you legal compliance (especially with the GDPR). 
  4. Ongoing support: your provider should offer long-time stability and ensure 24/7 customer support. 

Do you have still doubts? Try TextYess !

TextYess WhatsApp Business API pr
TextYess WhatsApp Business API provider

3. Leveraging WhatsApp Business API for E-commerce:

Now, let's explore the practical applications of WhatsApp Business API in the e-commerce realm.
WhatsApp Business APIs play a crucial role in creating seamless customer experiences: for example, you can use them for order updates, shipping notifications, and customer support requests, improving user experience and overall customer satisfaction.
Here are some compelling ways to leverage this technology:

  1. Transactional Messages

With WhatsApp Business API you can share product suggestions, special offers and “product bundles” (enhancing upselling or cross-selling strategies).
Moreover, you can improve the customer experience with timely updates about special offers or new products (alternative to email marketing campaigns).

  1. Order Updates and Confirmations

Thanks to WhatsApp API you can generate real-time notifications about your customers’ orders status and confirmations.
Remember that real-time tracking of the orders and delivery notifications keep your customers informed, reducing inquiries and enhancing trust in your brand.

  1. Personalized Recommendations & content

You can leverage APIs to receive customer data, that will help you to send personalized product recommendations.
Moreover, APIs will enable your business to share images, videos, and documents directly through the WhatsApp platform.
By doing so, you will engage more deeply with your customers thanks to visually appealing content.

  1. Customer Support

Thanks to API implementation, you can provide instant, convenient customer support through the WhatsApp platform. Leveraging the API ensures instant and personalized interactions, fostering a stronger connection.
This means that quick resolution of FAQs, 24/7 availability and the use of conversational chatbots will streamline the customer support process, leading to more satisfied customers.
As a matter of fact, real-time communication with customers fosters stronger relationships with your brand and automated, personalized messages enhance engagement and responsiveness.

  1. Personalized marketing campaigns

As we said, WhatsApp Business API will help you collect a lot of data. Consequently, you can leverage all kinds of customer data collected to create personalized marketing campaigns, boosting engagement and conversion rates.

Moreover, you will be able to reach them through WhatsApp, which is the most popular chat messaging app in the world.

  1. Easy Integration with Existing Systems

As we mentioned previously thanks to WhatsApp API, you're able to seamlessly integrate WhatsApp with existing ecommerce systems or CSM platforms (like Shopify). 

To be more precise, you need a BSP to make the integration “smooth and easy”.

For example, you can try TextYess for free and see how it goes !

You can finally enjoy a quick implementation process to start reaping the benefits quickly.

  1. Metrics and Performance Tracking

Lastly, Whatsapp Business API allows data-driven decision-making.

We all know the importance of analytics in optimizing e-commerce performance.

WhatsApp Business API helps you by collecting your customers' data and giving you the possibility to generate data-informed decisions.
As a matter of fact, you can utilize data on message open rates, response times, and customer feedback to continuously improve your marketing and sales strategy

5. Whatsapp API as Customer Service interface

Unlike traditional approaches, the WhatsApp API enables you to automate customer care 24/7 and reply within a matter of seconds, offering unparalleled assistance within the user's preferred messaging app.

Benefits of WhatsApp API as customer service interface

Implementing an AI chatbot thanks to WhatsApp API in your ecommerce store can be a game-changer for your business.

But if you have still doubts about how WhatsApp can benefit your online store, here are the top 3 .

  1. Biggest messaging platform in the world.
    As data shows, WhatsApp has 2,7 billion active users and 100 billion messages are sent via WhatsApp every day.

Quite impressive, huh?
As a general marketing rule says: “businesses follow customers on to platforms” : and there’s arguably none bigger today than WhatsApp.
From children aged 5 to 80-year-old traditionalists, virtually almost everyone uses WhatsApp.
This should make WhatsApp your customers' favorite platform for buying products online.

Simple, because they are already familiar with this platform and probably they use it multiple times every day!
This will offer them a better onboarding experience with your chatbot and will improve user experience since your customers will appreciate that your chatbot is using their favorite platform to talk with them. 

Of course, all these features enable improvements in conversion rates and fewer abandoned carts.
For example, the perfume e-commerce Olimpia Home, has generated 132 orders from 797 WhatsApp conversations by using TextYess, reaching a ROAS of 72, as you can see from our success stories:

In chat conversion rate of TextYess AI via the WhatsApp Business API
In chat conversion rate of TextYess AI via the WhatsApp Business API
  1. Availability 24/7 all over the world
    WhatsApp-powered chatbots will enable you to align with the user's schedule and needs.
    This constant availability on a globally recognized platform establishes a direct link between your e-commerce and your customers, fostering stronger relationships.

Through chatbots, your business can respond to customers faster - the average response time is 10 seconds - and in different languages

WhatsApp AI Chatbots like TextYess, are available 24/7/365 days, allowing your customers to get instant assistance at any time, even outside regular business hours.

  1. Personalization at customer's fingertips

The personalized touch extends further with the chatbot's capability to collect and utilize user data from WhatsApp chats, creating an experience similar to natural conversations.
Moreover the richness of media elements offered by WhatsApp, from images to videos, enhances the interaction, making it not just transnational and/or informative but truly engaging.

As a matter of fact, according to Google data, 90% of marketers say personalization makes businesses more profitable.

And customers enjoy customization a lot: in fact, around 80% of users will use chatbots when they’re offered.

The era of one-size-fits-all approaches is evolving into a more nuanced, customer-centric model.

For example, with TextYess, you can customize your WhatsApp chatbot by tailoring its “character” with prompts and files to match your brand's unique identity and tone of voice.
Using the Whatsapp API via TextYess will enable your e-commerce businesses to increase sales with an average 20% in-chat conversion rate.

Start using the WhatsApp Business API

As the landscape of marketing evolves, WhatsApp opens up new possibilities for targeted and tailor-made communication.
The result is not just higher conversion rates, but a more streamlined, personalized and measurable approach to customer engagement.

The true power of WhatsApp chatbots lies not only in connecting at any time with users in a personalized way, but also in providing actionable insights for continuous improvement. 

In conclusion, the integration of WhatsApp Business API into your e-commerce strategy can be a game-changer.
By understanding its benefits, choosing the right solution provider, and leveraging the practical applications, your business can “reach new heights” of success in all types of customer communications. 

Stay ahead of the curve by exploring future trends and innovations in the realm of WhatsApp Business API. 

TextYess Blog provides forward-looking insights into how this technology is evolving to meet the dynamic needs of e-commerce businesses.

Stay informed, stay connected, and embrace the power of WhatsApp Business API for thriving e-commerce businesses.