WhatsApp is the most preferred messaging app across the globe. It has 2 billion+ monthly active users, and they collectively send approximately 100 billion messages daily. Meta has taken steps to monetize the WhatsApp user base.
Recently Meta announced the launch of WhatsApp Cloud API. It is a cloud-based version of WhatsApp Business API enabling businesses to build tools on top of WhatsApp. Companies can access WhatsApp API free of cost by applying directly to Facebook for the WhatsApp Cloud API. The approval process takes only minutes in most cases. WhatsApp Cloud API enables companies to send promotional messages using the WhatsApp Business API.
It is a pathbreaking announcement as it opens up a marketing channel used extensively by people across the globe. If you are a marketing professional and want to know more about it, we have written "The Ultimate Guide for Marketers on WhatsApp Business", sharing ways to leverage WhatsApp Business API.
New marketing channel for the eCommerce Industry
One of the industries that can benefit greatly from this move is the eCommerce industry. It has already experienced the benefits of using chatbots and other popular messenger apps like Facebook Messenger. At its core, WhatsApp is a messenger app too. eCommerce business can apply their learnings from other messaging channels and model them to suit the WhatsApp customer base.
Also, users are increasingly adopting the mobile-first approach for everything online. WhatsApp is one of the most popular mobile messaging apps. Hence, by default, it becomes an integral part of the marketing mix as itis the leading messenger app on mobile.
eCommerce businesses can achieve massive growth by using WhatsApp effectively for communication with their customers. For it to be successful, they should focus on creating a deeper connection with their users on WhatsApp, as it is an intimate form of communication for most users.
Next Level of Personalization
People use WhatsApp to share text messages, images, and videos. eCommerce brands have tasted reasonable success using text-based personalization. However, the brands lack the capabilities to personalize creatives and videos, which will take them to the next level of personalization. But if they can do so, it can be beneficial for them. Let us look at a couple of successful campaigns that used visual personalization successfully.
Cadbury India executed a social video marketing campaign wherein they let consumers craft personalized videos. It had photos and names extracted from their Facebook account. Recipients watched this touching video while receiving a box of Cadbury Glow chocolate as a gift. Cadbury achieved a 65% CTR with recipients, not to mention a 33% conversion rate for viewers who filled in a subsequent promotion form.
Starbucks used real-time data to send 400,000 variants of hyper-personalized messages containing unique offers based on user preferences, historical data, and past purchase history. The results were unbelievable. It increased their marketing campaign effectiveness by 3X. Also, 24% of total company transactions happened via the mobile app.
Let us look at some use cases specific to the eCommerce industry wherein they can leverage personalized media-based communication.
eCommerce use cases for personalized media-based communication on WhatsApp
1. Customer Acquisition Phase
Brands can integrate WhatsApp on their website as a chat box or as an option on product pages using which users can directly message them to enquire about the specific product or make it a CTA on their ad campaigns. Users can also scan a QR code and message the brand directly.
Once a user provides your brand with permission to communicate via WhatsApp, you automatically get to know their phone number, country of origin, and their WhatsApp username.
You can now welcome users with a personalized image and a corresponding message with an incentive to continue their association with your brand on WhatsApp.
2. Cart Abandonment recovery
Cart Abandonment is one of the biggest challenges any eCommerce business faces. Traditionally, companies have communicated with customers through emails, SMSs, and Facebook messenger to encourage them to buy products lying in their abandoned carts. As per reports, the click-through rates for Messenger-based cart abandonment campaigns are around 44%.
Fynd, an omnichannel retail ecosystem, has used Vizard to create personalized images to message customers via WhatsApp. They experienced an 80% increase in the click-through rates of their cart abandonment campaigns.
These numbers suggest that the more personal the messaging medium and more personalized the message, the better the open rates. An increased CTR leads to higher conversions resulting in higher revenues and margins for your business.
3. Product Recommendations
The customer browses through numerous products on an eCommerce platform. You can regularly send them product recommendations depending on their tastes and preferences. You can use WhatsApp to upsell or cross-sell products based on their purchase history.
4. New Product Launch
You can generate interest and excitement amongst active and inactive customers about new product launches. You can send new product images or create unboxing videos and share them with the customers over WhatsApp.
It can also help businesses improve top-of-the-mind recall amongst their customer bases.
5. Exclusive offers
You can share exclusive offers and discounts with loyal customers.
The company can give special discounts on occasions like the brand hosting a special sale for its loyal customers, festivals, birthdays or anniversaries, clearance sales etc.
As in the previous case, it could also create interest amongst inactive users and make them return to make a purchase.
6. Encourage Repeat Purchases
If you are an eCommerce business offering products with a predictable consumption cycle, WhatsApp could be a great platform to remind customers to reorder the product. You can predict the time for which a particular product will last based on the purchase history of the client and the generic consumption pattern of other customers.
You can message the customer a week or so before the estimated time to remind them to reorder. There are higher chances of the customer buying the product as WhatsApp messages have a high open rate.
7. Encourage online payments instead of Cash on Delivery
eCommerce businesses prefer receiving advance payments. If a customer opts for a COD payment mode, you can send them a customized offer incentivizing them to switch to an online payment method.
8. Transactional Details
You can share transactional details with customers on WhatsApp after they purchase a product. Let us consider an example of an online ticketing platform similar to MakeMyTrip or GoIbibo.
When a user purchases a ticket, you can send them a customized image with their booking details printed on it. It is also convenient for them to view it on WhatsApp anytime.
Vizard also allows businesses to create customized pdfs. Companies can customize their invoice with the buyer's transaction details or other relevant information and send them through WhatsApp.
9. Reward Points
For every transaction, the customer can receive an image with the details of the reward points earned by the customer. The message can also include other information like total reward points, expiration date, other applicable terms and conditions, etc.
10. Customer Feedback and Reviews
A WhatsApp message can be a great way to nudge customers to provide product reviews and feedback. It is convenient for users to give feedback through WhatsApp. Customers can share their feedback about the products one by one shown to them.
Some companies might feel that text-based personalization can help them achieve similar success. However, they neglect the images and videos they use for customer engagement and communication.
As per a McKinsey report, 71% of consumers expect personalization. 76% of consumers get frustrated when it is not so. HubSpot report suggests that the RoI from videos is 32% better when compared to other types of content. Also, humans process images 60,000 times faster than text, and 90% of information transmitted to the brain is visual. It means that humans understand messages better through a visual medium. Hence, eCommerce companies should focus on personalizing the images and videos they use for customer messaging.
The use cases mentioned here are in no way exhaustive. Each company will have specific use cases for which they can use visual personalization to engage with customers over WhatsApp. It is a powerful medium with an untapped potential to drive growth for eCommerce businesses.
If you want to explore visual personalization for your business, you can register for a 7-day free trial of Vizard. Alternatively, you can also connect with our personalization experts to schedule a demo customized for your business.