India has over 200 million WhatsApp users. Source: Shutterstock

How WhatsApp for Business is helping Indian enterprises

AFTER launching its WhatsApp Business app in India at the start of this year, it seems that many businesses are jumping onboard the platform to boost their communication with customers.

An example of such a company is online food delivery service Swiggy.

According to reports, the company is testing WhatsApp’s enterprise solution to help provide fast, real-time alerts on user orders via the Facebook-owned messaging update.

The app – which is available for free download – is predominantly targeted at small businesses. And with almost half of the 450 million internet users in India using WhatsApp, it is clear why the platform is becoming more desirable to brands wanting to connect with their customers.

Some of the business-centric features include:

  • The ability for businesses to create their own profiles, including information such as a company description, email, address, and websites.
  • Smart messaging tools which enable businesses to send quick replies and answer FAQs.
  • The option to send greetings messages to new customers.
  • Set away messages when the company is busy.

Alongside features to enable the efficient communication with customers, WhatsApp also has plans to mark some businesses as ‘Confirmed Accounts’ over time, giving them more credibility.

This is once it has been confirmed that the account phone number matches the business phone number.

Swiggy has begun leveraging WhatsApp’s enterprise solution to give customers exclusive updates through the app.

The WhatsApp service, via Swiggy, will issue regular updates such as “order accepted”, “order in kitchen”, and “delivery in process”.

Additionally, WhatsApp for Business will support Swiggy’s map-based delivery tracking system, providing a real-time update of a delivery drivers location to the customer.

If users do not wish to receive such notifications, they can simply respond with the message ‘STOP’ via Swiggy’s Whatsapp chat window.

The popular food delivery service isn’t the only big player leveraging WhatsApp’s enterprise solutions in India.

Companies such as BookMyShow and MakeMyTrip are using the platform to send alerts about movie and flight tickets to users via WhatsApp, rather than traditional SMS. Even Netflix is reported to be testing updates on WhatsApp.

Customers can receive information about the latest promotions from their favorite businesses. Source: Shutterstock

The trend of businesses using WhatsApp to connect with their customers makes perfect sense since it’s an app that pretty much everyone knows how to use.

However, given the significant personal nature of WhatsApp, businesses should be wary of how exactly they leverage the platform to connect with customers.

Using it to market your products and services in excess could turn very quickly turn customers off. Businesses can even result in being blocked by WhatsApp if users start reporting their messages as spam.

Further strengthening its presence in India, WhatsApp is also rumored to be rolling out a payment service this week.

Reports from Bloomberg note that WhatsApp will partner with HDFC Bank Ltd, ICICI Bank Ltd, and Axis Bank Ltd to process transfers.