Written by Guest Contributor
29th July 2015 • 7 min read
In today’s highly competitive market of E-commerce Business, each and every company needs to keep ahead of the crowd to gain and maintain their lead in the market. Innovation is the key here.
You always have to offer something better than your competitor. So keeping eyes on the general tabs and adapting them is very important.
Some companies have come up with various innovative techniques to differentiate themselves from their competitors. They are offering pick-up stations services for people to pick their ordered product on their way. Some of them are using the Indian Postal services to reach more places where popular courier companies do not deliver. A recent trend is the shift from website based service to an app-based service where businesses are shifting their entire operations to an app and less focusing on their websites.
The most recent trend is the shift of user base from social media and short messaging service (SMS) to messenger services like WhatsApp. WhatsApp is an instant messaging platform that uses the user’s mobile number as their ID to make finding people you know easier to reach. You can send a
WhatsApp message to anyone whose mobile number is stored in your mobile’s contact list. WhatsApp already has more than 800 million users worldwide which are bound to increase in the future. WhatsApp offers a cheap and easy way to communicate between individuals and groups.
[color-box]E-commerce businesses need to realize the potential in WhatsApp and use it to increase their hold on the market. Here’s how WhatsApp can help E-commerce Business.[/color-box]
Enhance your customer service
WhatsApp is a far more convenient way for the customers to contact your company than email or phone calls. Phone calls come with call charges and awkwardness; and emails are very slow and formal. Instant messaging can solve both problems. Instant messaging can be especially useful in cases when the problem can be solved easily. It is generally believed that customers prefer written communication over verbal communication and applications like
WhatsApp make written communication a much better experience. You can even send images and videos for better communication when the problem is a too complicated.
Though Videos consume a lot of bandwidth and are not feasible for mobile data users, WhatsApp provides an efficient and timely way to resolve customer grievances. This leads to happier customers and better reception to your marketing campaigns.
Deliver products with efficiency
WhatsApp offers instant communication between individuals. Some users even check WhatsApp 100 times in just one day. So it makes sense to send urgent messages on WhatsApp instead of emails. Whenever a delivery person is confused about the address they can send a WhatsApp message to the customer and ask for more details and clarification that they need. They may even share a photo of the place to get a better idea. This is where it is better than a voice call.
Another feature in WhatsApp is that people can share their locations on WhatsApp. This makes it even better to find the exact location of the customer and saves time and resources during the delivery. If the co-ordinates of all the customers in a given area are known then the delivery person can plan his route much more efficiently and deliver products much faster.
Better marketing with groups and broadcasts
WhatsApp allows you to create groups and chat with number of people at the same time. This feature can be utilized to invite users to a chat group where you can send them the offers or special coupon codes for promotions. People are more likely to view WhatsApp promotional messages than they are to view promotional emails. WhatsApp marketing has the potential to surpass email marketing in terms of effectiveness.
Besides groups, WhatsApp also has a feature of broadcasting a message to all the people in your contact list that have WhatsApp on their phones. This way you can create lists of customers and send them all a personal message at once. You can also create multiple broadcast lists to separate customers in terms of demographics and location to create a targeted campaign. Broadcasts can also be used to share new product information with customers and it is better than SMS because you can use images and videos for the purpose.
Get better feedback
Usually when a deal is completed, companies send SMSs with a link or with yes or no reply format to get feedback from their customers. Not many people will be eager to reply to such messages because SMSs cost money and opening links takes time, especially on mobile networks.
[color-box]WhatsApp is free to use and does not take much time, so customers are more likely to respond on WhatsApp then on SMSs. This is a better way to get feedback then the traditional methods.[/color-box]
WhatsApp is a very popular and already established messaging platform. It is majorly a unexplored field in terms of marketing and customer relations. It has major potential to be the best platform for these needs. The faster E-commerce platform realize this, the better they can utilize its potential and gain an edge over its competitors. Maximizing reach is the main aim of any marketing department in any business and WhatsApp is a great way to increase this reach exponentially.
Misha holds a Master degree in Marketing and bachelor in computer application. She works as a content & marketing executive at SoftwareSuggest. She likes travelling to hill stations and reading novels. Follow her on Twitter: https://twitter.com/uppalmisha