If you want to sell your products online but lack the skills and/or the time necessary to build a website, WhatsApp is the channel that can help you reach your customers immediately, at no cost.
WhatsApp is the most widely used direct messaging app in the world; about 1.3 billion people use it to communicate daily with friends and family, spending more time chatting than they do on their Facebook or Instagram profiles.
For this reason, despite WhatsApp was not born as a marketing tool, companies can use this channel to sell their products and/or services. So let’s understand how and what you can do with it.
How can you start selling via WhatsApp?
Here is a brief summary of the steps you have to follow to bring your store on WhatsApp:
1) Download the WhatsApp Business app
2) Create a Business page
3) Set opening times, welcome messages and business description
4) Download WhatsApp Web or create an account on Callbell
5) Advertise both online and offline your business’ presence on WhatsApp
6) Manage incoming chats and start selling
Step 1 – Download the WhatsApp Business app
WhatsApp Business can be downloaded for free from the Play Store and was born with the aim of helping companies create a business profile on the app. Its functionality and user interface are very similar to the traditional app version.
Step 2 – Create a Business page
Once you have downloaded and installed the app on your smartphone, you will have to create your business profile: it is important to note that you can’t use the same phone number you already use for WhatsApp, and you will need to buy a new one that will be dedicated specifically to your business.
Once the app is open, you will be asked to verify your phone number, choose the name of your business (Note: it can not be changed later) and set up a profile picture.
To change your WhatsApp business profile, you will have to:
1) open WhatsApp Business> click the Menu button> Settings> Company Settings> Profile
2) click “Edit” in the upper right corner
3) edit the fields and save the changes
Step 3 – Set opening times, welcome messages and business description
This settings section is one of the main differences that you will notice from the traditional app. From here you can set up:
1) your business’ opening hours
2) a welcome message that will be sent once the customer’s first message is received
3) a message of absence, sent when you are contacted outside opening hours
4) quick answers that will allow you to rapidly answer your users’ frequently asked questions
In this phase you’ll have to decide which tool to use to manage your chats.
If you are just starting out, you expect a low volume of messages, and you are alone in managing the chats, then you can choose WhatsApp Web, the desktop interface that allows you to respond to chats from your PC.
If instead you want to distribute the chats to more users and manage your Business page in a more structured way, we suggest you try Callbell for free.
Step 5 – Advertise both online and offline your business’ presence on WhatsApp
At this point, you will have to make sure clients find you. In fact, on WhatsApp you don’t have the possibility to be searched by name or location; you will have to provide your phone number to your customers in order to allow them to contact you.
You can do it either in your brick-and-mortar store by printing the number on your sign or on your receipts, or online from your Google MyBusiness account, on your Facebook page or from your site via a click-to-chat widget.
For the most tech-savvy, you can even promote your business with ads that lead the user to start a chat with you directly.
Step 6 – Manage incoming chats and start selling
Once you have followed these steps, you can finally start chatting with your users and selling your products and services.
Now it’s your turn: based on the nature of your products and services you can use this communication channel to guide your contacts towards the purchase and, why not, support them in the post-sale phase.
Why choose to use WhatsApp as a means of communication?
WhatsApp will allow you to reach your users wherever they are, and to establish a personal relationship with your client, who will feel valued and will be prone to buying from you in the future.
Moreover, as you have seen, using this tool to support your customers during the purchase phase is simple and basically free.
If you liked this guide and would like to learn more about how to use WhatsApp and other major direct messaging apps to grow your business, you can take a look at our blog.
Thank you for reading and see you soon!
What to do to start selling on WhatsApp?
To start selling on WhatsApp, download the WhatsApp Business app and create your company profile. After that, set your opening times, a welcome message and a description of your business.
How can I let my clients find me on WhatsApp Business?
Since it is not possible to be found by name or location on WhatsApp, you will have to make sure to provide your WhatsApp Business number to your customers to allow them to get in touch with your business, for example, using a website widget.
Why use WhatsApp as a sales channel?
WhatsApp allows you to reach your customers wherever they are and to establish a personal relationship with them. They will feel valued and will be inclined to go back to buying from you.
About the author: Hello! I am Carlo and I am one of the co-founder at Callbell, the first communication platform designed to help sales and support teams to collaborate and communicate with customers through direct messaging applications such as WhatsApp, Messenger, Telegram and (soon) Instagram Direct