Learn how to use WhatsApp for sales in eCommerce.
Worldwide, more than five million businesses use WhatsApp. In addition, marketers often talk about using WhatsApp for marketing and promotions.
But there’s another crucial purpose for which you can put WhatsApp to use—sales.
The success of WhatsApp for sales depends on the kind of products and services you sell. For example, if you’re in a business requiring consumers’ input before selling to them, using WhatsApp for sales should be your strategy.
Think of products such as big electronic gadgets, machinery, products that require customization such as tailored clothing, etc.
And this is when you can make the most of WhatsApp’s conversational and interactive capabilities.
To get you started, here’s a complete guide on it. If you want to sell on WhatsApp and want to set up WhatsApp for your sales teams, this guide is for you.
Why should you use WhatsApp for sales?
Before we get into what you should do and how to, let’s understand how using WhatsApp for sales can help your business.
1. WhatsApp enhances 1:1 communication
WhatsApp is a personal communication channel. People access it at all times and, mostly, instantly. The channel’s ‘always-on’ nature makes it easy for online stores to connect with customers at every step of the customer journey.
And unlike one-way communication channels such as pop-ups, ads, and email, WhatsApp helps initiate a dialogue with customers. Because the conversation is one-on-one, it gets noticed by customers and enables higher open rates.
Customers can respond instantly and get any queries answered. As a result, brands are better positioned to explain their products and services, which helps bring more clarity and confidence to customers—factors key to closing sales on WhatsApp.
2. Provides better personalization
According to McKinsey, 70% of customers expect personalization from brands. Businesses that get personalization right generate faster revenue growth than their competitors.
WhatsApp provides a big advantage to brands that want to excel at personalization. Here’s how:
- WhatsApp is considered a personal communication channel
- It is a two-way conversation platform that allows customer-brand interaction
- Brands can gather more relevant information via WhatsApp interactions
- It helps create better personalization experiences for customers
- It helps increase customer engagement
For example, when following up with a potential customer in the awareness or consideration stage while using WhatsApp for sales, you can learn about customers’ problems, tell them how you can solve those issues and help them understand what you can offer to them.
3. It helps build a human connection
In the podcast “Human Connection At The Heart Of Sales,” Dr. Cindy McGovern says the secret to selling anything is listening.
Brands can listen to shoppers by asking them the right questions and understanding their problems; so that they can offer valuable solutions. Ultimately, build trust, which is key to closing sales.
And here’s how WhatsApp helps build a human-to-human connection:
- WhatsApp is a conversational chat platform that facilitates easy interaction—brands can engage customers by asking questions to understand their issues
- Customers can read your WhatsApp messages at any time and respond. This brings an element of convenience and comfort
- Referring to past chats is easier on WhatsApp
- WhatsApp also supports voice and video calls, which can help build stronger connections and higher levels of trust
4. Shortens sales cycle
Typically, sales can take days, weeks, or months to close. That’s a long time. And that’s because customers have many choices on the internet. They consider many factors, such as brand quality, customer service, payment options, product quality, budget, etc., before they make a purchase decision.
WhatsApp for sales can help shorten lengthy lead times. Here’s how:
- It has an instantaneous nature
- It has an open rate of 98%
- People access WhatsApp via their mobile phones, which is always on them
- Brands can also share images, videos, PDFs, etc., required in the sales process
- Brands can take orders on WhatsApp—customers don’t have to visit the website
However, there needs to be more than just understanding the many benefits of WhatsApp sales. You must also know how to use the platform correctly to reap these benefits.
How to use WhatsApp for sales?
There are many aspects to WhatsApp—from choosing the right tool for WhatsApp for business to creating a strategy to setting up automation. But once you cover the key areas of how to use WhatsApp, you’d be set to begin sales via WhatsApp.
1. Get a WhatsApp business API provider
You must set up automation and processes to successfully run your WhatsApp sales strategy. In other words, the benefits mentioned above become more effective when combined with an efficient WhatsApp business API provider.
A WhatsApp Business API enables automation. This means customers will be sent timely and relevant messages. In addition, they can see product images, videos, and demonstrations on WhatsApp without having to go to your website.
The tool can help you collect customer data, which can help you craft personalized sales strategies.
WhatsApp Business APIs integrate with existing customer support systems and provide advanced features for support and sales. You can also centralise all communications instead of having them in silos.
One of the best tools on the market to help generate leads on WhatsApp is LimeChat. Its advanced automation features enable you to be available to customers wherever they are and at any time. That way, you don’t miss out on capturing potential leads.
2. Generate leads
Only installing the best WhatsApp Business API on your Shopify store is not going to help you with sales. You will have to create strategies to generate sales leads—from new and old customers.
WhatsApp’s conversational nature can be an excellent incentive to invite new and potential customers who want to know about your products or have queries. Besides, it helps to capture new leads more naturally.
For existing customers, there are many ways, such as sharing product catalogues, offering discounts, sharing help guides, offering product recommendations, etc., to stir their interest and initiate leads.
Here’s what you can do:
- Ensure your WhatsApp chatbot widget is present on your website—after all, customers should know you’re accessible on WhatsApp
- Another good way to drive leads is to run click-to-WhatsApp ads with a WhatsApp link. You can invite customer queries, product demo requests, etc. By clicking on the link on channels such as social media, online ads, etc., prospective customers will land on WhatsApp
- Add the WhatsApp link in campaigns across channels, such as email, social media, etc., asking people to drop you a message on WhatsApp
- Combine campaigns on other channels with WhatsApp. For example, participate in a contest on Instagram via WhatsApp
3. Qualify leads
Once you have potential customers on WhatsApp showing interest, it’s time to take those leads to the next step—qualify them. Sales qualification is a critical step. Did you know 67% of sales are lost because sales representatives do not qualify potential customers?
Moreover, taking prospects to the next step toward sales will be challenging if you don’t qualify leads. It helps brands assess whether they’re wasting their time on the leads or if it has the potential to turn into a sale.
How to qualify leads?
- Identify the problem they’re looking to solve with your product or service. Then help them out. You can do so by providing relevant recommendations, customization for them, etc.
- Use the power of automation to gather the initial information. For example, set up automated questions and chats to know their requirements and specifics such as size, budget, etc.
- Find out why the customers are considering your solution at this point and their budget for it
- Identify the challenges, if any, in the sales qualification and try to address them to complete the lead qualification
4. Nurture leads
Once you’ve recognized qualified leads, the next step is to nurture those leads. It’s the process of cultivating leads that still need to be ready to buy. So your goal in this process should be to purposefully engage with them at a deeper level.
Here’s the truth, only a tiny percentage of your qualified leads would be ready to make immediate purchases. So to generate leads on WhatsApp, you will have to put in a lot of effort to nurture the other qualified leads. Brands that ace lead nurturing can generate 50% more sales-ready leads.
Here’s what you can do:
- Use broadcast messages to share targeted content. For example, send relevant product recommendations. However, merely sending recommendations won’t convince customers to buy. You’ll have to drive a conversation with customers. And that’s where WhatsApp’s two-way conversational nature helps.
- Harness their interest by sending discounts and deals. Make the deals time-bound so there’s a sense of urgency. But remember not to overdo it. It might put off customers. Give some time to customers to build trust.
- To build trust, show them social proof, such as customer reviews of the products, user-generated content, etc. Ensure these are relevant to customers’ concerns and help answer their queries.
- Let customers know you’re there to assist them whenever they need you. Offer them help, for example, picking the right size, variety, upselling, cross-selling, etc.
Pro tip: Customer segmentation is a critical part of lead nurturing. 51% of marketers say it’s a must to prioritize segmentation to nurture leads.
Here’s a sample template:
Business: Hi John, your vegan shaving cream is still waiting for you. Get it today at (link)
Customer: What is the shipping cost?
Business: Shipping is absolutely free if you order it today. Complete your purchase by clicking this button: BUY NOW
5. Convert leads
So far, you’ve generated leads, qualified them, and engaged them by making efforts to understand their needs better. Now comes the most critical part, where you convert your leads—meaning, they make the purchase.
While the lead conversion rate varies from industry to industry, the average rate is 2.35%. So even though you’ve reached this stage, it will take some effort to make the customer go through the transaction.
Here are the strategies you can apply for conversion:
- Based on the insights you’ve gathered so far from your conversations with customers, send product recommendations and deals to nudge customers to make purchases. Make sure the recommendations are relevant to them. You can use the power of AI to offer personalized experiences.
- You can directly sell on WhatsApp by sending a WhatsApp checkout link to complete the purchase on the app itself. This makes shopping more convenient and enjoyable for your customers.
- But there are still chances that customers abandon their carts. And the reasons could be payment errors, shipping costs, etc. To revive these customers, you’re on the brink of losing, and to close WhatsApp sales, set up cart recovery automated campaigns.
6. Build a solid WhatsApp sales post-purchase experience
Your brand’s first impression is the last impression. It can be incredibly disappointing for customers to feel like they’ve been forgotten soon after the transaction is done and the WhatsApp sale is completed.
83% of customers say they expect regular communication about their purchase. And currently, one of the most convenient methods to send purchase notifications is WhatsApp.
You can create an automated post-purchase drip campaign. Here’s what you should cover:
Send order status alerts: Customers can experience post-purchase anxiety. They’ve paid money and are excited to receive their purchases. And if you go quiet, it can raise their anxiety levels. So, automate order status alerts.
- Send them a confirmation message as soon as the transaction is completed
- If there’s going to be a delay, inform them
- Let them know when the order is dispatched
- Share the shipping partner’s contact and tracking link
Request feedback: The best time to request customer feedback is when their experience is fresh. That’s soon after they make a purchase. Send them a feedback request on WhatsApp.
Make the feedback request straightforward:
- Feedback on their overall WhatsApp for business experience
- Feedback on the product or service they purchased
- Feedback on customer service experience
Request for reviews: Request reviews: One of eCommerce businesses’ most crucial post-purchase activities is requesting reviews. Because 95% of customers read reviews before making purchases. You can invite customers to share testimonials, product/service reviews, and brand experience reviews in different formats, such as images, videos, etc. All this can happen over WhatsApp as the platform supports the easy sharing of all kinds of files.
Send personalized recommendations and offers: Now that customers have made a purchase, it’s time to show them what more you can offer. By now, you also know what they’re interested in. Send them personalized recommendations. Make the recommendations targeted by offering incentives on products for which they showed higher interest levels.
Encourage repeat purchase: There are many products and services that customers need to buy regularly. For such orders, you can generate repeat purchase requests. You can use WhatsApp to send requests, and customers can buy it from WhatsApp itself, so they don’t need to go to your website.
Offer easy exchange, return, and refunds: An essential part of customers’ post-purchase experience is the exchange and returns of items. The easier it is, the more customer-centric it is, and the better it impacts the customer experience. You can have an ‘initiate return/exchange’ tab in your delivery confirmation message. So customers can conveniently initiate returns from WhatsApp itself.
Share educational content: Another way to engage customers and also generate leads on WhatsApp in the future is to share educational content with customers. This content could be directly related to their recent purchase, or be related to the customers’ interest. For example, articles, how-to blogs, etc. which help make the most of their purchase.
Here’s an example template:
We hope you like our organic strawberry kombucha for gut health. More than 50% of our customers also buy the lemon kombucha.
Click on the below button to buy it now.
Get a 10% discount by using YES10 if you check out by clicking the below button:
Automate WhatsApp for sales and scale your Shopify store
However, for all the above strategies, it’s extremely important to be time sensitive to be able to close sales. The longer you take, the more time your customers get to drift away.
To tackle these issues of time criticality, the best solution is to automate. That way, your WhatsApp for business tool will work for you while you focus on the strategic aspects of growing your business.
And one of the best tools to support your WhatsApp for sales teams is LimeChat. The app built for Shopify and Shopify Plus enables brands to boost sales and offer the best customer experience.
Book a demo of LimeChat to know more