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WhatsApp is becoming a channel for direct marketing for businesses.

As consumers increasingly seek higher personalised engagement with brands, Meta-owned messaging platform WhatsApp is emerging as a direct marketing channel for brands to reach out to customers, a report released by Reliance-backed, AI-based customer engagement platform.

The report, titled ‘The State of WhatsApp Marketing 2023’, highlighted that 72% of the consumers that were a part of a survey said they only engage with brands through personalised messaging. Additionally, it said that 85% of the consumers were interested in receiving proactive notifications such as product recommendations, back-in-stock alerts, pricing updates, etc.

“With a reach of over 2 billion users across 180 countries, WhatsApp has emerged as a powerful marketing channel for brands to connect and engage with prospects across the globe,” said Aakrit Vaish.

WhatsApp Business was launched in 2018 to facilitate communication between businesses and customers, and has been adding features and services to become a full-stack customer engagement platform.

For the coming year, the report pegged payments on WhatsApp, as well as business directory search to become key tools for WhatsApp Business. Last month, the messaging platform said that it was expanding ‘Directory’ — a feature akin to yellow pages that lets users browse and discover local small businesses — in Brazil, with a rollout planned in several other markets including Indonesia, Mexico, Colombia, and the UK.

The Haptik report pointed out that WhatsApp messages have an open rate of 98% and a clickthrough rate of 45%. It also listed industry-specific use-cases for sectors such as retail, healthcare, media & entertainment, fintech, edtech, travel & hospitality.

Reliance Retail’s online grocery platform JioMart has been integrated with WhatsApp, enabling customers to place orders directly from the messaging app, and the Haptik report said that since its launch in November 2021, JioMart has witnessed a 68% repeat purchase rate through the WhatsApp channel, clocking 1,500 average daily orders.

Similarly, tyre manufacturer CEAT, which has tied up with Haptik to build a WhatsApp chatbot to generate sales leads, has witnessed a six-fold increase in lead generation since the implementation of the chatbot, though its lead to conversion rate was recorded at 28%.

“Our chatbot conversations and leads have grown since we implemented the WhatsApp chatbot. Automating the chatbot has reduced agent load, thus reducing acquisition and manpower costs,” said Vidur Anand, head of e-commerce at CEAT. For the WhatsApp channel, CEAT said lead generation costs were 70% lower than social media channels.



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