WhatsApp product messages: a complete guide for businesses
Over the past few years, WhatsApp Business has seen a rapid evolution from a nice-to-have to a must-have customer communication channel. With over 2 billion users worldwide, it's by far the most popular messaging app out there.
Besides messaging friends and family, consumers use WhatsApp to ask businesses questions, make appointments, and even buy products. But that last part often had to take place on another channel, mostly the business' website.
Because there was no efficient way to showcase products on WhatsApp, businesses were forced to send their customers links to product pages. Not exactly a seamless customer experience.
To make selling products and offering services easier, WhatsApp is now enabling businesses to send so-called 'WhatsApp product messages'. And I'm here to tell you all about it.
What are WhatsApp product messages?
A WhatsApp product message is an interactive message in which you can showcase your products and services. The number one benefit of this feature is that customers can shop without having to leave the chat. Product messages can only be used via the WhatsApp Business API. There are two different types to choose from; single-product messages and multi-product messages.
A single-product message shows the customer only one product. Single-product messages are best used to showcase one specific product or service to a customer:
- Responding to a request ("do you sell swimming trunks in baby blue?")
- Recommending a product ("I have a Halloween party coming up and don't know what to wear")
- Reordering an item ("I'd like to reorder the pizza I had last week")
A multi-product message works just like a catalog, with up to 30 products.
Multi-product messages can be used when your customers want to browse multiple products or services:
- Forwarding a customer to a specific category ("Hi, can you send me the pizza menu?")
- Conversational shopping (When a customer tells you what they want to order, and you send them back a tailored multi-product message)
When a customer clicks on 'Start Shopping', this menu gets triggered:
WhatsApp users receiving a product message can perform four different actions:
1. View products
Customers don't have to navigate away from WhatsApp to view products. When they click on an item, the product's latest info gets displayed in a Product Detail Page (PDP). These pages only support product images, so videos or GIFs don't work (yet).
2. Add products to cart
When your customer likes what they see, they can add a product or service to their shopping cart. The cart has no expiration date, so they can keep on filling the cart on their own time — right until they're ready to buy.
3. Send shopping cart to the business
Once a customer is done shopping, it's time to finally send the cart over to your business. After this, they can make no more edits. It's now up to you to decide the next steps, such as requesting more information or informing them about payment options.
4. Forward product message to other users
Customers can recommend your products or services to their friends by sharing the product message on WhatsApp.
The benefits of sending out WhatsApp product messages
Both single-product messages and multi-product messages are perfect to smoothen out your customers' journey.
Shorten the customer journey — and sell more
The tough part about selling via WhatsApp used to be that businesses were often forced to send customers to their website. But when a customer asks "do you sell product X?", you want to be able to immediately showcase the product.
The more long and complicated a customer journey is, the more likely you will see drops in conversion rates. There is huge value in keeping your customer in one channel — especially when you're already having a conversation. When the customer leaves the channel, the conversation leaves with them.
Make the online experience more personal
One of the biggest challenges of using instant messaging apps to communicate with customers is to provide a personal experience. Customers used to be understanding when the online experience didn't come close to how they felt in a physical store. But not anymore.
With product messages, it has become easier to give personal advice. By being able to immediately showcase a product in the same channel you're communicating in, you get closer to the experience of a physical store.
No templates needed
When using the WhatsApp Business API, you can't take the initiative to send the first message to a customer, unless it's with a template message. Luckily, you don't need templates or any form of pre-approvals to send product messages. These messages are generated in real-time and reflect the latest details, stock, and pricing. Right from your inventory.
Inspiration: examples of WhatsApp product messages
Let's have a look at some practical examples of WhatsApp product messages.
A WhatsApp product message is obviously a goldmine for e-commerce businesses. Simply share your products in a chat, describe the benefits of your product, and share a payment link whenever the customer is done shopping.
Oh, and if you're smart, you automate sending the payment link with a WhatsApp Business message template. With this, you can use the same message every time. You only need to personalize it.
Using product messages can also come in handy for businesses that offer a service, for instance, to make appointments. This simplifies the process by a lot — for both you and your customer.
Ordering take-out just became a lot easier. No more need to pick up the phone and cite a long list of food from your favorite spot. Besides that, you also get real-time info on your delivery ("we're on the way!").
Expected release date
Good stuff, right? WhatsApp product messages can only be used via the WhatsApp Business API, which you can connect to via Trengo. We don't have a release date for when product messages will be available, but best believe we're working on it.
You'll be the first to know when we go live. Just keep an eye on this blog.