WhatsApp business, a useful tool for your pet shop.

Nowadays, one of the first and last actions of the day is to check WhatsApp chat and social notices. What does this mean ?!
Messages work because they are simple, informal and fast. For some time, chats have almost completely replaced  traditional SMS because they have more functions, are widespread and cheap, as messages are often not included in the tariff plans of mobile operators while internet is.
Throughout the world, WhatsApp has reached 1 billion and 500 thousand active users per month. In Italy it is first for the number of downloads and active users per month and, together with Facebook Messenger, has recorded a growth rate twice than Facebook.
Being the reference app for instant messaging, WhatsApp took a further step at the beginning of this year. In January 2018, WhatsApp Business app reached Google Play Store in Indonesia, Italy, Mexico, United Kingdom and United States. The choice of these countries for the launch was not accidental: except the U.S.A., the other countries are among the states where WhatsApp is more popular.
WHATSAPP BUSINESS, what advantages.
Are you looking for an easy-to-use tool that allows you to stay in touch with your customers by creating effective marketing campaigns?
What does it consist of, what is it? Why should you take it into consideration if you have a pet shop?
This new service is a free and effective tool, especially for small and medium-sized companies that provides tools to communicate with the customer more efficiently and to increase business.
I add two more data to understand why companies must consider WhatsApp Business as a communication channel, resulting from a worldwide survey that showed that:
  • 89% of the persons being interviewed prefers to communicate with companies through SMS and instant messaging apps;
  • 77% keeps notices for messages, while only 42% activates those of social apps.
In general, WhatsApp Business is similar to WhatsApp and includes all the functions users have become accustomed to over the last few years: sending of multimedia files, free calls, messages, group chats, offline messages and much more.
The account is identified as a business account; those who have a phone number associated with "standard" WhatsApp will have to choose whether to keep this or move to WhatsApp Business (although it's possible to use both in the same phone). The simplest solution is to associate a company number to be used only for WhatsApp Business, so that it's possible to get the certification of confirmed activity.
If you have already two different numbers, a business and a personal one, you can install both applications, WhatsApp Business and WhatsApp Messenger, in the same phone and register each application with the corresponding number.
What additional functions does Business app offer in comparison with the standard one?
  • COMPANY PROFILE: create a profile concerning your pet shop, so that your customers can more easily find useful information, such as your website, your address (which will also be displayed on Google Maps), your opening times and contacts. When you are asked to put in the name of your business in correspondence with the screen "Business info", please do it carefully: once put in, the business name can no longer be changed.
  • MESSAGING TOOLS: answer your customers as fast as you can, using away messages when you're not available, or welcome messages to send an introductory message when they first write you or after 14 days of inactivity in the chat. You can also choose to send it:
- to all contacts or only to those you selected
- automatically or by scheduling the date of sending
  • SUPPORT FOR FIXED NUMBERS: you can use WhatsApp Business by a landline and your customers can send you messages to that number. During the verification process, choose the "Call me" option to receive the code by phone.
  • WHATSAPP BUSINESS and WHATSAPP MESSENGER in the same phone: this modality is possible, but each application must be associated with a separate telephone number.
  • WHATSAPP WEB: allows you to answer your customers directly from the PC browser, in order to be even more efficient.
  • CREATE AND USE QUICK ANSWERS: Quick answers avoid you having to repeat the same sentences. After having set up the answers to the most frequent questions your customers ask, you can recall them by typing "/".
  • SEE THE STATISTICS OF MESSAGES: you can check how many messages have been sent, delivered, read and received. We trust that with the next updates you will also get better analytics.
  • CLASSIFY CONTACTS: you can create up to 20 labels, choose colours and classify contacts in order to find chats and messages. Currently WhatsApp Business does not support the search for companies directly in the app. You'll have to have your customer number and add it to your contacts to start an interaction or to add it to a group.
Ask always your telephone line manager about any costs that may be charged for data traffic.
WHATSAPP BUSINESS, which disadvantages.
This application is currently compatible only with Android, which is still the most used operating system.
It's an app linked to a telephone number, therefore it cannot be shared with the same contact that supports WhatsApp standard version.
Before you can chat with customers, you must have their consent. Registration procedures will be created (as for all kinds of Business communications!) through which customers will register, allowing the receipt of text messages.
Have you already considered WhatsApp Business in your marketing strategies?
WhatsApp Business can and must be efficiently used  to increase the visibility of your e-commerce and your pet shop. The main  purpose is to develop a strategy thoughtfully, so as to become interesting and not to get the opposite result of being reported for "SPAM" or losing contacts.
WhatsApp Business offers you the possibility to create customized campaigns, without having to count on specific offers. In fact, thanks to WhatsApp you have a greater chance of answer and you can allow yourself to be more creative. Maybe you will need more time, but it will certainly be effective to develop the idea of an active, nice and viral brand. And this will push the potential customer to feel more curiosity towards you and to want to find out more about you.
The possibility to "segment" the area of users is another way to do marketing efficaciously: you can plan the different campaigns according to users. For example, in case of a usual customer, you could use a more informal language and focuse on special products. Your customer already knows you, knows what you offer and does not need to trust, but only to be encouraged to get a new purchase! In case of a potential customer, you will have to focus more on a general and interactive point of view, actively catching their attention.
Although WhatsApp Business has still its limits to this day, it is certainly an effective tool that should not be underestimated to create fruitful relatioships with your customers.

Besides, this App will be changed, in order to improve even more work organization such as  holiday modality, silent modality and the connection with external accounts.


If you are already using it, describe us your experience in the comments below.


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