How to use WhatsApp as a sale channel and increase your revenue

How to use WhatsApp as a sale channel
Find out how to reach your customers through WhatsApp and get amazing sales results!

No store or business wants to see its revenue go down, but there are many reasons that may lead to a downfall in sales. Whenever the business is going through challenges such as an increasing number of competitors or even a poorly managed inventory, hiccups can happen.

To strengthen your brand’s reputation, positioning it as a reference in the industry, all while selling more, it is mandatory to use all platforms and tools at your disposal. WhatsApp happens to be one - and one of the best. This app can be extremely useful to communicate with potential customers, creating a closer relationship with them and increasing the business conversion rate. 

This is a challenge, however. Approaching customers on WhatsApp in a professional and proper way calls for deep knowledge of the platform. Our goal with this article is to solve any doubts you might have about it, and encourage you to give the app a chance. Keep on reading to increase your knowledge and your store’s performance! 

Why sell through WhatsApp?

Customers are becoming more and more demanding, and competitors are increasingly more effective in providing amazing customer service and experience. Being ready and able to increase your sales and overall e-commerce performance calls for constantly updating your business. A great way to do so is utilizing WhatsApp to communicate with customers. 

What are the reasons to take on the app as a sales channel? According to App Annie, WhatsApp is the most popular app worldwide with both iOS and Android users. How can you possibly ignore the sales potential it offers your business? 

In a competitive market, digital presence is crucial to present your brand and products. WhatsApp data shows that over 2 billion people have the app on their phones. In the United States,  in 2019 alone, 68.1 million mobile phone users used WhatsApp to communicate.

Another reason to figure out how to sell through WhatsApp: Statista Survey indicates that WhatsApp users are projected to grow to 85.8 million by 2023. In a nutshell: your customers are constantly on the app. You need to be too, and with a solid sales strategy.

If you wish to strengthen your brand presence and to also create another efficient communication channel with your current and potential customers, WhatsApp is an excellent avenue to take advantage of. With the correct sales approach and marketing planning, you can increase your sales even during challenging times.

What is WhatsApp Business and how does it work?

Good news: the app also offers a business version, equivalent to Instagram for Business. WhatsApp Business is a more professional way to utilize the platform it as a sales channel. First step to explore it is to know it exists and download it. 

Completely free to use, WhatsApp Business was created for those who look to increase sales and also be able to manage all communication that occurs via the app. Features are almost identical to the personal version of it, but some additional ones allow business owners to prospect customers, negotiate deals and close sales professionally.

It allows you to create a professional profile, where you can list your business's most relevant information. This might be the store’s address, contact information such as email or the direct link to your e-commerce site -- this creates another channel so anyone who is interested in your product or service can easily get in touch with you. 

Another significant resource offered is the data. Just as you are able to organize and monitor statistics for email marketing campaigns, you are able to do so within WhatsApp Business: check on messages sent, delivered and read. 

This relevant information gives you confidence in regards to your strategy: understand what works, what needs to be improved and the overall marketing strategy performance on the platform. If you notice any changes in the customer response, you know it is time to review the positioning and take on a different approach, for example. 

There is also an automated message tool within the app, allowing you to automatically send pre-determined messages to customers, just as it happens on your Facebook page. This ensures that your efforts are optimized, saving your business time and money. 

How can you put together a sales strategy on WhatsApp? 

It is clear how important it is to strengthen your brand on digital. Now, time to understand how to put together a strategic plan to sell through WhatsApp. Below are some pointers to incorporate and maximize your results!

Define goals

A plan needs to have clear goals: what is the reason that you are putting effort into selling through WhatsApp? This is the first question you must ask yourself. Are you looking to strengthen your brand? To prospect new customers? Or simply to add another communication channel between the business and your clients?

Once you have the responses to your questions, you can move on to the goals. How much do you intend to sell through the app? With how many customers are you authorized to communicate with through WhatsApp and can you impact them with quality content and messages? Ensure you are defining attainable goals, especially in the beginning, to avoid getting discouraged. 

Ask for permission

You must ask permission before contacting your customers through WhatsApp - similar to what is done with SMS. You need to keep in mind that this is a much more personal software, unlike Facebook, Instagram or email communication, that offer somewhat of a shield between businesses and customers. 

WhatsApp is mainly used for private, personal conversations. That requires an extra level of care when approaching a client, to ensure his privacy is respected. You do not want to cross any boundaries.  

So, in order to prevent any issues that might even affect your business, you must ask permission to contact anyone on WhatsApp. Without it, the customer might feel his privacy is compromised, which may lead to him losing trust in the brand, damaging your reputation. 

Categorize your customers

Following the same approach to products and services, you should categorize your contact list. That will make it easier to organize strategies and give you higher chances of conversion with your campaigns. 

For example, divide into categories the loyal customers, the one-time customers, and also the ones that have yet to purchase an item. This division allows you to plan the content and messages to each group, considering their context and needs to nudge them into buying.

For those who are recurring customers, your contact can be warmer and more personal. Little by little you can implement customized messages and strategy to each type of audience, ensuring the client is comfortable with being in touch with the brand through that medium.

Create broadcast lists

Once you have all your customer categories, you can create broadcast lists that assist you in sending the same message to multiple people. Remember we are all flooded with ads and information 24/7, so you want to ensure that you are providing interesting, quality content to your audience. Otherwise, they will not pay attention to it. 

With the broadcast lists, you may also compose messages to a group of people that have purchased the same item. For example, a cell phone -- and now you offer compatible headphones for the gadget. By offering it to those who already own the phone, your chances of converting are higher. 

Have a schedule

You must also organize when and what you are messaging your customers through WhatsApp.

Compare it to social media: editorial calendar and planning are crucial to a successful strategy, correct? The same goes for those who want to sell through WhatsApp.

Identify which are your most urgent needs and which products you want to advertise, and then create a step by step plan for specific groups within your audience. This allows you to be more efficient and precise with your strategy. Having the message schedule down also avoids sending conflicting messages or texting your consumers more than you should. 

What are the best practices to increase your sales?

Once the planning is complete, it is time to move on to sales. Below are some tips to include on your daily operations to ensure using WhatsApp is easy and efficient for your business. 

Focus on customer service

By utilizing WhatsApp as a sales tool, your main goal must be to build a solid relationship with your customers. Remember, this is a very personal communication channel, and once you have the person’s authorization to contact them there, you must take full advantage of it. Therefore, always have the other person in mind when creating your content and sending messages. 

Remember, however, that you are talking to a client and not a family member or friend. So even though you have the ability to communicate with them through the app, that does not mean you can use foul language, slang or any internet meme on the chats. This remains a professional communication channel, and needs to be treated as such. 

Share relevant content

The Internet offers a wide range of content to its users, who are impacted daily by a huge amount of advertisements, videos, articles and messages. Our attention span is getting shorter and shorter, now under a mere 8 seconds, which only complicates the situation.

If you do not innovate or provide your audience with good, relevant content, they will not engage with your message. Understand their needs, what they are looking for, what can be helpful and always look to solve a problem. That will increase your engagement and, consequently, your sales.

Offer customer support through WhatsApp

WhatsApp is not only ideal as a sales channel, but also as a customer support tool. In a multi-channel communication strategy, the app can be a reliable one, especially when the customer does not want to make a phone call or have to wait for an email reply: WhatsApp accelerates the customer support process. 

Therefore, advertise your contact number and inform your customers that they may contact you through the app to solve any issues they may have, or even to ask for returns or exchanges. The idea of getting closer to your clients is to always prove to them that you are open and willing to help. 

Utilize the status feature

The status feature allows you to add different information on a daily basis to your profile. This is an excellent way to share important information with your clients, such as product launches, sales or opening hours.

The message is not directly sent to any contacts, so only those who view your profile will have access to it. That is an advantage: it will not affect your content schedule nor will disturb those who do not want to receive any offers through the app, all while providing important information on your business. 

Train your team

WhatsApp Business allows for more than one person to utilize the same account, so you can have your whole team using it. That calls for proper training for your team. The customer experience must be seamless through every step of the process and through any channel, and your team must understand this.

Ensure everyone is trained and prepared to use the tool appropriately, highlight the best practices and what should be avoided on customer communication. With this scenario, it is likely the customer will not even realize they are speaking to different team members, ensuring that your service preserves its excellence. 

Which tools may be used to optimize your operation? 

Beyond WhatsApp’s own resources, there are other solutions available that can optimize your sales process through the app. WhatSite is one of them: it maximizes all existing features, making them more efficient for the company. It enables, for example, multiple sales people to work simultaneously on the same WhatsApp account. 

The idea behind it is to optimize the customer care process, providing the business with management tools on everything that occurs on the platform. That scenario increases your sales strategy efficiency. Another point to pay attention to: the quality of the images you share with your customers -- visual is relevant within the app. 

In case you do not have a dedicated design team, Canva is a great tool to assist with that need. Be aware that aesthetically pleasing images captivate customers and a bad design might be a red flag. 

How to analyze your results?

It is crucial to monitor the business performance on the platform. As we mentioned, WhatsApp Business makes that easy, but you need to know how to analyze the data it presents you with -- what decisions can be made based on that relevant information?

First of all, delivery rate. That data indicates which contact information is inaccurate or even if your messages have been blocked by some, allowing you to to review and update your contact database. Next, it is the opening rate, also known as messages read.

With those, you can easily identify, for instance, the percentage of users that opened the messages within the group that received them. The most relevant data, however, is the response rate: an excellent indicator to confirm if your strategy is, in fact, giving you the desired engagement from customers. 

Biggest mistakes when selling through WhatsApp

Now that you are prepared to sell your products and services through WhatsApp, you need to be aware of what must be avoided to not damage your strategy. 

Do not create any groups

WhatsApp users hate when they are added to groups by family members and friends, so the idea of being added to one by a business… it is an absolute no. That is why we mentioned the broadcast lists earlier in the article, the right way to contact multiple people at once on the app. Besides, users are interested in customized content, and a group is not the right avenue to achieve that. 

Avoid audio messages

Audio messages are heavily utilized by WhatsApp users, but you must approach them with caution when it comes to a professional exchange. Especially when messages are too long, it is rare to keep the client engaged to listen to them to their conclusion. In case you want to send them, ask first if the customer is okay with that. 

No spam ever

Spam -- the acronym for Sending and Posting Advertisement in Mass -- has the worst reputation from email marketing. Within a private channel such as WhatsApp, it is unacceptable. 

Therefore, be mindful of messaging your contacts, and avoid general text as much as possible. Distractions and hiccups in the business-customer relationship should be avoided at all costs. You do not want to tarnish your reputation. 

The importance and protecting the user’s privacy

Now that you know the steps to sell through WhatsApp, you must be aware of precautions to not harm your brand while trying to increase your revenue. As mentioned above, this is a personal app, and it is mandatory that you respect the users’ privacy and always ask for permission before contacting them through the app. 

An insistent, tireless approach may lead to losing customers, and even cause those to pass on the negative experience they had with you to others. So the very first step must be through another channel, never WhatsApp. 

We suggest sending an email, making a phone call or even asking that the customer adds the business on their WhatsApp account. You can be creative in your approach. Being mindful of those factors, respecting the client’s privacy and following the strategy described in this article will certainly help your sales through the app!


Did you enjoy learning about how WhatsApp can maximize your business? Then you must know Olist Shops, a free tool for your next step in selling through social media!
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