Updated 16 September 2022
WhatsApp Cloud API is now open to all business sizes anywhere in the world. But let’s first understand what it is and how it will be beneficial for e-commerce business owners worldwide.
WhatsApp as everyone know is the most popular social media app used in almost all countries of the world. It allows quick messaging communication including voice and video calls. It has more than 2 billion users worldwide who use WhatsApp on their Android and iOS smartphones.
With WhatsApp Cloud API, it allows any small and large businesses to interact with their customers on the platform. Businesses can provide faster support, enable shopping checkout, share updates and integrate chatbots on top of WhatsApp.
Meta Platforms, Inc (formerly known as Facebook) offers two approaches through which businesses can use the WhatsApp platform.
On-Premises API is a self-hosted offering where BSP (Business Service Provider) such as Twilio and ClickSend gives server solutions while Cloud API is a new service which is hosted on the Facebook Meta server.
We’ll learn some more differences below:
|Differences||On-Premises API||Cloud API|
|Hosting||Each business and developer need to host API on their own servers.||API is hosted on the Meta servers.|
|Maintenance||Businesses need to upgrade the software periodically.||Meta takes care of software updates and security patches.|
|Pricing||Businesses need to incur server setup and maintenance fees.||No server costs for businesses as Meta handles it.|
|API Method||REST API||Graph API|
|Message Limit||70 text/second/ per contact and 250 text/second/ multi-contact. Reduced numbers when sending media messages.||80 messages (including media)/second/multi-contact. Supports 250 messages/second on request.|
Well, there are many reasons to select WhatsApp Cloud API over On-Premises API. Since it is easier to implement and maintain, so Facebook recommends all businesses to adopt the more recent WhatsApp Cloud API. It offers the following benefits:
Also, the businesses that currently use on-premises deployment can easily migrate to the new WhatsApp Cloud API with almost no downtime. The existing businesses can backup their data, do the necessary operations and start using the WhatsApp Business on Cloud API hosted server.
There are many use cases of implementing WhatsApp for e-commerce businesses and retailers. Firstly, the WhatsApp Cloud API is available and supports all the popular digital commerce platforms such as Magento, WooCommerce, Bagisto, Shopware, and OpenCart.
Secondly, it is enabling third-party developers to build custom solutions for businesses to expand their reach and help customers.
WhatsApp is more than just a messaging app, it can serve as essential marketing and sales channel for implementing social commerce. Every business wants to be there where their customers are spending time.
Instead of calling the support line or writing an email or creating a helpdesk ticket, businesses can provide a faster way to start the conversation.
With quick options available, the customers can quickly raise a service request from the WhatsApp app and can even get help from real live chat agents.
E-commerce businesses can integrate their existing customer support systems such as helpdesk software or live chat with WhatsApp so that all the queries are managed and synchronized easily.
Moreover, even if small businesses that are not using any helpdesk or live chat software, developers can still integrate the WhatsApp platform with their e-commerce system to manage their customer queries.
With the WhatsApp Business account, retailers and e-commerce store owners can upload their product catalog on the WhatsApp app and showcase it to the world. WhatsApp Business gives many built-in tools for merchants to take their business on the social app.
Customers can view product pictures, click add to cart, create an order, view store information and reach out to retailers directly without leaving the WhatsApp application.
Further, existing e-commerce businesses can integrate their online store with WhatsApp. So that the customers can start their shopping journey on the web store and then continue or finish the checkout process via WhatsApp.
Customers can add the desired products to their web store shopping cart and then, later on, complete the pending checkout anytime through WhatsApp without the need to even go back to the e-commerce website again.
Automated messaging has greatly reduced the workload for businesses. It gives prompt responses to frequent queries and keeps the customer conversation going. Chatbots have now become an integral part of all organizations including e-commerce businesses.
Instead of browsing the information in the knowledge base section, the customers can ask the query from the chatbot assistant. It saves time for customers and cut-down costs for businesses to hire more support staff.
Chatbots can now be integrated with WhatsApp so that e-commerce businesses can set up automation for answering routine queries, and discovering products, and also acts as a shopping bot to help customers checkout within WhatsApp.
Webkul has made the shopping bot available for all digital commerce platforms including- Bagisto, Magento, and WooCommerce. So, once the product is selected, customers can choose the preferred shipping and payment methods and place an order inside the WhatsApp app.
WhatsApp has now evolved to be the most widely utilised communication platform. It allows businesses to share any new updates about upcoming offers, and new product launches, and notify customers of any personalised discount coupons.
With WhatsApp Cloud API, developers can integrate the existing marketing and CRM softwares with the social app and broadcast interactive messages to the customers. This is much more compelling than sending push notifications since messages can be read later if overlooked.
Besides marketing and promotional content, e-commerce businesses can use the WhatsApp platform to notify about price drop alerts, product in-stock notifications, or request feedback.
Once an order is placed, it goes through different statuses such as payment awaiting, processing, shipped, delivered, and more. Customers often need to visit the online store or wait for the email to know any change in order update.
But with WhatsApp API, the e-commerce store owners can integrate and automatically deliver the order status notifications on the social app. Moreover, merchants can send invoice pdf, shipment tracking link, and set up subscription payments reminders on WhatsApp.
WhatsApp has already proven to be the most popular social media platform worldwide, and with WhatsApp Cloud API, it has opened a new channel of communication for all types and scales of businesses.
Developer agencies like Webkul can develop custom integration solutions for e-commerce merchants to leverage the WhatsApp social platform and expand their business to new levels.
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