The Instant Messaging App Taking The World by Storm
Who would have predicted back in 2009, that two former Yahoo employees, both rejected jobs at Facebook, would soon create the mobile messaging app? With over 1 billion monthly users announced in February 2016, WhatsApp has become one of the most popular mobile app services worldwide.
Retailers continue to find difficulty in penetrating this thriving market for business ventures. The answer to this issue is not the decision to use WhatsApp as a means for companies digital marketing, but rather the vehicle that carries it out— your business's customer base.
With a large active monthly user base that sends over 30 billion texts, voice notes, images, video messages in a day, WhatsApp is a hub of opportunity for any business looking to own their industry in digital marketing. To give you some further figures, imagine that WhatsApp messaging is heavily used amongst 81% of iPhone users in Italy as well as with 70 million users daily in India. But what perhaps is more astounding than the active use of WhatsApp is just how embeddedthe instant messaging platform is in given cultures.
Take for example the incident that took place in Brazil. Following a judge's order to the mobile phone operators to block WhatsApp nationwide, the Brazilian people (96% of the population with access to a smartphone use WhatsApp as their primary method of communication), went out on the streets for 72 hours to protest.
On a smaller, more personal scale, WhatsApp is now the main social platform amongst circles of close friends and family. Due to the privacy that WhatsApp transmits to its users, users on that platform tend to be more open than other platforms. Thus, many users share more opinions and updates compared to Facebook or Twitter.
Correctly, WhatsApp doesn't allow businesses to advertise on its platform. It is the vision of its founders Jan Koum and Brian Acton to keep their platform clean without advertising which means your customers will always have a smile on their faces.
Nevertheless, users are sending millions of "commercial" messages every day with a fresh product that they saw and want to buy or something they already have bought. But, retailers are completely unaware that their products are making huge impacts on potential audiences through WhatsApp or even how to use this information to their advantage.
It is important to note that advertising through WhatsApp has an enormous advantage in comparison to other platforms— you have shared a product from someone you know, someone perhaps who is close to you. Personal product sharing is hugely influential for any business and has two key advantages.
Firstly, whatever you are receiving reminded the person of you when sharing.
Secondly, and perhaps more interestingly, is the power behind friend recommendations.
According to research conducted by Forbes
“Personal recommendations are the number one driver of consumer purchase decisions at every stage in the buying cycle across 10 product categories studied, from banking to vacation travel and from subscription entertainment to retail categories, such as apparel and personal are products”.
So, how should retailers use WhatsApp to their advantage? For starters, begin by giving their customers the green light. Create the need to share via WhatsApp through both mobile and desktop devices on their online stores. If retailers give their customers the option to share their store items in an easy way, through WhatsApp chats from their site, they will see that it will become a trend and like any trend, people will follow.
By infusing this ongoing instant messaging platform with the buyer success rate from personal recommendations, you have created a beautiful and influential match made in heaven.
When you create the need, there will be a defining action that follows.