Ultimate guide to master WhatsApp Business 101

It is confusing! It is difficult to understand what WhatsApp business is all about. It is even harder to know how to make use of it for business. It seems easy at first, but the more you go down the rabbit hole, the more confused you become. Fear not, we have created an easy to understand manual for you to understand and make the best use of WhatsApp for your business.

WhatsApp’s Apps can be generally categorised into two types. One that is for personal purposes and other commercial. Based on the purpose, there are different WhatsApp apps to choose from.

Personal WhatsApp Apps

Personal apps are the one’s that you use for communicating with friends and family. These allow simple, easy to use features that are okay for low volume messaging. They are good enough for creating a family group, sending wedding invitation to friends, keeping in touch with with a close circle, sharing daily stories and status updates.

Originally WhatsApp deigned its apps for personal conversations alone. This allowed friends and families to share pictures and stay connected much easily through cheap mobile data. WhatsApp grew tremendously popular forcing Facebook to buy it for a whopping 19 Billion Dollars. It is so widely used that on average people send 29 Million messages per MINUTE in WhatsApp.

WhatsApp for Mobile

WhatsApp Apps that are available for mobile in the Google Play Store and iOS App store are listed under the name “WhatsApp messenger” are for personal usage. You can find them by searching for “WhatsApp Messenger” or by following the links below. These Apps are good for daily use, you can send messages to people whom you have already saved in your contact list. This just works like SMS messenger with a few bells and whistles.

Available for Android at – Play Store

Available for iOS at – App Store

 WhatsApp for Web

WhatsApp for Web was a revolutionary step taken by the WhatsApp group to increase its usage across different platforms. This allowed people using PCs running Windows, Mac or Linux to use WhatsApp on their machine. Instead of typing through the tiny mobile keyboard, users could sit at office and type using giant desktop or laptop keyboards. WhatsApp for Web is available at web.whatsapp.com

WhatsApp for Web though with the same features as WhatsApp mobile, gives a desktop experience to its users. No one will blame you for looking at your mobile at office. You can safely hide behind the Desktop screen and still use WhatsApp.

Business or Commercial WhatsApp Apps

Commercial Apps

Some businesses are still using the original WhatsApp messenger app for commercial purposes. WhatsApp has build separate applications to enable businesses to talk to their customers. These can be categorised into two types

Small and Medium Businesses

Most small businesses who have around 20 customers a day can greatly benefit from the WhatsApp Business Mobile App. They are available under the name “WhatsApp Business” in Apple’s App Store and Google Play Store. You can just download these apps and start using them. When customers receive a message from you, they will get a tip, saying that they are talking to a business user. This brings more credibility and options for branding your business communications.

Available for Android at – Play Store 

Available for iOS at – App Store

The phone number that you used to signed up through a WhatsApp Business App, will be converted to a WhatsApp Business Account. You are not restricted to mobile Apps for using WhatsApp business. You can use WhatsApp Business account in Desktop/Laptop to through Web.WhatsApp.com

Unlike the personal WhatsApp Messenger App, WhatsApp Business provides 4 main features. These are the main features of WhatsApp Business App that differentiates itself from  personal WhatsApp Messenger App.

WhatsApp Business App Features

Business Profile

WhatsApp Business - Business ProfileWhen talking to customers it is essential to look and sound professional. If you use the personal WhatsApp Messenger App for business communications, you could come out as some small time player.  When people view the profile of WhatsApp Business user they will see

          • Opening Hours : 8AM to 6 PM
          • Website : WhatsMany.com
          • Description : Send Personalised WhatsApp messages online
          • Address : Munich, Germany
Quick Replies

WhatsApp Business Quick RepliesWith quick replies, you can save message templates and respond to users quickly. Eg. If you are a restaurant owner and people frequently ask for your menu, you can save your menu in a new template. Then it will show up in quick replies when you type “/”, and you can select the menu to send.

 

 

 
Labels

WhatsApp Business - Add labels to customers

WhatsApp Business allows for categorising your customers by assigning them to a label. This can ease your workflow by allowing to search customers by labels easily.

 

 

 

 

Catalog

WhatsApp Business CatalogCatalog is an easy way to share products with your customers. Your customers can see the list of products that you offer and along their finer details. These are the details that you can add to each product in your Catalog in WhatsApp Business

    • Price : 0$/Month
    • Description : Send 250 WhatsApp messages a day for 7 days
    • Link : whatsmany.com/pricing
    • Product or Service code : Free Trial 

 

These features are not just restricted to the WhatsApp Business mobile App. You can get the same benefits of the WhatsApp Business App in desktop and laptop too through Web.WhatsApp.com. Once you sign in through a WhatsApp Business account phone number, you will be automatically shown Business features in your web browser like below.

WhatsApp Business labels feature in desktop browser
WhatsApp Business’ labels feature in desktop browser

 

PS : If you work with more than 20 customers/users a day, writing messages one by one wastes a lot of your time and is inefficient. Do checkout our comparison chart below.

Large Businesses

WhatsApp has a beautiful feature that we like so much called the WhatsApp Business API. This service unlike others allow you to have large scale conversations with your customers and users. But the biggest disadvantage to this service is that it is geared towards organisations who have big IT team and IT budget. 
 
To get started using WhatsApp Business API you need to apply for getting your business verified through their website here.
 
Unless you are a large corporation with large marketing and IT budget, your company won’t be approved by WhatsApp for WhatsApp Business API access. It is better that you don’t waste too much time waiting for WhatsApp to respond back after submitting the form above. Because WhatsApp does not share their process transparently and it hardly communicates back unless you are a really big company. It is not to say that WhatsApp is evil and are slow in their responses.
 
We think WhatsApp does not want to open up WhatsApp Business API for small businesses because they may misuse the system and spam the WhatsApp community. Though we hate this stand of WhatsApp and don’t understand “Why can’t they think of innovative solutions to solve this apprehension?” 
 
After submitting the app for approval if you are large enterprise you could get your hands on the WhatsApp Business API keys. After that you need to setup the following infrastructure to start sending WhatsApp messages.
 

Here is a checklist for getting access to WhatsApp Business API

  • Non Technical
  • IT setup
    • You need to setup a machine through AWS or in-premise with at least 250 GB SSD, 16 GB RAM, and 4 core CPU
    • Install Docker
    • Install MySQL or PostgreSQL in a separate server that is not too far away from your Docker app
    • There are other things to take care of like monitoring, alerting and scaling which you need to look after setting up and deciding to move out of the pre-production setup.
  • If you plan that you don’t want to do the IT setup yourself you can contact service providers like twilio or sendbird and use their platform instead. Please note their pricing will have additional charges on top of WhatApp’s per message charges.
 

Comparison between WhatsApp Business vs WhatsApp Business API vs WhatsApp Messenger vs WhatsMany

 
Now that we have seen bits and pieces of all the WhatsApp flavours together, lets summarise how do they stack up together. Since this article is just about WhatApp flavours we wont talk much about our own product (WhatsMany) but just included them in the comparison chart for your reference.
WhatsApp Messenger vs WhatsApp Business vs WhatsMany vs WhatsApp Business API
WhatsApp Business vs WhatsApp Business API vs WhatsApp Messenger vs WhatsMany

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