31 Jan 2023
WhatsApp is the largest messaging app in the world with over 2 billion users. That number is going to continue to grow exponentially. Here are 5 WhatsApp Business current trends or future predictions and what they could mean for your business.
It’s now easy for customers to find businesses using the new WhatsApp Business Search.
Users can find a business by searching by name or by browsing categories such as retail, education, travel, and more. The official WhatsApp blog states that thousands of brands can now be found through the search.
We expect Meta to roll out the WhatsApp Business search feature to more markets around the world while it is already available in the UK and other markets in America and Asia.
How does a customer find your business on WhatsApp?
The user selects the ‘new chat’ button
The user scrolls down to ‘Discover Business’
Users can see businesses around them, browse by category, see verified business accounts, and search all types of business accounts
More capable AI WhatsApp Business Chatbots
If you haven’t been living under a rock for the past few months then you would have heard of ChatGPT.
ChatGPT is very good at generating natural human-like responses which has created a lot of interest from brands to harness the tech in their customer-facing chatbots. Good idea, right? It’s not that simple
AI chatbots have historically failed to meet customer expectations and needs. They’re often slow and struggle to hold a natural conversation. This hampers the customer experience while context is lost in longer conversations.
We see a lot of brands introducing AI chatbots on WhatsApp in 2023. However, WhatsApp chatbots that provide a pre-determined set of options with AI enhancements will be best.
More Privacy and Security
WhatsApp has worked hard to provide a safe and private messaging experience. End-to-end encryption, disappearing messages, and the ability to password-protect sensitive documents are proof of their efforts. Businesses can’t use a database of mobile numbers to message on WhatsApp, users first have to opt-in to receive communication.
Privacy is also at the core of WhatsApp’s new business search feature. There is no way to track search data back to an individual’s WhatsApp account and there are no plans to introduce data-backed advertising like on Facebook and Instagram.
User privacy is a critical tenant in an increasingly digital focussed world. We expect WhatsApp to double down and continue to increase the security and privacy features of WhatsApp and WhatsApp Business.
Any business using WhatsApp can already facilitate payments by sending payment links to customers in a conversation.
WhatsApp wants to take this further by letting customers buy from a business all within the app. This is currently the case in Brazil and India but there are plans to expand the feature to new markets.
A native WhatsApp payment solution would have huge ramifications for businesses using the Business app and enterprises using the WhatsApp Business API.
We predict that WhatsApp will try to introduce native payment features to developed markets like the UK and the rest of Europe in the future.
New Industries allowed on WhatsApp Business
It is now possible for pharmaceutical companies, alcohol brands, and businesses from many other industries to create a WhatsApp business profile to engage customers. These industries are still banned from selling to customers but there are now ways to be on the platform.
We see that WhatsApp will continue to ease its strict guidelines, allowing existing and emerging industries to engage their customers but not sell on the platform.
WhatsApp Business is limitless and we’re excited to see new security, payments, AI chatbots, and industries come to the platform. It is quickly becoming the norm for brands to use the WhatsApp Business solution and the future is certainly bright.
2 billion users send over 1 billion plus messages to 5 million plus businesses on WhatsApp every week. Whether it’s the free app or API, WhatsApp Business is the most effective tool to engage and support customers.