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WhatsApp To Revolutionize The Indian eCommerce Industry Conversational commerce is changing how people communicate with D2C brands today and helping these businesses realize new potential revenue channels, which were once a big no-go-grey area.

By Chirag Taneja

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Photo by Dima Solomin on Unsplash

The last decade has been an era of evolution and revolutions for the Indian eCommerce industry. From doing vertical e-commerce to selling directly to consumers online to tapping them on social media sites such as Facebook and Instagram to exploring conversational commerce, the shift has been significantly monumental.

According to Future Market Insights, the global conversational commerce market stood at USD 5345.5 million at the end of FY 2021 and will reach USD 26301.8 million by the end of FY 2032. And, looking at the current adoption pace of this segment in India, one can imagine the country's overall contribution to these holistic numbers.

Conversational commerce is changing how people communicate with D2C brands today and helping these businesses realize new potential revenue channels, which were once a big no-go-grey area. A byproduct of this innovation is WhatsApp Commerce.

At present, 390.1 million people actively use WhatsApp for their daily communication. Using this channel to interact and engage prospects and customers can help D2C brands increase conversions, and customer acquisition costs, reduce abandonments and ensure high customer satisfaction.

WhatsApp Commerce can boost sales of D2C and other online players dramatically by :

Helping Acquire New Customers:

WhatsApp is one of India's most preferred and used communication apps, as it is simple to use, gives people the advantage of creating groups for broadcasting messages, and offers a plethora of additional features which are simple to use. Its business version, WhatsApp Business, comes with a new layer of features specially designed for small and large businesses. For example, WhatsApp Business enables businesses to run lead-generation campaigns to acquire new customers. You can connect it to your Facebook account and run ads without hassle to reach a broader audience with a click, develop a personalized relationship with customers, help place orders quickly, reduce customer acquisition costs, and, more importantly, establish trust.

Creates a seamless shopping experience:

Continuing the point mentioned above, with WhatsApp Business, D2C brands can now enable shoppers to complete their end-to-end shopping on WhatsApp by simply adding a chat option on their website and prompting shoppers to shop seamlessly. The process eliminates the need to download several apps and set up different accounts and pages to complete the checkout process without any distractions that can lead to possible cart abandonment. Besides, it helps in quicker and more seamless payments and removes barriers to having easy conversations with the brand to resolve issues.

JioMart is the perfect example of WhatsApp shopping. The Reliance Industry home-grown brand has elevated the shopping experience of its user base using WhatsApp. From simply texting Hi to JioMart's WhatsApp number, shoppers can browse the grocery giant's entire catalog, select and add items to their WhatsApp cart, and checkout after making payment via different modes available. NLP powers the whole journey to have an interactive shopping experience. JioMart also pays attention to the post-purchase experience and sends reinforcement messages at regular intervals to reduce the shoppers' worries.

Helps in Immediate Product Discovery:

Integrating the WhatsApp Business icon on your website is one way to lure shoppers to your WhatsApp channel. Allowing customers to scan QR codes and directly land on WhatsApp is another use case to ensure immediate product discovery. As a D2C brand, you can place these QR codes on your packaging or banners while conducting on-ground events.

Enhances the Customer Service Experience:

WhatsApp has designed its Business stack to ensure that a prospect converts into a paying customer and helps build a personalized relationship with them. It even enables D2C brands to understand the expectations of these shoppers and modify their business accordingly.

WhatsApp has opened new doors for two-way communication, which is missing in the case of shopping via websites. WhatsApp Business allows shoppers to interact with brands anytime and keep their anxieties away. It also has helped increase brand availability to shoppers by providing multilingual engagement, reducing brand dependency through the personalized shopping experience, and ensuring high satisfaction.

Boosts Customer Loyalty

Since WhatsApp enables D2C brands to be in touch with their customer base 24x7x365 days to address their concerns and solve their queries, this automatically boosts customer loyalty towards the D2C brand.

Additionally, these loyalists further convert into brand advocates and bring in more shoppers onto your platform that otherwise were hard to target and get onboard, further reducing customer acquisition costs, increasing sales and revenue, and creating a wider reach.

Obtain Helpful Insights

Like other engagement platforms, WhatsApp Commerce enables brands to see a comprehensive view of how customers behave on their WhatsApp shop. As a D2C brand, you can gather several business data and insights in real-time to manage demand and supply, understand shopper behavior and product gaps to improve efficiency and stay ahead of the curve.

Reduce The Risk of High RTOs

RTO, or return-to-origin, wherein a shopper cancels or rejects a COD-placed order at the doorstep, is a significant concern for most D2C brands today. However, WhatsApp Commerce has all the requirements to fix the issue.

WhatsApp Commerce is set to be the next big thing in not only improving sales for e-commerce and D2C brands but could also open doors of innovation for offline retailers in boosting product discovery and increasing revenue generation. It's just a matter of time before all eCommerce brands fully leverage it. Brands must realize the potential and be agile in adopting this new sales generation channel to become category leaders in their segment.

Chirag Taneja is co-founder and CEO, Gokwik

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