Earlier this year, TechCrunch reported WhatsApp Business has been adopted by millions of businesses globally since its launch to its first markets back in 2018. The app was initially Android-only but became available to iPhone users at the start of 2019.
The focus of Whatsapp Business is to enable conservation between businesses and customers, ‘marking a key difference from the original Whatsapp that focused on fostering connection between friends and family. The inception signalled a new era of communication, one whereby ‘companies chat to you’.
However, this method of digital communication between companies and their customers has been most evident and widely adopted in China on the platform WeChat. For any company doing business in China, they will most likely have come across WeChat and have used its platform to connect with clients.
Owned by Tencent, WeChat is the most popular messaging app in China and has a monthly user base of over 1 billion people. The Chinese use the app for everything, from business, to making payments, to video streaming, microblogging and K-12 education. From ordering a car, splitting a bill and arranging flights, all of this is achieved via WeChat.
Each user of the app has a QR code that is unique to them, and by scanning this code, you can add this person to WeChat. Because of this function, you often see Chinese people scanning each other’s phones. In this case, WeChat is even designed as mobile-direct and desktop-second. China truly is a mobile first culture.
With WeChat already demonstrating the success of this new age of communication we are living in, and Whatsapp Business following suit in western parts of the world including the US, the UK and Europe, we have been working more and more with clients using these platforms for their business and communication strategy.
The benefits of these communication platforms for businesses are immense. First and foremost, this new age of communication opens new ways to pay for companies. Customers can pay businesses via a transfer that require little involvement from banks than ever before.
Secondly, both platforms are advantageous for micro-enterprises and start-ups. For instance, a local company could have the opportunity to send a group message to regular clients to illustrate offers and even offer a VIP service. It allows communication channels to be more personalised and tailored to certain needs.
The apps also mark a change in tone of voice between companies and customers. Businesses using either Whatsapp or WeChat communicate to their customers in a variety of ways, including using Gifs and emojis to illustrate points. This tone of voice resonates greatly with millennials and Gen Z and is in line with a generation who grew up digitally.
At the same time, they offer a greater sense of accessibility. The implementation of Whatsapp Business and WeChat by companies means that they are available to customers 24/7. This creates an ‘out of office’ hours opportunity for businesses whereby they can always be connected to their customer.
As we continue to make strides in this world of new age communication, payments are becoming quicker and increasingly more mobile. Vorto understands the nuances of this emerging era and can assist clients with international payments.
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