This is PART TWO of a series of articles on WhatsApp Commerce. You can read PART ONE here.
As the world’s largest messaging platform, WhatsApp is the medium of choice for most people to chat with their friends, families, co-workers, and increasingly, businesses as well. The launch of the WhatsApp Enterprise API opened the doors for enterprises to start engaging their customers on the app, as well as offer 24/7 support. And with recent developments such as the launch of WhatsApp Pay, and the growing consumer demand for contactless shopping, WhatsApp is emerging as a significant commerce platform as well.
If you want to leverage WhatsApp for customer service, engagement, or for commerce, you first need to set-up WhatsApp Enterprise for your brand. This article will serve as a quick guide to help you get started.
What you need to get started
Before setting up WhatsApp Enterprise for your brand, there are a few things you need to have in place. These include:
- Website: It is required for your business to have a fully-functional website. Do note that even if you’re aiming to enable a WhatsApp Commerce solution, it is not essential for your website to be a commerce platform. It is simply a prerequisite to creating your WhatsApp Business account.
- Facebook Business Manager: Having access to Facebook Business Manager is another prerequisite to setting up WhatsApp Enterprise. Log into Facebook Business Manager and set up an account for your business. This will enable you to manage your WhatsApp Business account.
- Business Phone Number: You need to have a cellphone number through which your business will operate on WhatsApp. This number should not be already linked to an individual WhatsApp account.
- Business Solution Provider (BSP): Facebook and WhatsApp have a list of official solutions providers for the WhatsApp Business API. You will need to collaborate with one of them to set up your brand’s WhatsApp account.
Haptik is an official BSP for WhatsApp Enterprise. Reach out to our team to get your business set-up on WhatsApp.
Setting up WhatsApp Enterprise
Once you have the preconditions discussed above in place, you can set up WhatsApp Enterprise for your brand with the following five steps:
STEP ONE: Create your WhatsApp Business Account through your Business Solution Provider (BSP).
STEP TWO: Add your business phone number to your WhatsApp Business Account.
STEP THREE: Your BSP will set-up an individual WhatsApp container for your brand, which will be linked to your WhatsApp Business Account.
STEP FOUR: Within your brand’s WhatsApp container, you have the option to set up Message Templates (HSM’s or Highly Structured Messages) to be used for notifications that you can send your customers over WhatsApp for confirmations, status checks, reminders etc.
STEP FIVE: Your WhatsApp container will be connected through Webhook URL’s to your brand’s chat management service, which will enable your agents to interact with customer over WhatsApp.
You can also link your container to your business’ CRM system, or to an AI-powered WhatsApp chatbot which can engage your customers and cater to their needs in a completely automated manner.
A key advantage of the WhatsApp Enterprise API is that it offers businesses a wide range of options to manage their conversations with customers, and to accomplish this at scale.
Unlike the WhatsApp Business App, wherein one phone number can only be used to interact with one customer at a time, with the Enterprise API, the same phone number can be used to simultaneously engage hundreds, or even thousands, of customers, through either multiple human agents, or by using a chatbot.
This makes WhatsApp Enterprise the perfect customer engagement platform, for offering support and for enabling conversational commerce.