After loads of discussion and rumours, WhatsApp has now launched a new separate app for small business. This app is now available for free download, and millions of small business owners across the world can now take advantage of this new release and increase their business.

However, most of us yet do not have an idea, what is this new app all about, hence let us now take a deeper walk down the lane and check what WhatsApp for small business has to offer.

Who is WhatsApp Business for?

This is one question, which needs to be understood firstly. Read on to find more about this all-new business app from WhatsApp.

This WhatsApp Business app is mainly made keeping in mind small business. It has been designed to offer concierge-like service for customers and will be used to all business owners. WhatsApp Business app provides a better platform for the business person to interact with their customers by providing them with updates, support and a simple option of running their business through their mobile phones, instead of being online all the time on a browser.

In simple words, business owners will now use the new WhatsApp Business, where as the customer will still be using the regular WhatsApp, so as to get in touch with them.

Has this been done earlier?

Yes, this idea has been tried earlier, however not at this scale. If you go on to look at the Google Play Store, you will find numerous apps that cater to the requirements of business owners. Let us take the example of the most frequently used app, Uber. This app comes with a ride-hailing service, for example, it has two apps: One is the regular app, which is for the customers, and the other is the ‘Uber Driver’ app which is for the drivers who run the cabs for the service. If simply explained it is just an interface for the service end, however, with a messaging platform like WhatsApp, where there are millions of users, the scope is wider, as the separate app will go on to cater the need for a large number of businesses, from the local grocery store to a medical and professional services.

Features of the new WhatsApp business

It is free: The first and the similar feature from the regular WhatsApp is that it is completely free. This app will go on to list your business, allowing you to keep in touch with your clients, without any cost. It seems like an idea, which will put quite a few agencies out of business. The messaging app is now offering service messages and it seems that the humble, yet costly SMS would soon go on to become redundant.

You know that the things are changing in the business world when you see that the business is gaining popularity and using messages to market itself, without involving telecom provider.

You can now active services messages via WhatsApp.It would certainly reduce the cost of sending SMS messages, and at the same time, it will also allow you to know that a particular service message comes from a verified service provider.WhatsApp Business will also go on to reduce the requirements of all small business to pay and run an app, as you will no longer need to learn the complexities of operating new applications, and also, it free. This new WhatsApp Business is a boon for all small business owners and also the users, as each and every service will come from a known source, and the spams will easily be filtered out.

Business Profiles: The most standard feature that you will see is the ‘Business Profiles’ that will allow customers to gain additional information, such as the address of the store, it’s email, official website or any other extra description of the business. These features are quite detailed and it helps in establishing the nature of the business on WhatsApp itself. It verified business simply goes on to add to the authenticity, allowing your customers to know that you are a known seller, and you will not cheat the customers online. Both buyers and sellers will be glad to know that WhatsApp takes verification quite seriously. It is described in details in the ‘setup’ section.

WhatsApp Business allows you ‘quick replies’ that will allow you to quickly send answers to the frequently asked questions. It also provides you with greeting messages that allows you to get introduced to the customers. Finally, it also goes on to allow you with an ‘away messages’ which can be used during off hours or when you are simply busy.

Provide you with data: Messages allows you to keep a track of the Data. It can be used for better understanding of the customers and its requirements. It also allows the buyers to offer better services, at the same time helping the buyers to grow their business. However, WhatsApp Business offers buyers with messaging statistics, a feature which helps the business owners with simple metrics about the number of messages that are being sent, delivered and also read. This feature allows them to tweak the content of quick replies and also helping them to develop a strategy for contacting their customers.

WhatsApp Web: WhatsApp Business also goes on to support WhatsApp Web, where you will be able to manage all the services online, without using the mobile app. This feature is relatively new and is not as intricate as the mobile app, however, it is being expected that the company will come up with more features, to make the WhatsApp Web more user-friendly, helping organizations across the globe.

This app has been designed keeping in mind small business organizations, how you as the buyer go on to use these features depends complete on you and the nature of your business.

Tips to run WhatsApp Business

There are few fundamentals that you need so as to run WhatsApp Business, as this is how this application has been designed. For this, you will, however, need a smartphone that runs on Android (iOS owners will need to wait for sometimes) and a number for registering on the service. This will be your official business number and it will be used for interaction with the customers, and to promote your products.

It, however, works best if you use a separate number for this, hence you will need a new SIM. The reason for this is the WhatsApp’s verification process. The company allows only one mobile number to be linked to one WhatsApp account. If your current number is already registered in WhatsApp and is in use, then you will not be able to use it for WhatsApp Business account.

What will happen if you won just one SIM card and one smartphone?

For all those who have just one SIM card and one smartphone, then they will need to move their current account details to WhatsApp Business profile. Please make NOTE; I said “move” and NOT “copy.” However, if you have both the apps installed on your single SIM phone, you will still be able to use one or the other on it, but like mentioned earlier, you will not be able to run both the apps.

For all those who need to keep their personal number associated with WhatsApp, you will simply need to buy a second SIM card and run it on a dual SIM device, or buy another device for yourself to run the app.

If a business owner is already running a business off a separate SIM card, then you will need to move the WhatsApp account associated with that particular SIM card to the newly launched WhatsApp Business app, taking advantages of the additional features.

What is the commotion about all this verification?

When it comes to verifying a WhatsApp Business account, a separate SIM card makes the process easier. However, it is important to note that WhatsApp is not verifying every business account. The business verification is completely based on various factors, such as if the brand is notable.

Steps to set up WhatsApp Business

  1. If you already have a business number which has been mainly used for WhatsApp, you will at first need to take a backup of your chat data to cloud storage.
  2.  To do this head to Chats>Chat backup> and then hit the ‘Back Up’ button. Make sure that the upload to the cloud is complete.
  3. Next, download the app from the Google Play Store or directly download it from WhatsApp official website. Tap on the download button to install it.
  4. After the app is installed on your smartphone or desktop, the next step would be to verify your business phone number. This is the same number that you will use to communicate with your customers.
  5. Once your number has been verified, you will be able to restore your previous chats that have been associated with the mobile number. This is the chat that you have backed up in step 1.
  6. The next step is that you set up a business name, and then when you are once in the chat area tap on the menu button and head to Settings> Business settings> Profile. Here, you will be able to gain various similar fields to a contact card and the seller will be able to fill all the details which he wants to share with the customers.
  7. Once you have followed the above-mentioned settings, the basic setup is complete. You are now ready to start connecting with customers who are available in your contact list, using the messaging tools to stay in touch with them.

However, it is important that you should know that the WhatsApp Business app currently does not support searching for businesses on WhatsApp. It is necessary for business owners as well as customers to have your contact number, adding to your WhatsApp contact list, in order for the communication and interaction to begin, or for the business owner to make his own group to promote their products.

It seems pretty basic at the moment, but with the messaging features onboard, WhatsApp Business has a lot of chances of turning into something really huge, and the addition of WhatsApp Payments should work as a medium.

Freelancing for the last 6.5 years, I have a Masters degree in English Literature. The upcoming technology both fascinates and impresses me. I have a flair and passion for writing. Reporting news from the world of technology about the latest innovations and inventions keeps me closer to my passion and interest.