What is WhatsApp Business?

WhatsApp Business is a free-to-download app launched in 2018 that was built to help micro-size businesses communicate more efficiently and securely with their customers. It has all the features of the regular WhatsApp messenger, along with features like quick replies and labels to help businesses sort, and quickly respond to customer messages. 

Later that same year, WhatsApp also released WhatsApp Business APIs with the aim of providing medium scale businesses and large enterprises with the functionalities to integrate WhatsApp business with their CRM, automate processes through their existing tech stack, send unlimited broadcast messages, assign repetitive tasks to bots, use contacts from their own databases instead of relying on phone contacts, and much more

WhatsApp vs WhatsApp Business  - What’s the difference?

WhatsApp Business app has a similar interface as WhatsApp but also provides basic features to help businesses get started on WhatsApp. 

Features
Profile

Personal

Business

App charges

Free

Free

Available on

Android and iOS

Android and iOS

Greeting messages
Quick replies
Away messages
Labels
Product Catalog
Users per phone number

One

One

Recommended for

Personal Use

Businesses with one support agent

How to set up the WhatsApp Business app

Setting up a WhatsApp Business account is a simple 5 step process. Before starting the process you should have a smartphone running Android or iOS and a phone number. If you want to use your personal WhatsApp number for your WhatsApp Business app as well, please note that you can’t use the same number simultaneously on both. 

However, if you have different phone numbers for your personal WhatsApp and your WhatsApp Business profile, you can run both accounts on the same phone by connecting each app with their respective number. In case you want to migrate your WhatsApp Business phone number back to your WhatsApp personal account, you can do that as well.
 

To use the WhatsApp Business app, follow these 5 simple steps.

Step 1 - Download the WhatsApp Business app from Playstore or AppStore

Step 2 - Verify your business phone number

Step 3 - Fill in details such as business name and category. 

Step 4 - Build your WhatsApp Business profile by adding details such as your business name, address, location, working days, email address, and website.

Step 5 - Set up your greeting message and start connecting with your customers.
 

WhatsApp Business app profile WhatsApp Business app profile

Check out our step-by-step guide on how to set up and use the WhatsApp Business app

WhatsApp Business vs WhatsApp Business API  

WhatsApp offers two solutions to run your business on WhatsApp. One is the WhatsApp Business app and the other is WhatsApp Business API.

If you are a micro-business that has just started using WhatsApp as a messaging channel to take orders, address customer queries, and where your customer base is small, you can work without any kind of automation, and one person can handle all the queries.  If you are just starting out and plan to use Whatsapp primarily as a channel to easily connect with customers, then WhatsApp Business app is right for you.

But if you’re a small business, medium-scale business, or enterprise, looking for proactive notifications, promotional messaging, providing automation through chatbots, want to sell and provide support to a large customer base, then you should definitely go for WhatsApp Business APIs.
 

Features
What is it?

 

An app made for micro-businesses to message their customers. 

 

 

It is made for small, medium-sized, and enterprise businesses to message their customers. 

 

Who is it best suited for?

 

This is best suited for businesses that are just starting up, have a low number of customer interactions, and can be handled by 1 person.

 

 

This is best suited for companies with large numbers of customer interactions that require more than 1 person to handle those interactions.

 

Type of interaction

Many customers to one agent

Many customers to many agents

Set up

Available on App Store or Play Store

 

Available through an official Facebook Business Service Provider (BSP) like Freshworks.

Types of messaging

Normal text, emoji-based messaging with attachments

 

Apart from normal text, emojis, and attachments, it supports 2  types of messages - “Session” and “Template” messages.
 

Chatbots
Integrations
Multi-agent support
Notifications such as appointment reminders / shipping information
Pricing

Free

 

WhatsApp and the BSP have a pricing structure.

Learn more about the pricing.

Why choose WhatsApp Business API over WhatsApp Business app?

 

The free pricing tag attached to the WhatsApp Business app makes it very attractive to a lot of businesses. But instead of just focusing on pricing you should consider your business goals, expansion plans, and value you get from the app. As the WhatsApp business app doesn’t support chatbots, message templates, doesn't integrate with other tools, it will make your life much harder when you try to scale things up, and its limitations will eventually force you to shift to WhatsApp Business API. So, instead of waiting for the WhatsApp Business app to underdeliver your business goal, it’s better to start with WhatsApp Business API from day one.

 

SuprDaily - an Indian subscription-based online delivery company for milk & daily groceries, is a good example of a business shifting to WhatsApp Business API due to the limitations of the WhatsApp Business app. While WhatsApp Business' interface allowed  SuprDaily to send and receive messages on WhatsApp, its capabilities were limited and only fit the purpose for low chat volumes. And as the query volumes increased suddenly due to COVID, the business had to switch to WhatsApp Business API to achieve their business goals.

Read the full case study...

How to get access to WhatsApp Business API?

WhatsApp Business API establishes communication between your customers (using WhatsApp) and your support team. When you use WhatsApp Business API, your agents can engage with customers in real-time, with context, and a unified view via Customer Messaging Software. 

 

5 easy steps to get access to WhatsApp Business API.

Step 1 - Sign Up for a BSP (Business Service Provider) like Freshworks

Step 2 - Submit Business Manager ID for the creation of an official WhatsApp Business account 

Step 3 - Verify your Facebook Business account and approve the BSP you’ve selected

Step 4 - Authenticate your WhatsApp Business number

Step 5 - After verification, you can start interacting with your customers on WhatsApp.

 

Here’s a detailed step-by-step guide on how to access the WhatsApp Business API. Read More...

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