WhatsApp was downloaded 13 million times in April 2021, making it by far the most popular messaging App - almost everyone you know is using it! It has become an integral part of our daily lives, helping us stay connected with family, friends and colleagues.
Owing to its massive popularity, businesses too have started using WhatsApp to interact with their customers. This led WhatsApp to launch an App exclusively for businesses called the WhatsApp Business App.
How's this different from the normal WhatsApp Account you may ask? In this article, we will give you the lowdown on:
• The difference between WhatsApp and WhatsApp Business account
• How to convert a WhatsApp Account to a WhatsApp Business account?
• Benefits of a WhatsApp Business account
The WhatsApp Business account was created keeping small and local businesses in mind. WhatsApp Business features were built to enable small and micro businesses to communicate with customers on their favourite messaging App.
It is basically an upgraded version of the basic WhatsApp App with additional features that are meant for businesses.
Let's look at some of its key features and the difference between WhatsApp and WhatsApp Business App:
The WhatsApp Business App has the letter B written in the centre of the WhatsApp Logo differentiating it from the normal WhatsApp logo that we are all familiar with.
When your customer starts a conversation with you, they will see a notification which says, 'This chat is with a business account. Tap for more info'.
Use the App to set up your entire business information and let customers know who you are, what you do and how they can contact you. This is the gateway to creating the best impression in the minds of your customers. The App allows you to add a display photo, brand name, a brief description about your business, your location, working hours, a link to your website and even a product catalogue.
You can build an attractive profile and draw in more customers.
Get a glimpse of business statistics
On the App you will get to see the number of messages you have sent, delivered, read and received which will give you an overview of your WhatsApp Business Account’s effectiveness in terms of customer engagement.
WhatsApp also lets you add labels to quickly organize and categorize chats for easy access.
In the WhatsApp Business App, you are given 5 standard labels to begin with. You can always add on to this list with new label names and colour code the same for quick reference.
The catalog is another feature that has proved to be extremely beneficial to growing businesses. This feature lets you create an online storefront for your business on WhatsApp. Using this feature, you can easily showcase your products and services in your catalogue.
For every item that is displayed in your catalog, you can add details like image, description and price.
You no longer need to redirect your customers back to your website to check out your offerings, you can simply share your catalog using a link on WhatsApp. Your users can then add products they need to the cart and send in their order requirements to your business via WhatsApp.
The WhatsApp Business App allows you to send instant replies to your customers. Here's how it works. There are 3 kinds of messages that you will be able to send:
• Away messages: You have the option to set the away message which will be sent to anyone reaching out to you at a time when you are unavailable or are "away" from work.
• Greeting messages: This is a great way to welcome your customers. These messages can be customised and sent every time a new customer starts a conversation with you.
• Quick Replies: These are message templates that can be set and sent out in response to questions that are frequently asked.
What’s more? You can even generate more leads from social media by adding your WhatsApp Business chat button on your Facebook page.
Now if you’re looking to send out automated messages in bulk, you will need to upgrade to WhatsApp Business API. This is a more advanced version of the WhatsApp business account that was built to help you grow at scale. WhatsApp Business API can also be accessed and managed by multiple team members.
Before you begin the switch, there are a few things to keep in mind.
Firstly, you need a number that can be linked to your WhatsApp Business Account and this cannot be the same as what you have been using for your WhatsApp Messenger Account. If you want to retain your personal number for WhatsApp Messenger, you will have to register with a new number on WhatsApp Business Account. However, it is possible for you to have both the apps in use simultaneously but only if they are registered under separate numbers.
Let's now take a look at how you can change your WhatsApp Messenger Account to a WhatsApp Business Account. Here are the steps you can follow:
The first step is to take a backup of WhatsApp Messenger chats before the transfer is done. To retain chat history, backup is necessary. To do this, go to Settings, tap on Chat, and then on Chat Backup, tap on Backup / Backup Now.
Next up, go to the Google Play Store or the App Store if you have an Apple device and download the WhatsApp Business App for free.
3. Agree to the Terms of Service and Register
Then, read the WhatsApp Terms of Service and click on ‘Agree’ and ‘Continue’ to accept all the terms. WhatsApp will automatically detect the personal number that you are using on the Messenger App. To continue, enter your business number for registration.
4. Transfer your Account
Turn on your phone and keep the WhatsApp Business App open until the account transfer is complete. While the transfer is taking place you may be prompted to restore from your backup. You can do this by clicking on Restore or you may choose to ‘Continue’. Then click on ‘Next’ if prompted and allow WhatsApp Business to access your phone's media.
5. Add Contacts
Add contacts from your phone address book and give permission to access the photos, videos and files on your phone.
6. Create a Business Account
Update your business name, select a business category and assign a profile picture.
7. Set up your Business Profile
Tap on ‘Explore’ and then on Business Profile to add all the relevant information about your business like your address, description, working hours and more.
You can keep editing your business profile after your WhatsApp Business account gets active as well.
So this is how you can convert a normal WhatsApp account to a WhatsApp Business account.
With a WhatsApp Business Account, you can engage with your customers, take orders, provide relevant information and do a lot more. If you’re looking to grow at scale and are looking for an end-to-end solution, we recommend leveraging interakt’s WhatsApp Business API solution. Sign up on interakt today to kick-start your business growth using WhatsApp.