Executive Summary

The fast, always-on, and interlinked nature of messaging has added an unprecedented dynamism to how information is exchanged. WhatsApp stands out for the significant impact it’s had on business communications, particularly in emerging markets. It has rapidly shifted from a social, friend-to-friend platform, to a full-spectrum, business-to-customer platform.

In international markets, global businesses that don’t adopt WhatsApp for business communications might end up losing to local competitors who have become more adept at establishing communications with their customers.

Understandably, enterprise businesses are right to consider the risks in adopting WhatsApp and similar mobile chat technologies. Companies cannot casually decide to deploy WhatsApp without exposing themselves to threat actors and regulatory compliance constraints. Therefore, enterprises also need to secure an end-to-end cybersecurity solution for their WhatsApp users. This way, organizations can meet their customers' expectations and enable their employees to drive growth.

WhatsApp Leads The Way 

Of the top messaging apps, WhatsApp has emerged as a clear leader, followed by Facebook Messenger, then WeChat which, for the most part, is exclusive to Chinese-language regions.

 

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Consider the evidence:

In addition to adoption, WhatsApp rules for usage, too. The average WhatsApp user on the Android platform spends 19.4 hours per month (38 minutes per day) on the app. Free and far more reliable than SMS, ex-U.S. smartphone owners use WhatsApp for basically everything.

If WhatsApp is where people are spending their time, what’s holding your business back from joining them?

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From Messages to Real Economic Impact

For enterprise business, WhatsApp usage is associated with real economic growth. It’s not only in India that WhatsApp is powering economic progress. Consumers across the African continent have been adopting Whatsapp more.

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Various industries have found ways of adapting WhatsApp’s capabilities to their needs. South Africans use the application to renew their car licenses. Different firms in the private sector use WhatsApp to manage their marketing and customer service operations. Even patients and medical professionals have found it easier to communicate through the app’s photo sharing features.

“Today, more than 175 million people message a WhatsApp Business account every day across the world, and we expect this number to continue to grow as businesses continue to rely on versatile digital platforms to communicate and sell products. In India, already more than 15 million small business users use WhatsApp for Business to connect with their customers.”

 

 

Abhijit Bose
Head of WhatsApp India

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The Business Choice is Clear

For enterprises looking to grow in overseas markets, WhatsApp is a necessity. Mandating email or other supervised applications is a decision based in regional hubris and short-sighted to consumer realities in local markets. The opportunity is too big to ignore. Brands are already taking advantage of the ability to support individual customer concerns or questions, and many anticipate WhatsApp will one day allow micro-targeting marketing messages much the way Facebook currently does (Facebook acquired WhatsApp in 2014).

WhatsApp knows the economic opportunity and continually experiments with new features to help brands and companies connect with consumers more effectively. We also see companies developing brand-specific message bots to field requests using artificial intelligence or using WhatsApp for marketing and brand building campaigns that you might have traditionally seen on Facebook or Twitter.

 

 

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