The COVID-19 pandemic that hit the world in early 2020 has been nothing less than a nightmare for everyone. It had put the entire world into lockdown. People had to stay at home and businesses were shut for the most part of the year.
Now that it has been over a year of plight and chaos, it is evident that it will last longer than we had anticipated. Despite all the efforts made to control and contain the virus and disbursing vaccines to a large number of people, the threat continues. And at this point, it is difficult to say for how long.
For businesses, this leaves only one way to survive, i.e. to adapt to the new normal of selling through social networking platforms. And when we talk about social networking platforms, what could be a better choice than WhatsApp.
WhatsApp: A Business Opportunity In Pandemic
In the light of current events, businesses have no choice but to look for alternative means to reach out to their customers and WhatsApp comes as a solution.
Here are 5 ways through which WhatsApp acts as a Business Opportunity in Pandemic:
1. It gives global exposure
WhatsApp has over 2 billion active users worldwide spread across 106 countries. That’s the market size you can capture through the platform and give your business global exposure.
Through WhatsApp, you can reach out to anyone across the world as long as you have their number. This allows businesses to expand their marketing horizon effortlessly and gain a strong foothold even in international markets.
2. It’s free to use
WhatsApp is a free messaging app that can be used to reach out to a wide audience without hurting your marketing budget. WhatsApp allows you to make voice and video calls, send text and voice messages, and share multimedia files. This makes it easy for businesses to showcase their products live. It also helps them to engage in consultation calls free of cost.
It helps improve customer relationships and gets businesses undivided attention from their customers.
3. Available in Multiple Language
Language can never be a barrier for non-English speaking natives, as it allows you to select the language of your choice.
All you have to do is go to ‘Settings’ then ‘Chat’. Then go to ‘App Settings’ to select a language of your choice. WhatsApp supports over 60 national and regional languages making it easy to use globally.
If you wish to communicate with your customers in their native language, you can use WhatsApp Business based APIs like SocialEpoch that allow you to select the target language for your customers. No matter which language you send your message in, the tool will automatically translate to the recipient’s language.
With WhatsApp, you can truly live in a world without boundaries.
4. Connect with clients personally
One advantage of WhatsApp that no other marketing platform provides is to connect with clients personally. Through WhatsApp, you can establish a close bond with your clients and customers over a virtual network.
You don’t need to schedule long-hour appointments to brief them about your products or services. You can send them a detailed text, share your brochure or even provide your catalog over WhatsApp Business.
From consultations, sales, promotions, to post-sale surveys and feedbacks, you can do it all at the same place. Engaging in one-to-one conversations and providing instant responses will help you create a good rapport and provide customers excellent user experience.
Read more: 10 Tips On How To Not Get Blocked By Clients
5. Large scale marketing through campaigns
Traditional offline campaigns only target hyper-local communities and customer bases. WhatsApp campaigns give businesses an opportunity to reach out to larger masses and create brand awareness on a much larger scale.
WhatsApp campaigns have proved to be way more effective as compared to any other medium. The fact the most people are already on the platform, participation in any such event becomes easy. Also, WhatsApp has the highest message read and share rate making it an optimal choice for large-scale marketing campaigns.
Examples Of 5 Businesses That Have Turned The Pandemic into Business Opportunity
The Covid -19 has hit the global economy real hard, and businesses across continents took the blow. The global GDP in 2020 saw a dip of 4.5 %. This number translates to almost 3.94 trillion U.S. dollars in lost economic output. But digital platforms have opened several doors for businesses that otherwise were struggling to survive.
Here are 5 top brands that have adopted WhatsApp as their virtual marketplace and have turned their business around even in the midst of an ongoing pandemic.
Who would have imagined that diamonds could be bought over a messaging app!
Well, a Genoa-based jeweler Gismondi has made it a reality by selling a 300,000 euro diamond ring to a Swiss client over WhatsApp. As Italy entered a new coronavirus lockdown and shut shops in March, the jewelry brand took to WhatsApp to connect with customers and share images and videos of their jewelry pieces. It gave customers the feeling of seeing them live and they just made history by selling an expensive piece online. Thus turning the pandemic into a business opportunity.
If you think you have seen the highest level of marketing, Moncler, a luxury jacket brand may take you by surprise. Sales assistants at luxury puffer jacket brand Moncler are arranging gourmet dinner deliveries to customers’ homes so they could dine in style while watching a video streaming of the brand’s latest collection.
Using social media, video and virtual showrooms have helped this luxury brand woo their wealthy customers in Europe and keep them shopping at a time when tourists, especially from China, have been absent for more than a year.
There are many high-profile brands that never had going online as an option are seen embracing it openly. One such high-end label is the Hermes, which used to be reluctant to sell online. But seeing the ongoing situation has opened their doors to virtual platforms and have had to fully embrace e-commerce. By turning the pandemic into a business opportunity and going online, the brand has shown exponential growth. Online revenues for the industry have doubled to nearly 20% of sales in the past year alone, based on analyst estimates. Boston Consulting Group expects that percentage to rise to 25% by 2023.
Prada is a name that every fashionista swears by. This world-renowned brand isn’t too far behind in its online game as it is now offering its customers a virtual tour of its showroom and offers personalized consultation with the store assistants. This is in its truest sense turning a pandemic into a business opportunity.
You create a strong relationship between the salespeople and the customer.
We have gone from the shop assistant that simply shows you a product to someone who also does a bit of marketing, knows customers, their taste, their habits, reach out to them, and sends them stuff to their home.Prada’s CEO Patrizio Bertelli told Reuters.
A Milan-based PR executive who spends on average 40,000 euros ($47,552.00) a year in Prada’s stores said that since last year Prada has regularly sent her videos about its clothes.
5. Brunello Cucinelli
Yet another brand to join the bandwagon of selling through social networking platforms is Brunello Cucinelli.
Over the past year, cashmere sweater label Brunello Cucinelli has been organizing video calls with 30-40 customers at once to keep them engaged.
“It allows us to have a dialogue with a number of people which, if we had to arrange a physical appointment, would take us perhaps 3-4 years,” the brand’s co-CEO, Luca Lisandroni, told Reuters. He also said that brands should not become too insistent in trying to sell their wares.
“Some people like being contacted and stimulated, others don’t want to be solicited too much,” he said.
Though it was the pandemic that has pushed top brands and labels towards social networking platforms like WhatsApp, it will continue to be a prominent part of sales and marketing even after the pandemic is over. WhatsApp is here to stay and can be seen as the future of modern-day e-commerce.
WhatsApp Business APIs such as SocialEpoch has consistently provided businesses the support it needs to set up their online business and handle large customer base. Learn more about its features here or drop a mail to our sales support team at firstname.lastname@example.org to get a callback.