The WhatsApp Revolution: Search & Purchase within the App!

Small & medium businesses, rejoice: smart marketing will soon allow you to reach your next customer’s screen * Here in no time

July Arviv

The next communication revolution by WhatsApp is just around the corner * Already happening in Brazil and UK where people search for businesses, communicate with them directly, and even purchase their offerings – all straight from the app * Small & medium businesses, rejoice: smart marketing will soon allow you to reach your next customer’s screen * Here in no time

No leaving WhatsApp! The app that has irreversibly changed our communication habits seems to be keeping at it, as it brings what might just as well become the next consumer revolution.

WhatsApp has recently launched a new feature that allows its users to locate businesses, communicate with them directly and make online purchases from within the app, independently on external search engines. What started as a successful experiment in Brazil has gradually been seeping into the WhatsApp activity routines of users in England, Colombia, Mexico, and Indonesia. Coming Soon?

Let Your Fingers Do the Walking, the Next Generation

The adults among us surely remember the “Yellow Pages”, an index that was distributed together with the city’s phone book. At the time, it was a marketing tool that no business owner could exist without. Today? In an age where so many of our actions get executed via a mobile phone, WhatsApp’s index may become the claimant to the new monopoly crown in the field of the business directory: the must-have for any business that wants to be seen.

The idea is simple: you no longer need to search the internet for service providers and business owners to find their contact information. The new WhatsApp feature will map all types of businesses for you according to its built-in categories, and allow you to locate and contact them directly via the app – even if they are not saved on your phone.

For WhatsApp, this is a significant step towards the status of a One Stop Shop (or for short: OSS) – a business model that keeps customers in one territory while allowing them to perform various actions of various natures.

And so, WhatsApp users (meaning just about everyone and at all times), are soon expected to receive the new service option to directly communicate with various businesses and get the opportunity to close a deal – all from within the app.

From the small and medium business owner perspective, this is a tremendous opportunity to bypass the inexhaustible marketing capabilities of their giant corporate competitors. You no longer have to launch marketing campaigns at huge costs to get visibility. The era of WhatsApp shopping will be characterized by smart, focused marketing work that will allow businesses to reach the next customer’s screen directly. Where to start? With creating a business account on WhatsApp, of course, because as they once said in the “Yellow Pages”, if you’re not there you don’t exist.

App Evolution

WhatsApp has long been so much more than the upgraded replacement for SMS that it aspired to be at the beginning of its journey. With well over two billion users worldwide, it has become the preferred communication means for chats, calls, file transfers, and other daily actions now considered an absolute basic in the lives of us all.

Talking of “us all”, this is especially true in Israel, one of the world leaders in the usage of WhatsApp that’s installed on about 80% of the mobile phone devices in Israel – almost everyone with the exception of the kosher phone owners belonging to the ultra-orthodox community.

In recent years, business accounts have begun to appear as part of the app development, designed to enable business owners to provide their customers with a direct contact option via their preferred means of communication. And alternatively, to allow the business itself to communicate in the virtual space in an available and immediate manner. Now this space is about to undertake a substantial upgrade: the platform is significant from technical, commercial and also, of course, marketing perspective.

Let’s talk business (or write. Whichever is convenient.)

The niche ability to carry out both search and transactions within the app definitely makes the WhatsApp entry into the business market a game-changer. Unlike WhatsApp’s introduction in 2009, though, this is not an entry into a vacuum that needs to be filled. Search for businesses based on categorization and direct communication is the kind of service that exists and is commonly offered today – veteran players in the field led by the search engine giant Google and its many apps will constitute a heavy competition.

And so, we can assume that the struggle of the giants Google and Meta (the parent companies of Facebook and WhatsApp) may yield quite a few moves that will benefit us, the common consumers, if on the bottom line, it produces advanced and useful developments and innovations.

As has already happened with WhatsApp more than a few times before, it can be expected that the app’s new feature will gain popularity and eventually lead to a change in the consumption habits of its users. And when we talk about WhatsApp – the communication tool that is also the most popular social network in Israel – we can indeed anticipate a change that will transform the shopping behavior in Israel altogether, from the moment the application makes aliyah to our districts. Did we mention a consumer revolution around the corner?

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