More and more companies use WhatsApp Business to communicate with their customers, but it is the customers who have to start the conversation. The question is: can small entrepreneurs use WhatsApp Business to promote their business within WhatsApp? Coming soon, yes.
WhatsApp is the most used messaging service in the world, and it wants to take advantage of that advantage to become the modern version of the yellow pages, as it explains Mark Zuckerberg on your Facebook profile:
We are creating a modern yellow pages within WhatsApp so you can search and contact local businesses directly from the application.
The company has started a pilot test in São Paulo, Brazil. The new business directory includes local stores and services that are already using WhatsApp Business as a channel for interaction with their customers.
Now, users will see a “Nearby businesses” section by clicking on the “New chat” button. In the screenshots shared by WhatsApp, this section includes clothing stores, retail stores, mechanical workshops, restaurants, pizzerias, grocery stores, food and beverage outlets, and educational centers. By choosing an option, the user can view the local businesses ordered by distance and view the profile or start a conversation with any of them.
Will Cathcart, the director of WhatsApp, said on Twitter that the company will not record your location or the companies you review, and added They will study how to expand the service to other cities and types of businesses depending on the feedback they receive during the pilot test in São Paulo.
If you are not familiar with WhatsApp Business, is a free service for small businesses that allows you to create a profile of your company and interact with customers through WhatsApp, either manually or with automated responses. There is also a payment API for medium and large companies. Only the entrepreneur has to download WhatsApp Business, users can access the profiles of their companies and chat with them through the conventional version of WhatsApp.
In addition to the new business directory, WhatsApp has also deployed in Brazil the mobile payments by WhatsApp. Users pThey can transfer money to friends for free and companies can charge their customers for WhatsApp Business in exchange for a commission.