WhatsApp Business API vs WhatsApp Business – Which one is more suitable for your business? (2023)

Currently, more than 1 billion people use messaging apps such as WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, and Instagram Direct to communicate with businesses each week, and the number of users is expected to continue to grow. According to Meta’s statistics, 75% of customers prefer to communicate through messaging, and 66% of customers prefer to choose businesses that offer messaging.

Benefits of setting up Official WhatsApp Business App & API Account

Using social messaging platforms such as WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger has become a trend in Hong Kong. There are several benefits of creating an official WhatsApp Business account for brands:

1.Increase consumer confidence with Green Tick verification (API only)

Businesses can create a company profile on their WhatsApp Business official account, and customers can easily view company information with one click. Moreover, WhatsApp Business API supports Green Tick verification, significantly increasing customer confidence. Customers feel more secure communicating with businesses via WhatsApp than with SMS messages that have no certification. Compared to SMS which does not have any authentication, customers feel more secure when communicating with merchants on the verified WhatsApp accounts.

2.Boost sales through one-on-one WhatsApp conversations

Through the official WhatsApp Business account, customers can have one-on-one conversations with customer service or sales team directly, and Omnichat, the WhatsApp Business API solution provider, allows brands to bind salespersons to customers, which provide customers with more intimate and personalised services. In addition, customers can browse products or services in the business profile and contact the business through the product catalogues supported by WhatsApp Business App. They can share the catalogue products with friends, or send messages to the business for inquiries effortlessly.

3.Respond quickly to customers and acquire customers more effectively

Merchants who use the WhatsApp Business App can pre-set greetings, offline auto-reply, quick reply, etc., to respond to customers in real time and improve customer satisfaction. In addition to supporting the above functions, Omnichat also provides Chatbot and keyword auto-reply. It can automatically interact with customers in the conversations, assisting brands in diverting customer enquiries and answering common questions.

The differences between WhatsApp Business App & WhatsApp Business API

WhatsApp Business App and WhatsApp Business API have differences in terms of features and functionality. Which one should businesses choose?

We have compiled a table to let you quickly understand the differences, and we will also go through the characteristics of the two WhatsApp business accounts in this article. Free feel to contact our specialists if you wish to know more.

Limitations of WhatsApp Business App

WhatsApp Business App is primarily designed for micro and small businesses and is a free service. Although it allows businesses to display their business information such as company name, company description, address, email, etc. on their company profile, it cannot provide marketing automation and omni-channel sales conversion tracking functions.

Source: WhatsApp

There are many limitations of WhatsApp Business App, including not supporting Green Tick verification and Chatbot, only being able to log in on a maximum of 5 devices at the same time, and having a limit on the number of recipients for scheduled broadcasts. If you own a small business and mainly use WhatsApp to contact customers and handle simple inquiries, then you may choose to use WhatsApp Business App. However, if you want to use WhatsApp for marketing and sales promotion, such as sending a large number of broadcast messages, distributing coupons, gamified marketing, or integrating with online stores and CRM systems, you will need the more extensive and flexible WhatsApp Business API.

Transfer a WhatsApp Personal Account to a WhatsApp Business Account

  1. Download: Go to the Apple App Store or Google Play Store to download and activate WhatsApp Business App for free.
  2. Register: WhatsApp Business App will automatically recognise the phone number you use in your WhatsApp Messenger. Tap the option with your business number.
  3. Transfer: Do not turn off your phone and WhatsApp Business App until the account transfer process is complete. During the automatic transfer process, the system may prompt you to restore your backup.
  4. Create: After a successful transfer, you can create your WhatsApp Business account!

Features of WhatsApp Business API / Platform provided by Omnichat

WhatsApp Business API / WhatsApp Business Platform is a top-tier business account for WhatsApp that requires the application by a WhatsApp Business Solution Provider (such as Omnichat) on behalf of the business. WhatsApp Business API only provides API, and businesses still need an official WhatsApp solution provider to develop enterprise-level features. Because of its ability to integrate multiple backend systems (such as e-commerce platforms and CRM systems) and its broader functionality, it is popular among businesses.

More comprehensive performance tracking than other WhatsApp API solution providers
The total eShop revenue can be recognised

Many WhatsApp API companies provide the performance tracking of payment links. However, only the revenue from customers’ instant payment in WhatsApp can be tracked, while other online and offline sales figures are not counted. Brands often need to add up the performance of different channels like building a jigsaw puzzle to get a full picture.

In addition to calculating the performance of WhatsApp payment, Omnichat can also calculate all the purchase links sent by the salesperson from WhatsApp, as well as the actual transaction amount of the customer in the eShop, so as to achieve complete online performance tracking. More importantly, the performance of each salesperson can be tracked and recognised. Even if the customer does not pay immediately, and chooses to pay within a specific period of time (let say if payment is made within 14 days), Omnichat can accurately track the customer’s transaction amount, and it will be automatically recognised to the salesperson who served the customer at the beginning. It is more convenient for the brand to calculate the commission, and at the same time it can greatly motivate the sales to provide better service.

Omnichat’s e-coupon module can track the redemption rate across online and offline, therefore, omni-channel performance can be viewed.

Omnichat’s WhatsApp Business API offers features suitable for businesses that need to use WhatsApp for customer service, marketing, and OMO (online-merge-offline) conversational sales. These features include:

Team collaboration and multi-device management

Unlike WhatsApp Business App, which allows only up to five devices to log in simultaneously, Omnichat allows all team members to use a single WhatsApp Business API account to serve all customers.

This enables teams to collaborate and provide quality conversational sales and customer service. All customer data and conversation records are permanently stored in the cloud server, allowing merchants to retain all customer data and conversation records indefinitely.

Keyword auto-reply and Chatbot

While responding to customer messages via WhatsApp is convenient for both brands and customers, brands typically receive repetitive queries or similar requests, such as business hours or delivery arrangements. By using Omnichat’s keyword auto-reply and chatbot features, brands can respond to customers promptly and even divert complex queries to human agents. 

For example, Watsons has set up the Chatbot to redirect customer enquiries. Customers who would like to reserve one-on-one service can leave their details via WhatsApp. This saves time and human resources for the company while enabling customers to quickly search for answers or make appointments.

Scheduled broadcast messages

Many businesses use WhatsApp to send promotions and updates regularly, but there is a risk of being blocked by WhatsApp when sending mass messages with WhatsApp Messenger or WhatsApp Business App. Once blocked, the account cannot be restored.

As the WhatsApp Business Solution Provider, Omnichat provides chat commerce solutions with official WhatsApp Business API that allows brands to broadcast messages to customers in one go, and also supports customer segmentation and filtering, scheduling, and performance reports.

Venchi successfully created ‘Viral Marketing’ by broadcasting VIP Week promotional messages to targeted customers. Customers forwarded the promotional message to their friends because WhatsApp is more shareable than SMS.

Abandoned Cart Remarketing

In the past, marketers sent reminder emails to customers who did not complete their purchase for abandoned cart remarketing, but the email open rate is generally less than 10%. On the other hand, the open rate of WhatsApp messages is up to 98%. Empowered by Omnichat, companies can schedule automated messages to remind customers to check out, with the incentives such as discounts and free gifts, to drive conversions.

FILA‘s website sales have recorded significant growth, and one of the key factors is the abandoned cart recovery feature. Omnichat’s system can automatically send cart reminder messages to potential customers on WhatsApp at a scheduled time, increasing cart checkout rates.

Coupon Marketing

Coupons and interactive games are often used as marketing tactics. Have you ever thought about applying them on WhatsApp? The WhatsApp Business API allows businesses to flexibly use different features to increase interaction and conversion rates.

Features of Omnichat’s coupons:

  • Support Promo code, Barcode and QR code. Coupons can be used in online and offline stores.
  • Create a countdown timer to remind customers to use the coupons before the deadline.
  • Set the distribution quantity of coupons. Coupons will be more attractive to customers if they are on a first-come, first-served basis.
  • Support coupon performance tracking.
  • Provide Branch/Salesperson exclusive coupons. Merchants can broadcast WhatsApp coupons in one go, and choose the applicable branches, as well as the upper limit of coupons each salesperson can send, which is easier for salespeople to send coupons to VIPs individually.

Gamified Marketing

In addition, Omnichat has designed 5 classic games applicable on WhatsApp, Facebook, Instagram, and LINE. Brands can use games to interact with customers and replace traditional text messages to enhance the shopping experience.

During Chinese New Year, Sa Sa launched the Facebook fortune-telling marketing campaign by using Omnichat’s game module, giving away prizes worth over one million dollars for every participant! Nearly 10,000 people participated in the campaign in just one week, which successfully increased user participation and interaction rates, thereby creating higher sales!

1.After users click on the lucky draw link, they will be automatically directed to the FB Messenger Chatbot to ask if they agree to receive Sa Sa information. Users click on the ‘Agree’ button and get one game chance!

2.Users win the prize in the game, and they can receive an electronic coupon through WhatsApp for redemption. Sa Sa can also get users’ Facebook and WhatsApp accounts information for future marketing.

Omnichat is the official WhatsApp Business Solution Provider, offers advanced conversational business solutions on social messaging channels integration with enhanced efficiency, user behaviour analysis and thus remarketing strategy development.

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