WhatsApp Business API in the UK: How big names like Deliveroo embrace social commerce to fuel growth
WhatsApp Business API is designed to help businesses grow. If you are considering joining giants in the United Kingdom like Deliveroo, WorldRemit, and OVO Energy to step up your social commerce game, read on and learn more about the pricing and features in addition to what your peers have achieved in recent years.
Easy and free to use, WhatsApp is the most commonly used social messaging application in the world. Two billion monthly active users worldwide rely on WhatsApp to stay in touch with family and friends, sending messages, photos and videos on WhatsApp every day. Businesses see it differently - they see it as the best way to reach customers.
Here comes WhatsApp Business, where businesses can utilise additional features such as quick replies to sell better on WhatsApp. Small and medium-sized enterprises can use WhatsApp Business App for free, but the features are limited. Enterprises may opt for a paid solution: WhatsApp Business API.
With WhatsApp Business API, companies can have a verified business profile and a higher degree of flexibility. They can send broadcast messages to more than 256 contacts and set up their chatbot to minimise human intervention.
WhatsApp charges businesses per conversation, including all messages delivered in a 24-hour session. The cost per conversation varies depending on who initiated the conversation. If it is business-initiated, the rate is £ 0.0467 in the UK market, while the user-initiated rate is £ 0.0280.
Not sure how much you are charged? Use our WhatsApp Pricing Calculator to estimate the price.
Since you need a service provider to start using WhatsApp for business, you have to pay a subscription fee. SleekFlow offers four different plans. The Pro Plan, which allows you to integrate with WhatsApp Business API, is £59 per month.
Want to know how much it costs to use WhatsApp Business API? Talk to our social commerce experts and get started.
Multiple logins for seamless collaboration
Gone are the days when salespeople and customer support agents needed to fight for the one phone with the WhatsApp Business app installed.
With WhatsApp Business API, multiple agents can log into the same account simultaneously. This allows agents to serve more customers at a time and enables cross-functional team collaboration.
Broadcast personalised messages
With the broadcast function, businesses can send out mass, but personalised, messages to their customers, saving a lot of time as marketers will no longer have to copy and paste each text individually while ensuring the customer’s name is spelt correctly!
For example, logistic firms can notify their customers of deliveries, educational firms can also send out seat confirmations for seminars, and supermarkets can send out flash promotions.
Automated messages and chatbots
With WhatsApp Business API, businesses can build their own chatbots. Generally, chatbots can cut down the time used for customer service by screening the customer’s needs.
Following this, the customer will automatically be routed to the relevant department to get the best answers to their queries.
Want to know more about the features? Check out our WhatsApp Business API essential guide.
If you want to know which companies use WhatsApp Business API, below are some examples of businesses using WhatsApp.
Deliveroo, a British online food delivery company that has grown from a start-up to a listed company in just one decade, has been trying to keep users informed about food orders and status while meeting a strict 30-minute-or-less delivery guarantee.
Many regular users employ the Deliveroo app to order their favourite meals from their favourite restaurants. Still, forty per cent of first-time users place their first order through their website. How can these users get delivery and order notifications without the app?
When Deliveroo announced the integration back in 2018, Aimee Ruddy, a product manager at Deliveroo, mentioned that they wanted to expand the use of WhatsApp from just order notifications to a more two-way dialogue with its customer service agents. "We want customers to be in channels that work for them and not to force them down certain channels," Ruddy said.
Leading digital money transfer company WorldRemit, which enables migrants to send money from their smartphones to people in over 145 countries, was the first UK FinTech company to integrate with the WhatsApp Business solution in 2018.
Given the challenges of SMS delivery in many markets, customers can often miss out on real-time information about their transfers. But now, they can receive instant notifications on the status of their transaction on WhatsApp.
This integration will make our safe, fast and low-cost remittance service even more convenient for millions of WorldRemit customers around the world.
- Alice Newton-Rex, Chief Product Officer at WorldRemit
Founded in 2009, OVO Energy is an energy supplier based in Bristol, England. When the pandemic lockdown first kicked in in 2020, OVO Energy started to look for a communications platform that was secure and easy to use anywhere and a more efficient way to conduct monthly meter readings using customer-friendly digital communication.
OVO Energy decided to allow members to submit automated readings of their home energy meters each month through WhatsApp. Customers can start an automated WhatsApp chat with OVO Energy and then their identity and information will be verified automatically through the OVO database. Customers then submit a new meter reading with a photo or written entry and the information will be verified and added to the database for billing.
Jet2, a British low-cost leisure airline offering scheduled and charter flights from the United Kingdom, is another company using WhatsApp for business. They are available on WhatsApp to answer customers’ questions about holidays and bookings.
If customers ask about a booking, their team will ask for personal information to verify the identity and they can help customers with lots of different queries. After the customers have contacted them once, they will securely store the data on customers’ devices for follow-ups.
Uber, an American mobility-as-a-service provider, has operations in approximately 72 countries, including the United Kingdom. Regular users usually book Uber rides via the Uber app but riders in India now have a new option since 2021 - to book a ride via an official Uber WhatsApp chatbot.
Riders in India will no longer need to download or use the Uber app. Everything will be managed within the WhatsApp chat interface. WhatsApp users can just send a message and provide pickup and drop off locations and then they will receive upfront fare information and the driver’s expected time of arrival. The experience will be as exact as usual, except that everything happens on WhatsApp instead of the Uber app.
Now you understand the powerful functionality of WhatsApp Business API but it is just the start. Different vendors offer different specific features and with abundant options out there, you have an important decision to be made - which is the best for your business?
All-in-one social messaging solution
SleekFlow, an omnichannel messaging application, may be exactly what you are looking for. It allows users to integrate with different channels, including but not limited to WhatsApp, Instagram and Messenger, and expand your business possibilities with more upcoming integrations to make your data analysis easier while levelling up your customers' shopping experience.
With SleekFlow’s marketing automation, we can easily broadcast messages with a handy setup. Automation such as abandoned cart reminders, and Facebook lead ad integration, enables us to launch an effective marketing campaign regardless of the lean team size.
Named to Fortune's Change the World List, a plant-based concept store uses SleekFlow to engage with their customers. Read how they launch their food revolution with SleekFlow.
Automated segmentation according to purchasing intent
For Shopify store owners, you can segment customers according to their purchasing intent on SleekFlow. Since the integration allows SleekFlow to extract the purchase history, you can set automatic labelling rules for remarketing. You can segment your customers by the items purchased. A targeted promotion campaign can be designed and launched later.
Automated abandoned cart reminder and order status update
With the native Shopify integration, SleekFlow allows users to review the purchase history and order status of customers alongside the conversations so that they can answer inquiries according to the information promptly. Users can even create customised rules to send automated messages such as abandoned cart reminders and order status updates.