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Consumers in the UK do not shy away from spending money online, especially as the country’s GDP has bounced back to levels before the pandemic - a telltale sign of the UK’s post-COVID market recovery. 

In fact, 46% of online shoppers in the UK prefer a “click-and-collect” way of shopping which allows them to order an item online and pick it up in a physical store. 

online shoppers in the UK retail services whatsapp chatbot

Due to the lockdown, many businesses, including grocery stores, in the UK were forced, as a survival tactic, to shift their services online and increase their capacity quickly. 

These changes in consumer behaviour illuminate that the online-to-offline (O2O) retail model is increasingly establishing itself as the norm. From a business perspective, they also indicate that retailers should maximise their omnichannel presence and adopt smarter automation tools to help unlock their online sales potential. 

In this article, we’re going to talk about everything you need to know about one of the most popular messaging channels, WhatsApp. We will discuss how to create a chatbot for WhatsApp, how much it costs, and what it takes to set up, so that you can drive conversions for your business in the UK. Let’s dive in. 

What is a WhatsApp API chatbot integration and what are the benefits of using one in the UK

Chatbots are popular amongst retailers as a way to ensure consistency and promptness when engaging in customer conversations via live chats on e-commerce websites or social messaging channels.  

The basic type of chatbot runs on Natural Language Processing (NLP). Upon receiving a message, they generate responses by processing content through NLP datasets. 

Another type of chatbot is a hybrid of Machine Learning and AI, such as Apple’s Siri and SleekFlow’s chatbot for WhatsApp. This chatbot is considered more advanced for its ability to produce more personalised responses based on previous user interactions. 

WhatsApp is the most used messaging service in the UK with 40.41 million users. Businesses usually use its paid version, WhatsApp Business API, which allows them to connect third-party software like SleekFlow and activate advanced automation features, including chatbots, for managing large volumes of contacts and high-frequency marketing campaigns. 

So what kind of return can investing in an intelligent chatbot WhatsApp bring to your business? 

Guaranteed responses to your customers whenever and wherever they are

WhatsApp Business profile

Let’s say you’re a larger enterprise with customers outside of the UK. It is a challenge to manually operate in different time zones and respond immediately to your customers beyond your office hours. 

Through SleekFlow, you can build a WhatsApp chatbot to respond on-demand based on trigger keywords or workflow scenarios. 

Every moment to chat with a customer is an opportunity for conversion. And thanks to chatbots, you no longer have to worry about overlooking messages anymore. 

Reduce mistakes when talking to customers 

Have you ever misspelt a customer’s name, or treated an existing customer as a new customer? 

These are common mistakes that cause small hiccups in your customer’s journey, yet big enough to potentially discourage them from continuing onwards to checkout. 

Free up your team’s valuable time 

Assigning WhatsApp customer conversation

You can create FAQs for your chatbot to learn about customer demographics and qualify leads. Instead of expecting your team to promptly respond to every customer’s enquiry, you can free up your team’s time by delegating straightforward tasks to the chatbot such as sending more product information or shipping updates. Without the clutter, your team can properly follow up on more critical issues in-person to enhance customer satisfaction. 

Through WhatsApp API, you can pre-set quick replies and call-to-action buttons that are automatically triggered when customers or your business initiate a conversation. 

How to create a WhatsApp chatbot for business

According to the Q1 2022 Global Social Commerce Market Survey, around 80% of consumers in the United Kingdom used social media platforms for shopping in 2021. 

In recent years, many UK customers enjoy social commerce because it offers a frictionless customer experience from product discovery to checkout. In fact, it is so appealing to consumers that the United Kingdom is expected to grow by 37.5% on annual basis to reach US$21,133.9 million in 2022. 

By using WhatsApp API through SleekFlow, your WhatsApp chatbot can interact with customers by adding WhatsApp live chat widget to your e-commerce website or separately. 

If you’re not sure what WhatsApp API is compared to the free version WhatsApp Business, spend 3 minutes to learn about it here

Wondering how to set up and integrate a chatbot for WhatsApp API? First, let’s start with how to get WhatsApp API. 

Step 1: Apply for WhatsApp Business API 

To verify your WhatsApp Business account with Meta, the following documents are required: 

  • Company website

  • Valid business licence

  • Proof of business address in the last three months

  • Company-registered phone bill 

  • Access permissions to Facebook Business Page and Facebook Business Manager

Step 2: Think about your chatbot as an extension of your brand

As a tool to engage customers, your WhatsApp chatbot is a virtual brand ambassador for your business. 

How are you going to greet or address your customers? Is it a simple: “hello, thank you for reaching out!” or something more casual “what’s up?” 

You can humanise pre-set template responses to bring warmth and comfort to your customers. The more approachable you can come across on chat, the more likely your happy customer will convert and return for repeat purchases. 

Step 3. Integrate chatbot to WhatsApp API that automates internal and external workflows

The benefit of WhatsApp chatbot API is that you can choose a wide range of integrations to make WhatsApp even more powerful. 

For example, did you know that you can receive payments directly in WhatsApp chat? 

With SleekFlow’s payment link feature, you can easily create payment links and help your customers fill in their details so they can complete payments by Apple Pay, Google Pay, or credit card within a few clicks. 

WhatsApp catalogue link

Step 4. Run a test to confirm customer experience is smooth

SleekFlow whatsapp live chat chatbot integration for customer experience

Place yourself in your customer's shoes and test out whether your chatbot can deliver the experience you want. 

You can test your bot on WhatsApp to ensure that it can guide your customer to conversion and catch possible errors before the official launch.

Talk to our experts and learn how to deliver the best experience on WhatsApp.

5 examples of how businesses are integrating WhatsApp chatbots successfully

Still not sure how businesses can implement WhatsApp across teams? Here are 5 ways to get you started.

1. Generate leads for sales

Whenever you initiate a conversation with a customer via WhatsApp, any necessary information is automatically saved into a centralised database. Later on, you can refer back to the contact, sales history, and conversation content for a better understanding of your target audience’s demographic, so you can improve your products to address their needs. 

2. Enhanced customer service 

Customers expect a quick response when reaching out to businesses for enquiries or resolving issues. And with the help of chatbots, there are no excuses to respond hours or even days later. 

WhatsApp chatbot allows you to automate the workflow of personalised messages. Under the scenarios that you define, a sequence of messages can be rolled out without any manual activity. This guarantees that your customers can receive a response instantly whilst keeping them satisfied beyond your business hours. 

3. One-click checkout for higher conversion rates

When it comes to offering a seamless customer journey, businesses need to focus on reducing the steps from product selection to checkout. 

Customers are impatient these days. 

Any hiccup during this journey will cause them to abandon their carts, or worse, head towards your competitors. That’s why SleekFlow’s WhatsApp chatbot can send product catalogues then followed by payment links to convert customers quickly. 

Here’s a snapshot of how SleekFlow allows you to do so: 

Payment flow

4. Instant notifications for promotional and reminder messages

As the average open rate for WhatsApp messages is 98%, reaching your customers there is perhaps the most effective choice compared to other communication channels. 

Based on your customer’s sales history and preferences, your chatbot can send birthday, promotional, and abandoned cart reminder messages to your customers in a timely manner. 

After you have built specific trigger scenarios, such as confirmation of appointment bookings, event notifications, and flash sale announcements, your chatbot will intelligently react even faster than a human agent would, increasing your efficiency and chances of converting customers through marketing campaigns. 

5. Strengthening brand loyalty

whatsapp chatbot integration for strong customer loyalty

While converting new customers is a great way to expand your business, it is crucial to continue building brand loyalty with existing customers. Many times, businesses use loyalty programmes to incentivise customers for repeat purchases. 

Through your verified Green-Tick WhatsApp Business API account, your customers can always reach you at the same WhatsApp account, whilst you can assign their enquiry to the right agent for follow-up actions. 

By tailoring your conversation content to your customers' preferences, your brand will appear more reliable and personal which strengthens their connection with your business. 

Tips for making sure your WhatsApp bot enhances your customer experience

While setting up your own customised WhatsApp bot may seem daunting at first, SleekFlow’s platform makes it easy for you. 

On the SleekFlow platform, you can set up a template message to greet first-time customers, such as: 

Hi, I am your dedicated assistant. 🤖💪 It’s so lovely to meet you here!

⚡️ We would like to handle your inquiry as soon as possible. Please select the services below by entering the number. You can come back to the main page by joining. [0] anytime. 

  1. General inquiry

  2. Address of stores 

  3. Product information and pricing

  4. 24-hour aftersale support

  5. Other suggestions 

  • Instagram 

http://www.Instagram.com/abccompany

  • Official Website 

http://www.abccompany.com

Using the above example, when the customer enters [3], your auto reply message could be a photo of your product catalog or a YouTube link to a product introduction video. When entering [5] the autoreply message could be directing your clients to file suggestions to a particular channel: 

Hi, please send the information below to customer.relations@abccompany.com. We will get back to you in 3-5 working days. Looking forward to hearing from you soon! 

Name: 

Contact Number: 

Related issue: Customer service/ Products/ Others 

With auto replies, you could streamline the process and reply to your customers in a timely and effective manner. 

Want ideas on WhatsApp auto reply message templates? Head to our blog to find out how to personalise the customer experience through WhatsApp live chat on your website. 

Is WhatsApp chatbot free? 

No, the cost of creating a WhatsApp chatbot will vary depending on the country and region. That’s why we have created a free tool for you to estimate how much you are charged under the conversation-based pricing model. 

Try out our WhatsApp Pricing Calculator for your broadcast cost!

Turn conversations into conversions instantly with SleekFlow’s WhatsApp live chat on your website

In 2020, 96% of the UK population were internet users, of whom 92% shopped online. And this number is expected to grow by 37.5% on annual basis to reach over £11 million in 2022.  

So if you whether you’re a grocer or run a fashion brand, you should seek out smarter ways to turn those conversations into conversions. 

Let’s take another look at what SleekFlow has to offer: 

A mobile app that integrates your live chat messages into one inbox 

SleekFlow inbox

We get that it’s important to have everything in one place. It saves your valuable time and makes sure that your customer gets the attention they deserve. 

Our all-in-one inbox merges WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, Instagram DM, or whichever social media messaging channel your customer prefers, into one mobile app. 

Automated workflow to streamline internal and external communications

SleekFlow platform automation feature for WhatsApp marketing messages

Whenever a customer reaches out on your WhatsApp live chat widget on your e-commerce website, your chatbot on WhatsApp can respond instantly based on the automated rules you have created, such as FAQs or keyword-triggered responses. 

Automation is an effective way to qualify leads and save manpower. Then you can assign the right teammates to handle the enquiry to keep your customers satisfied. 

WhatsApp Business API integration

Live Chat to WhatsApp

WhatsApp is a crucial tool for marketing, sales, and customer support to deliver messages as soon as possible. 

SleekFlow enables multiple logins to allow for people across teams to access the same chatbox and co-own the conversation simultaneously. 

To further reduce the friction throughout each stage of the sales cycle, you can send payment links directly in chat to your customers so they can check out within one platform.

E-commerce solutions tailored to help you meet your business targets

Sales performance on SleekFlow

When customers shop online, they expect a holistic customer experience to start to checkout. SleekFlow has a specialised e-commerce solution to equip your teams to sell better. Leverage advanced data analytics across channels to enhance your business strategies whilst managing your team more effectively.

Need help with setting up WhatsApp Business API? Chat with our local experts in the UK now.

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