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E-commerce must-read: WhatsApp's latest Interactive Message feature

E-commerce must-read- WhatsApp Latest Interactive Message Feature

Have you ever shopped online? (This seems to be a really stupid question…) Let me rephrase it. How much do you spend online on average monthly? Let me guess, 20% of your total purchase? 50%? Or an even more shocking number?

Although there are shopping malls everywhere in Hong Kong, the rise of e-commerce has gradually transformed the consumption habits of Hong Kongers in recent years. With online shops, all clothes and daily necessities can be purchased and delivered to our doors. Thanks to the epidemic, we browsed more online shopping platforms unconsciously, be it the e-Commerce giant Amazon or some small Instagram shops. The online world has created the omnipresence of “shops” and products.

“The total turnover has increased significantly in Hong Kong, the increasing rate is more than 100% from 2018 to 2019.”

- Online shopping platform SHOPLINE

Do you know that there is an inseparable relationship between online shopping and social messaging platforms such as WhatsApp? How? Basically, it is because all online shopping platforms have their own inquiry and ordering methods provided to customers. Since WhatsApp is the most popular communication platform in the world, almost all e-commerce merchants will opt for WhatsApp Business to integrate with e-Commerce shops, launch marketing campaigns, and handle customer service.

According to WhatsApp Official data, currently, there are more than 50 million merchants using WhatsApp for their business.

“There are 5.35 million active WhatsApp users in Hong Kong every month, which accounts for 83% of all active social platforms users.”

Digital 2021: Hong Kong

WhatsApp Business announced its latest feature recently – Interactive Message Template, which is absolutely indispensable for e-commerce merchants because Interactive Message Template enables smoother conversations between merchants and customers and optimizes customer service.

“To seize each online business opportunity, you must first seamlessly bridge your social media and online stores, and you must never miss any customer’s inquiry.”


Read more: How Singtel leverages WhatsApp Business to drive Customer Experience 3.0

What is an Interactive Message Template?

That’s right, WhatsApp’s newly launched Interactive Message is exactly one type of message that can increase the interactions between you and your customers. This function makes good use of a chatbot, which is extremely convenient for customers to reply with just one click.

There are two types of Interactive Messages, one is List Messages and another is Quick Reply Buttons.

Here are some points to note when using Interactive Messages:

  • Your customers can only choose one option from either List Message or Quick Reply Buttons, and they can go back and reopen the previous message.

  • Interactive Messages can only be sent within 24 hours since the last message from your customer, otherwise, an error exists.

  • iOS, Android, and Websites all support Interactive Messages.

View the comparison of normal text messages and interactive messages:

text messages and interactive messages

List Message

Each list message can contain up to 10 options. You can customize the content of each option, including title, menu content, etc.

It is super convenient for customers to choose and reply instantly with only a simple click. What’s the benefit for you, merchants then? Of course, List Message helps too! For merchants, you are able to reply to the customer with the same text content every time, no more copy & paste!

Quick Reply Buttons

Quick reply buttons function allows you to provide up to 3 options under each message.

For example, for the question “Welcome! What language do you prefer”, you can use the quick reply buttons to add three options “Traditional Chinese”, ” “Simplified Chinese” and “English” for customers to choose from.

You can also customize the picture, title, option name, etc. in the quick reply button function.

Want to know more about the auto-reply function: The quickest reply you can get. WhatsApp Chatbot Autoreply.

Why is an Interactive Message necessary?

For user comprehensiveness

Interactive messages provide us with a more concise and consistent message format, rather than long-text messages. Thus, customers can ask and choose what they want from a business through interactive message buttons. Customers would be more familiar with this feature and have higher comprehensive levels over time.

For enterprise income

Chatbots using Interactive Message features can automatically reply to the customer’s choice, which achieved significantly higher response rates. It would probably provide the customers with a better and more satisfactory shopping experience. We believe that it would bring higher conversion rates as well!

For personalization

Interactive Messages can be populated in real-time and so can be personalized to customer needs or situations. For example, you can show a List Message including available time slots for reservation, or use the Quick Reply Buttons to display previous delivery addresses.

No templates

Interactive Messages do not require any templates or pre-approval.

When can we use Interactive Messages?

List messages

List Messages are most suitable for the following situations:

  • FAQ menu

  • Selection of nearby shops and locations

  • Available reservation time slots

  • Choosing a recent order to repeat

Chat buttons

Your customer can now reply to you with just one click. See how the buttons would appear in your chat below.

SleekFlow Autoreply

All official WhatsApp account users can now submit tailored-made chat buttons under our Template Manager on our platform. 

See this blog to find out more about the official WhatsApp account (Official WhatsApp API).

There are two button types exclusive to SleekFlow users:

Quick reply buttonCall-to-action CTA button
Up to 3 buttons can be embedded into one message.Only one can be embedded into one message.
The buttons are generally short answers. It aims to trigger some “quick replies” to cater to the FAQs.The button will be a link. The action in this “call-to-action” button is to direct your customer to a specific website.
Example use case: It can be the first greeting message to your customer. For example: “Hi, thanks for contacting us! What’s your preferred language?” Then two buttons, “Chinese,” “English”, could be the answer choices. or “What’s the expected campaign started date?” The answer could be “immediately,” “in a month,” “in a quarter.” It is instrumental in qualifying/ prioritizing leads and handling the primary inquiry. The above gif is an example of a quick reply.Example use case: It can be an abandoned shopping cart reminder. The link, of course, will be redirected to the checkout page! Yes. The use case is as simple as that.

Trust me; the chat button is the best tool to convert a lazy customer. It works for us. It will work for you too!

Further examples for quick reply questions:

  • Supplementary questions

  • Changing personal information

  • Re-order

  • Requesting a return

  • Choosing the payment method

Believe me, only a WhatsApp Business account is far away from satisfaction if you want to scale up your business, but with SleekFlow, you can do all that I mentioned above! You can add Quick Reply Buttons via SleekFlow. When chatting with customers, attach buttons below the message for them to choose. Once customers click the button, you can not only automatically reply with corresponding information within seconds but also save manpower!

Want to create your own Quick Reply Button? Contact us!

We must provide considerate customer service in both traditional and online stores and fast response is a must.

Man Leung

CityLink Administrative Director

Want to know how CityLink, a traditional electrical appliance company, successfully connects to online shops seamlessly? Just take a look at CityLink X SleekFlow Story

Examples of Interactive Messages

No matter if you are from the beauty industry, education industry, traditional retail, or online shops, as long as you have to interact with customers frequently in social messaging Apps, Interactive Messages can be very useful. Have a look at the simple use cases below:

Demonstration in the beauty industry: Booking beauty treatmentsYou can add a List Message function in the greeting message which includes all the store addresses; After the customer chooses the store, you can provide Quick Reply Buttons for the customer to choose the specific date and time slot for the appointment. When the selection is completed, the appointment system connected with SleekFlow can automatically send a confirmation message to customers via WhatsApp or WeChat, or other preferable social communication Apps.
Education industry demonstration: Inquiry for course detailsYou can add a menu-style message function to the greeting message, and set several categories such as course price, course schedule, etc. for customers to choose. Send the corresponding answer according to the customer’s choice, such as the course price list and so on. It can even be a link to a related page on your website.
Retail and online shopping demonstration: Query store addressYou can attach the “sale address” option at the bottom of the greeting message for customers to choose from; After the customer presses it, WhatsApp will automatically reply to the store address details.

[Online shop tutorial] How to connect e-commerce with WhatsApp?

Almost 100% of our customers contact us via WhatsApp, the rest of them will contact us via Instagram and Facebook. With the help of SleekFlow, we can handle all the conversations from different social media and hand over some inquiries between colleagues well.

Cheuk Ying

Beauty Salon Weirdo Beauty founder

How to add WhatsApp and Line App buttons on the website without coding?

Believe it or not, every online store website must have an information column containing all the contact information, such as WhatsApp number, Line account, etc. Customers first need to type and save merchants’ phone numbers by themselves. Most customers will hesitate and give up enquiring or even buying, as this step is tedious and is not user-friendly at all!

Then, how do you seize each lead? If you have the same question, don’t miss the following information!

Without getting a programmer, you can embed a Live Chat button on your website with SleekFlow(just have a look at the lower right corner of our website).

After pressing the Live Chat button, customers can choose their preferred social communication platform, such as WhatsApp, Line, Facebook Messenger, etc., and immediately contact the merchant.

Afterward, WhatsApp will automatically pop up a greeting message, customers no longer need to store numbers and type the content. Pop-up messages save all these steps!

When a new customer WhatsApp you, the SleekFlow platform will auto-save this number. And of course, you can also clearly see existing customer information.

Unleash your WhatsApp Business potential today!

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