More than 1 billion people in over 180 countries use WhatsApp. This digital messaging app is getting more and more users, and it’s becoming a powerful tool for e-commerce merchants, especially those interested in expanding their business into emerging markets such as Brazil.
Before focusing on the popularity and on the impact of WhatsApp in Brazil, this article will first delve about its global success story and potential benefits for customers and merchants alike.
Some facts & figures about WhatsApp
Created in 2009 as an alternative to SMS, nowadays WhatsApp supports a diverse range of tools such as chat, file and image sharing, location sharing, as well as voice and video calls. Valued at USD 19,000 million, WhatsApp is currently the most widely used mobile messenger app in the world, recording 1,600 million monthly active users, 500 million daily active users, and 60 billion messages sent on a daily basis – these astonishing figures highlight the impact of the app in everyday life and demonstrate that merchants can’t ignore the potential impact of this app on how they interact with customers.
Considering the above and adding the fact that messages are secured with end-to-end encryption, WhatsApp Business can be used by companies as a direct marketing tool (to target the right customers at the right time) and to collect metrics (such as number of processes and outgoing traffic).
Why WhatsApp successfully became a part of Brazilians daily life
Following the worldwide trend, WhatsApp also has become one of the most popular apps in Brazil as 66% of the population in 2018 were active users. This means that more than half of the Brazilian population was using this app to communicate with family, friends, and even with companies.
Other indicators that express the extension of WhatsApp’s potential in Brazil at a glance:
- The total population was estimated at 8 million in 2017.
- Internet penetration rate reached 47% of the population in 2017 (an increase of 10.84% when compared with 2016’s statistic).
- 120 million WhatsApp active users in 2017.
- 220 million smartphones in 2018, which corresponds to more than one device per inhabitant.
As for companies, Brazilian merchants consider that WhatsApp provides them a more direct and accurate channel to communicate with their customers. In turn, customers feel more willing to supply feedback at any time: to clear up a doubt, to ask for information, to obtain tech support or even to make an order.
In order to boost this tool’s communication effectiveness and potential, international merchants must take into consideration their audience’s language and cultural preferences, in order to localize and humanize the customer experience.
3 tips on how to use WhatsApp to expand your business in Brazil
With all that said, it becomes understandable how this digital messaging app has changed the way Brazilians communicate with each other. For companies with the aim to reach and engage targeted audiences in this Latin American emerging market, they should take into careful consideration the option to adopt WhatsApp as a marketing tool to increase sales by:
1. Improving customer communication: do follow-ups, announce new offers, send festival wishes; remember to adopt a more personal and informal approach.
2. Using it as a channel for customer support: the majority of customers prefer to communicate through messages rather than calling a helpdesk number or raising a ticket; again, remember to adopt a more personal and informal approach.
3. Promoting marketing campaigns and new offers: WhatsApp is a good one-to-one platform for a direct communication, so you can group your customers into market segments (by age, loyalty, type of product, etc.) and send them targeted messages about your products/services.
Using Brazil’s favorite messaging app as marketing tool can truly make a difference in reaching out to the customer base that you are targeting and to help make the most of the opportunities related with strategic communication. However, this initiative is just the tip of the iceberg: companies still need to deal with the local regulation and bureaucracy, as well as with the nuances related to cultural and socioeconomical aspects. Choosing to partner with a payment aggregator such as BoaCompra can help the e-commerce merchants to understand the Brazilian market, including its specific characteristics and challenges, in addition to the integration of local payments and checkout optimization.