Marketers get a new tool: 'WhatsApp Business' launched on Android in India

Photo: Reuters

To help businesses communicate better with their customers in India, WhatsApp has officially rolled out "WhatsApp Business" -- a free-to-download Android app for small businesses -- in the country.

The new app, available on Google Play Store, will make it easier for companies to connect with customers, and more convenient for its users to chat with businesses that matter to them.

"WhatsApp Business", yet to come on Apple App Store in India, asks for a separate phone number from the one users have for their individual WhatsApp account.

"People all around the world use WhatsApp to connect with small businesses they care about from online clothing companies in India to auto parts stores in Brazil," the Facebook-owned app had said in an earlier statement.

"WhatsApp Business will make it easier for people to connect with them, and vice versa, in a fast and simple way," the company added.

"WhatsApp Business" was launched last week in Indonesia, Italy, Mexico, Britain and the US.

The app will help customers with useful information such as a business description, email or store addresses and website.

It will also save time with smart messaging tools like quick replies that provide fast answers to frequently asked questions, greeting messages that introduce customers to your business, and away messages that let them know you're busy.

"People will know that they're talking to a business because you will be listed as a Business Account. Over time, some businesses will have 'Confirmed Accounts' once it's been confirmed that the account phone number matches the business phone number," WhatsApp said.

People can continue using WhatsApp as usual as there's no need to download anything new.

"People will continue to have full control over the messages they receive, with the ability to block any number, including businesses, as well as report spam," the company added.

In India, 84 per cent of SMBs think that WhatsApp helps them communicate with customers, and 80 per cent of SMBs think that WhatsApp helps them grow their business.


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