Let’s look at some WhatsApp statistics and their implications for eCommerce in 2023.
- What is WhatsApp Business?
- 7 Key WhatsApp statistics for ecommerce in 2023
WhatsApp Messenger is a free instant messaging and voice-over-IP service. The app is mainly used on mobile devices.
Founded in 2009
The app was founded in 2009 by ex-Yahoo! employees Brian Acton and Jan Koum.
It was called WhatsApp because it sounded like “what’s up”.
Run by only 50 people in 2013
In 2013, WhatsApp had 20 million active users.
The app was managed by a team of only 50 people.
The primary means of communication for many internet users
By 2016, in regions like Latin America, the Indian subcontinent, and large parts of Europe and Africa, the app had become the primary means of internet communication. (Source Wired)
US$19 billion sale
In 2014, Facebook (now Meta Platforms) acquired the firm for US$19 billion.
The launch of WhatsApp for business in the messenger app category
Two business apps were launched in 2018. Find out more at WhatsApp for ecommerce.
WhatsApp’s user base: from a few million users to 2 billion users
Of all the WhatsApp stats, the most striking has got to be this one on WhatsApp usage.
There are about 2 billion WhatsApp users around the world!
In 2020, according to Tech Crunch, about 100 billion messages were being sent daily.
It’s stats like these that help make WhatsApp the most popular messaging app in the world.
WhatsApp is incredibly easy to use. Internet users absolutely love it. It’s an easy way for them to keep in touch with friends and family, either individually or using WhatsApp groups.
But what about WhatsApp for business? What’s the compelling proposition around that?Let’s take a look.
What is WhatsApp Business?
It’s a free app downloadable to iPhone and Android mobile phones. It’s dedicated to helping businesses engage more with their customers.
The app has two main engagement areas
The first is as a comms channel to help support customers.
- This can be answering questions about your products or service.
- Helping them make the most of their purchase with hints and tips or guidance.
- You can even send videos to help them use your your product.
Working as a sales tool
When using the app, you get a selection of features to help you communicate with your customers, helping to drive sales of your product or service.
- These can include automatic messages linked to sales to send when you’re busy.
- Automatic answers to frequently asked questions that are also linked to sales.
- Show off your products in listings, categories, and in WhatsApp group links.
Instant messaging is also a great way to broadcast promotions, discounts, sales and other offers.
You can group your customers
Creating a WhatsApp group is a good and accurate way of targeting certain customers. All in all, it’s a low-cost app with a lot of punch that can really benefit your eCommerce operations.
How to connect customers to your WhatsApp
- Add your WhatsApp phone number to your business emails and e-newsletters.
- Advertise your messaging channel on Facebook.
- Add your WhatsApp phone number to your social media posts.
- Install a chat widget on your website.
It’s easy to move to the business version from the WhatsApp Messenger
Because you’re using the same phone number for each, they need to be two separate apps. Just download the eCommerce app and follow the instructions.
Note: if you move the other way, from the business to WhatsApp Messenger, you won’t be able to take your business features, like catalogues, with you.
The eCommerce app consists of two business apps for two separate kinds of business user
The first is for small companies. The second is an enterprise or platform version for big corporates with global customer bases. Here’s a bit more about each.
WhatsApp Business App
This version is for small businesses who want to personally manage conversations with their customers. It’s a great way for a small business to connect with its customers and is a popular app. In just a few years this business version of WhatsApp has already become one of the world’s market leaders in the business app category.
It’s a direct connection with YOUR customer base.
The app offers a small business a whole host of opportunities to build or strengthen relationships with customers.
It helps nurture CRM opportunities
If used well, the app can help nurture customer loyalty and customer retention and even drive more sales.
Some key benefits and WhatsApp business stats from businesses using the app
Open and helpful
You can have an easy-to-access profile or a virtual storefront for your business full of useful information about what you do, what you are and where you’re based.
Logo and links
As well as a description of your business, you can include a logo, your opening hours, and links to your website or Shopify store.
You can also offer customers – or potential customers – an easy way to get in touch, without having to resort to email or calling by phone.
Show off your products or service
People are so used to the WhatsApp messaging platform that it’s easy for them to come and see a showcase of your products or service.
And, as we all know, ease of use is key. If you make things easy for customers and give them a more enjoyable shopping experience, you can drive more sales.
RENT MANTRA started using the app and experienced a 10% increase in customers and a 15% increase in sales (Source META)
You can even greet customers automatically, welcoming them to your business.
Along with a catalogue of your products, you can also include links to your social media accounts to encourage engagement and sharing.
Wherever you are and whatever you’re doing, you can respond quickly and directly to individual customers or customer groups.
Make them feel loved
This makes customers feel wanted and cared for. This is especially useful if a customer has a question about one of your products, a question that is holding them on the brink of purchasing your product. A quick, positive and helpful response can clinch sales before the customer chooses to wander off elsewhere.
You can also automate your responses so your business can respond immediately to WhatsApp users out of office hours or when you’re busy serving other customers.
To help speed up your replies to Whatsapp users enquiring about your business, you can set up knowledge base shortcuts to respond to common questions.
There’s also a labelling feature that can help you manage your communications with customers. This WhatsApp feature can help you categorise and prioritise your dealing with customers.
For example, you might label your communication with WhatsApp users into categories like New Customer, New Order, Pending Payment, or Customer Issue.
MATOA watch company added the app to communicate with customers and now 80% of all their customers use WhatsApp to engage with the business and 20% of customer interactions via WhatsApp result in sales (source META)
Increase the propensity to buy
When you build your catalogue, you can showcase your product in collections of similar products to make it easier for Whatsapp users to browse your store.
You can share your entire catalogue with new and existing customers on WhatsApp, Facebook and Instagram.
Linking to social media can be a really powerful way to build up your customer base.
And as for promotions, offers, or the introduction of new products, you can make announcements by broadcasting to multiple customers at the same time.
A simple and compelling way to promote your business
Tools include QR codes, short links and action buttons on your Facebook page, Facebook Shop, Instagram profile or Instagram Shop.
You can create Facebook ads that click through to WhatsApp from your web page.
All these benefits can be a huge boost to a small business.
WhatsApp Business Platform
As we’ve said, this is for the bigger businesses – the ones communicating with customers using programs. Using the power of the WhatsApp API, big businesses can get closer to their customers at scale. The app allows businesses to send images, videos, and PDFs.
With such versatility, it’s no wonder that it can help drive marketing, sales and support activities throughout customer journeys.
Using the API, businesses can take advantage of tools like interactive calls to action, dynamic product lists, and rich media. Such tools can drive upsell and cross-sell opportunities and other promotions.
Automated conversations can help agent support workloads, integrating with CRM and marketing platforms.
The API offers two main ways a business can directly connect with customers:
- Response – putting the business’ WhatsApp number on the website, web shop, and in communications such as email can increase awareness and encourage contact over WhatsApp.
- Proactive contact – the business can send out messages to opted-in customers at whatever stage they are on of their customer journey
10 main benefits of WhatsApp for eCommerce
- WhatsApp is the world’s most popular messaging app among internet users.
- With the API, you only pay for the message you send or receive.
- It’s a compelling and trackable marketing tool where you can monitor interactivity with your customers.
- Easy sign-up: you can use a QR code to get people to opt-in and receive your messages.
- You can talk to an international audience.
- You can use automated messages to reply to customer questions.
- It’s great exposure for your brand.
- You can take orders for your product using WhatsApp.
- People are more likely to shop with a business they can message directly (Source Meta).
- It’s easy to create a messenger strategy to grow your ecommerce business (Source Meta).
This App and Platform are great for business, but what about the WhatsApp user?
Who are they and where are they? These are interesting questions from an eCommerce point of view. Let’s take a look at some key statistics that would be of special interest to those involved in eCommerce.
7 Key WhatsApp statistics for eCommerce in 2023
There are lots of statistics about WhatsApp, WhatsApp users, WhatsApp usage and WhatsApp’s user demographics.
Here are seven key WhatsApp Business statistics to illustrate what a compelling proposition including WhatsApp messages in your business strategy is.
Key WhatsApp Statistics No. 1: WhatsApp Active Users
In February 2020¹, there were over 2 billion active users of WhatsApp. (Figure based on monthly users.) This is a phenomenal statistic of the number of WhatsApp users.
From a business point of view, the beauty of this huge base of active users is that they are already on, and like, this messaging app. It’s part of their lives and, as a business, you aren’t having to introduce these potential customers to a new communication channel. You’re literally meeting them where they feel ‘at home’.
Let’s have a look at some breakdowns and other WhatsApp stats around these 2 billion active users.
- The WhatsApp instant messaging rate is about 100 billion messages a day. (SOURCE Tech Crunch)
- 500 million users USE WhatsApp every day. (Source: Statista)
- There are about 70 million people in the US who use WhatsApp. (Source Statista)
- Nearly a quarter of adults in the US use WhatsApp (Source Pew Research)
- Breakdown of ages of people who use WhatsApp in the US: 27% are 26 to 35 year olds, 20% are 36 to 45 year olds, 19% are 15 to 25 year olds, and 17% are 46 to 55 year olds. (Source: Statista)
Note: the above breakdown in ages of users in the US can be seen as attractive to business as it implies that 83% of users in the US are of working age and presumably have regular income.
- The ultimate in WhatsApp demographics: over 500 million users in india. (Source Entrackr)
- WhatsApp’s largest market is that of India.
- In 2014, the app had 50 million monthly active users in India.
- This had risen to 70 million users in the autumn of that year.
- By 2017, there were 200 million WhatsApp users in India.
- There are now half a billion active users in the country.
- This means 10% of WhatsApp users are in India.
- The WhatsApp Pay peer-to-peer money transfer feature is only available in India.
- This might help explain the app’s popularity in the country.
- The Business app, which was only launched in 2018, has 50 million active users (Source Tech Crunch)
- Facebook estimated WhatsApp’s worth at a staggering $19 billion when iT bought the app in 2014. Back then, WhatsApp had 450 million monthly active users. Of the WhatsApp monthly active users that year, 70% of them were accessing the app every day. (Source Forbes). The growth rate of people who use WhatsApp has been climbing ever since:
(Source Business of Apps, graph source AppMagic)
Key WhatsApp Statistics No. 2: 99% open rate on the API messenger
According to Telemedia interviewing, this stat comes from businesses who had tried the business version. Users even replied to 40% of their messages!
Key WhatsApp Statistics No. 3: 40 million WhatsApp users a month look at WhatsApp catalogues in the app (Source WhatsApp)
This is a superb statistic for businesses. Catalogues are an easy way for potential customers to find and browse products while using their favourite messaging app.
They can even share catalogues and items using a business’ links on its website, Instagram or Facebook page.
For the last four of our seven important WhatsApp statistics, let’s get them straight from the horse’s mouth.
Let’s look at some Meta case studies to see eCommerce in action with the app. We’ll see that good connections with your customers who use WhatsApp can lead to increased sales, increased loyalty and increased profits.
Key WhatsApp Statistics No. 4: 42% increase in net margin interest income through WhatsApp at Bank Mandiri (Source Meta)
Indonesia’s largest bank started communicating with customers through the business platform. Examples of these messaging communications included instant messaging to install plans and personalise credit card payments.
- The bank experienced a 42% increase in net margin interest income and 56% increase in credit card applicants responding to verification notices.
- 37% of all conversions occurred through WhatsApp.
- WhatsApp has become the bank’s number one channel for conversions over other channels like SMS, telesales, call centres, website and mobile apps.
Key WhatsApp Statistics No. 5: 70% resolution rate on customer enquiries without having to contact live support at Modanisa (Source Meta)
This popular Turkish fashion label started to use the business platform version of the messaging app.
Communicating in five languages using this most popular messaging app improved its customer service and all-round customer experience.
- The company found it could resolve 70% of customer enquiries without having to use live support.
- This meant a 36% saving on costs of operating call centres.
- They saw that customers over half the customers using WhatsApp switched from the call centre to a conversational channel.
- When Modanisa introduced a new chatbot, 55% of customers used it to place their first-ever orders over WhatsApp.Key WhatsApp Statistics No. 6: a fivefold increase in customer enquiries at Omay (Source Meta)
This India-based healthy snack brand enhanced the personalisation of their shopping experience using the app.
Their stats show that thanks to the customers who use WhatsApp, they were able to dramatically increase their conversion rate into a fivefold increase in sales. They now use WhatsApp as their main online channel.
- The company saw a fivefold increase in enquiries compared to the previous email channel.
- There was a threefold increase in repeat customers over a year.
- Retail sales quintupled over a year, thanks mainly to the instant messaging app.
Key WhatsApp Statistics No. 7: a 70% increase in sales at Chéel (Source Meta)
This sustainable bag retailer took up WhatsApp Business to connect better with its customers and increase awareness of its brand.
WhatsApp users used QR codes via the app so it could better share product information with its customers, the business saw a resulting 70% increase in sales.
- The retailer saw a 70% increase in sales over a two-month period.
- From the number of WhatsApp users, 80% of new customers over a three-month period engaged with a WhatsApp QR code to start transactions.
We have only looked at seven of all the WhatsApp statistics out there about this extraordinary messaging app, but they all illustrate the power of the most downloaded app in the world.
We’ve seen that WhatsApp usage is at 2 billion monthly active users, making WhatsApp the leader among messaging apps. We’ve also looked at some intriguing breakdowns of the WhatsApp user statistics.
Whatever your business, you can take advantage of the huge number of WhatsApp daily active users, and with WhatsApp user growth looking as if it’s going to keep on climbing, it’s a great time to use WhatsApp and and grow with it.
¹ WhatsApp Blog. Two billion monthly users – connecting the world privately. WhatsApp. (2020, February 12)