How to Sell Things and Accept Payments on Whatsapp Business
Updated: Feb 1, 2023
Published: Feb 1, 2023
With a massive user base of over 2 billion monthly active users, WhatsApp is one of the most popular messaging apps and personal communication platforms in the world — from India to Canada. There’s no better way to start making money online than to be where your existing and potential customers are. However, Whatsapp wasn’t built as an ecommerce tool to help small businesses process online sales transactions. So instead of manually handling DM and SMS requests and payment transfers from your customers, here’s a step-by-step guide on how to get you selling products and accepting Whatsapp payments seamlessly.
1. Set up a free WhatsApp Business Account
Download the free WhatsApp Business app from the Apple App Store or Google Play store. Set up a business account page with your business information such as business category (e.g. food delivery), website, contact information, and description.
Once it’s set up, your new business account will be tagged with the label “Business Account”, so that your customers know that you’re a trustworthy and professional business.
2. Add your ecommerce website to your WhatsApp for Business Account
First, set up an online store or sales link that will let your customers browse your products and services, and automatically pay you with their preferred payment method like credit card or cash. Some ecommerce store options that’s great for doing business on WhatsApp include:
Formapy is a simple ecommerce solution built for small businesses. As a beautiful order form integrated with online payments, it’s quick to set up and easy for you and your customers to use. You can sell everything including products, customizations, and services. And since your customers already know you personally by Whatsapp chat, FormPay directs your customers right to your order form, so they can just pick what they want to buy and pay you by their preferred payment option without clicking through endless marketing pages, making for a much better customer experience. FormPay also sends out automatic order confirmation and reminder messages, and offers you an order management dashboard.
If you have only one product to offer, you can set up a payment link with a payments service like Stripe or Paypal for customers to checkout just for that item. It keeps things simple and converts potential buyers from prospect to purchaser as fast as possible.
If you want to provide your customers with a full marketing experience, you can invest in a more complex ecommerce website like Shopify and Wix or their alternatives.
Once you have your ecommerce business website or payment link setup, be sure to link it to your business profile and catalog items.
3. Create a WhatsApp Business catalog
If you have simple products that offer no customizations, you can create a Whatsapp product catalog that showcases your products. Your customers can add your products to a cart that will be turned into an automatic Whatsapp order message to you.
However, there’s a big caveat to the Whatsapp catalog as it’s not a full-scale ecommerce solution with payment features. There are no Whatsapp pay functionalities, order management system or confirmation notifications. You will also have limited product customization abilities. This means you will still have to do additional administration work to confirm orders you receive and chase down payments manually.
If you want to get rid of all the admin hassle, add payment options, and keep the simplicity the WhatsApp catalog offers, FormPay is an alternative ecommerce solution that will help you achieve all of those needs.
4. Automate your WhatsApp customer service and sales messages
In your WhatsApp Business mobile app, you’ll find chatbot Messaging Tools in your Tools tab that allows you to set up two automated messages to streamline your customer communications so they can self-serve, and you can increase your sales conversion rates.
When new customers send you a message for the first time, you can send them an automated greeting message to introduce them to your business. In your message, you can add your ecommerce or payment link, so they can self-serve and purchase from you right away.
If you’re away, but your phone is still connected to the internet, you can send any customers a pre-written message. Again, adding your ecommerce or payment link to your message will let customers help themselves, so they can get what they want without having to wait for you to be online. You can use the chatbot to upsell any promotions too.
5. Whatsapp Marketing: Promote your WhatsApp account to customers
Getting ecommerce capabilities set up for your WhatApps profile doesn’t mean that you’ll get business right away! You still have to do good ol’ fashion marketing and customer engagement to drive sales. Some ideas include:
Connect your Facebook and Instagram account
Use Facebook and Instagram to give your customers a sneak peek behind the scenes and showcase your products in the best light. You’ll be able to connect your social media accounts in the Tools tab.
Run Facebook and Instagram ads
WhatsApp is part of the Meta family of apps, so with a Business Account, you just press a button to reach even more potential customers on the Facebook and Instagram platforms.
Promote with the WhatsApp QR code
If you interface with customers in person, you can generate a QR code to your WhatsApp Business Account from the Tools tab, and display the code for customers who are WhatsApp users to quickly scan and save your WhatsApp number for future reference.
Build a customer community group
Use WhatsApp’s group chat feature to create a customer community. You can add up to 50 people at any given time. You can use the group chat to announce promos, get feedback, test new product offerings, and connect your customers to each other. Note that once you add someone to the WhatsApp chat group, their phone number will be visible to all the members, so you’d want to get explicit permission from your customers to join the group before you add them. Alternatively, you can use FormPay to collect customer information and permissions for private mailing lists.
WhatsApp is a huge opportunity for selling online if you know how to use it well. Although it's quite limited in its ecommerce functionalities, you can use your WhatsApp Business Account with specialized ecommerce tools like FormPay and PayPal payment link to accept orders and process payments with little effort. To get started, all you have to do is:
- Set up a free WhatsApp Business Account
- Add your ecommerce website to your WhatsApp Business Account
- Create a WhatsApp catalog
- Automate your WhatsApp customer service and sales messages
- Promote your WhatsApp account to customers
For the smoothest Whatsapp online sales experience, get set up with FormPay to handle your ecommerce.