WhatsApp: The New Business Card, Storefront, And Cash Register

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Nearly half of the 430 million internet users in India use WhatsApp and businesses want their hands in that pie. From the country’s leading online ticketing portal BookMyShow to travel booking website Goibibo and even offline luxury watch retailer Ethos, several companies are taking to the Facebook-owned messaging service to engage with customers old and new. Besides having two-way conversations on the app, they are using artificial intelligence (AI), data analytics, and voice-recognition technology to optimise WhatsApp as a whole new sales and marketing channel.

WhatsApp, however, comes with its own share of problems.

“It’s going to add a lot of momentum in terms of revenue for these brands but the reason it is still not there yet is simply because the feet on the street are missing,” Sanchit Vir Gogia, Chief Analyst at research and advisory firm Greyhound Research, said. WhatsApp will have to have staff on the street explaining the business-related features to small businesses—something the company hasn’t done much of yet, he said.

Then, there are concerns about data security and privacy. “…So that stops a lot of businesses from using it,” Gogia said, adding that brands have to protect their reputation and ensure there are no breaches.



Sanchit Vir Gogia: Sanchit is the Chief Futurist, Founder & CEO of Greyhound Knowledge Group, a Global Strategy & Transformation Research, Advisory & Consulting Group. He also serves as Chief Analyst & CEO of Greyhound Research, a Global, Award-Winning, Independent Technology & Innovation Research, Advisory & Consulting firm. To read more about him, click here.

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