WhatsApp Marketing: The Role of Chatbots

Digital Marketing

With over 1 billion daily active users, it’s safe to say that WhatsApp offers an unparalleled opportunity to marketers, even when compared to other forms of social media platforms. In this blog, we look at how digital marketers can utilise chatbots to tap into this market and appeal to the current experience economy.

Chatbots – The Next Big Thing in Mobile Marketing 

 In a short period of time, voice assistants such as Siri, Alexa, and Cortana have gone from something out of science fiction to a part of many people’s daily lives. The same can be said for online website assistants (known as web bots) which have become about as commonplace as social buttons. If you’re wondering what’s next, the answer is WhatsApp chatbots.

Read More: A Beginner’s Guide to Mobile Marketing

Just like the rest, WhatsApp chatbots are powered by AI and are used to host conversations with peers. They are compatible with WhatsApp for business and are most often utilised to manage queries, make appointments, or put users in direct contact with salespeople. However, innovative marketers are also leveraging this technology to drive sales and boost conversion rates. Moreover, WhatsApp chatbots help brands satisfy customers’ desire for personalisation, interactivity, and convenience.

The Benefits and Uses of WhatsApp Chatbots:

1. Meet Customers Where They Are 

As customer expectations escalate, many companies have turned to an omnichannel marketing approach to increase engagement levels. WhatsApp chatbots provide the perfect opportunity for brands to extend this strategy to one of the most used social media platforms. If you’re using Instagram to market a product, why not use WhatsApp as well? Not to mention that an increasing number of people prefer texting to any other form of brand communication.

2. Build Brand Identity 

A WhatsApp bot provides a medium that companies can leverage to communicate their brand identity to potential customers. Humanizing a bot with a unique brand identity can help elevate the shopper experience and encourage customer loyalty.

3. Enhance Customer Service 

Chatbots have been lauded as revolutionary to customer service, and if you think about it, it’s not hard to see why. They’re online all the time, which means round-the-clock replies for customers seeking assistance and answers. These speedy replies also help increase customer retention and keep customers happy.

What’s more is that these bots can offer interactive customer experiences, with some brands even going as far as creating games and quizzes to gather customer data and promote positive brand experiences.

It’s worth noting that these bots can be used for a variety of different purposes across industries – from appointment confirmations in real estate to supporting e-commerce sales funnels.

While you’re here: Brand Storytelling: How to Engage Your Target Audience on Social Media

4. Reach a Wider Audience

As mentioned above, WhatsApp has billions of daily users, meaning a brand’s target audience is more likely to be on this social networking platform than any other. Bots are also used to increase basket value for e-commerce brands by encouraging upsells or cross-sells. They are very effective in this marketing strategy as they can present these products when the customer is busy with the transaction and therefore most interested in the brand.

5. Appeal to the Desire for Personalisation

Customers appreciate a level of personalisation, particularly when it comes to ads. Personalised content in most cases equates to relevant content. Chatbots can use past customer data to create tailored conversations and recommend unique products and services. Relating to the aforementioned point about upsells – chatbots are sometimes known as ‘personal shopping assistants’ and can relay important information to shoppers regarding stock availability, specials, etc.

Brands That Are Getting It Right:


The well-known grocery retailer launched a user-friendly chatbot to help shoppers find deals and relevant information. The chatbot gives users the option to sign-up for their rewards program, view specials leaflets, find stores and buy virtual vouchers.

WhatsApp chatbotsSource: Apex

Carling Black Label 

Carling Black Label’s WhatsApp chatbot forms part of its #NoExcuses campaign. This campaign was created under lockdown level four in 2020 to help victims of gender-based violence. The bot provides information and guidance on GBV and refers those in need to counselors.


As one of the biggest airlines in the world, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines built a WhatsApp chatbot to send booking confirmations to passengers, remind them of check-in times, and update them on flight changes and delays.

KLM Chatbot

Source: NetImperative

Read More: Customer Experience in the New Normal: How Covid-19 Transformed CX

Final Thoughts 

With such a wide scope of uses, WhatsApp chatbots are sure to become more commonplace. Now is the time for marketers to take advantage of this innovative technology to strengthen their brand identity, enhance customer service and ultimately take customer experience to the next level.

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