AHMEDABAD: TBS Planet Comics pivoted from print to digital some months ago prompted by what’s proving to be a boon for young enterprises — the introduction of WhatsApp Business app. The Bengaluru-based comics publisher has garnered 2,000 premium subscribers in the four months since it began publishing on WhatsApp, growing at 40% month-on-month.
“We started with printing comic books in 2016 and recently, after WhatsAppBusiness (was launched here)… we pivoted to digital comics,” said founder Rajeev Tamhankar, an alumnus of IIT-Roorkee who earlier worked at Flipkart and Xiaomi before venturing into comic books. “Ever since, we have started focusing heavily on WhatsApp subscriptions and our mobile app.”
Facebook-owned WhatsApp, the largest messaging app in India with more than 200 million users, in January officially launched its WhatsApp Business app in the country. The app is particularly aimed at making communicating with customers easier for small businesses. Several companies in India, including large enterprises such as Oyo and Bookmyshow, have since started using WhatsApp Business to interact with customers. The Android app is free to download. “The WhatsApp Business app is designed for small businesses. We are currently testing a solution for larger businesses—like an airline, ecommerce company or bank—to connect with their customers on WhatsApp,” a company spokesman said in an email, adding more than 3 million people globally are actively on WhatsApp Business.
He didn’t give specific numbers for India but gave another example of Bengaluru-based Unikorn Pet Services that uses the away message feature on WhatsApp Business to speed up customer interactions, and the quick replies feature to answer frequently asked ques- tions instantly.
“We have been able to scale our business very well (via WhatsApp Business) because of two reasons—personalisation and engagement,” said Tamhankar. “If some story is doing good, subscribers swamp our WhatsApp with ‘likes’ and ‘heart’ smileys, and if they hate something, they let us know.”
Similarly, Glassic, a maker of eyeglasses and sunglasses, has started communicating with its customers through WhatsApp, sending specific images and videos of products that customers ask for. Once customers make their selections, Glassic sends a payment link via WhatsApp that takes them to the company’s website to place the final order.
“Emails and SMSes aren’t the best way to communicate to customers, as SMSes could be too intrusive and emails are checked sporadically,” said cofounder Kailash Nichani. “WhatsApp seems to be a comfortable way (to communicate with customers) probably because people are so used to it.”
Larger companies, too, have been quick to get onboard WhatsApp Business.
Online travel platforms MakeMyTrip and Goibibo have integrated WhatsApp Enterprise solutions for delivering e-tickets and hotel booking vouchers to customers, as well as to allow them to select their seats on planes.
For hotels chain OYO, an early adopter of WhatsApp Enterprise Solution since November, the messaging app’s global reach has made it easier to communicate with its international guests.
OYO allows both booking and cancellations via WhatsApp and plans to also take feedback via the platform.
“With WhatsApp, we have seen an increased level of engagement with our guests. The response rate for booking confirmations received through the platform has jumped multifold in comparison to SMS,” said COO Abhinav Sinha.
Ticket booking platform BookMyShow has made WhatsApp its default ticket confirmation channel for customers. “For us, the potential of WhatsApp goes way beyond just being a ticket confirmation channel,” said product head Ravdeep Chawla. “It was about enhancing convenience and ease for our users.”
Source by gadgetsnow