The festive season brings with it a lot of enthusiasm, and in turn, a lot of enthusiastic shoppers. Across the board, online retailers experience surges in traffic, time on site and volume of purchases.
What may be less obvious though, is how you can position yourself to maximize your potential for gaining customers and outperform your competition over the holidays.
In this article, we will discuss specific ideas on how you can capitalize on the unique strengths of the WhatsApp Business API to attract a lion’s share of online shoppers during the festive season.
1. Fashion – Put WhatsApp QR Codes on everything
That may sound like an oversimplification, but it isn’t.
If you sell any physical products, put your “Talk to us on WhatsApp now” QR code on labels, product tags, any coupons you might have and within your branding and logo sections.
Your Facebook/Instagram/YouTube/LinkedIn? Put it on there. All your other social channels need to have your QR code too.
When people scan the code, they can bypass having to add your number to their phones and be taken straight to a conversation with you. You might even have a pre-written message for them.
If you have a special festive promotion going on, make your QR code lead users straight to it.
Several case studies have shown WhatsApp QR codes work spectacularly to improve sales and overall engagement.
2. Food – Click to WhatsApp Ads with exclusive coupons
Whether you are a restaurant or a cloud kitchen, the festive season is a great time to improve reach and grow conversions.
You should consider creating a WhatsApp-exclusive discount code or combo which you can then send people to by running click-to-WhatsApp ads on Facebook. You can have users redeem their discounts by giving you a little information – their name, address, preferred cuisine.
You can also build a review base by telling people they could redeem a discount if they sent you an honest, unbiased review of your food over WhatsApp. These reviews are great social proof markers for your social channels and other marketing communication you send out.
3. Apparel – Create a loyalty program and remind customers over WhatsApp
If you do not already have a loyalty points program, the festive season is the perfect time to start. If you already have one, it is the perfect opportunity to reach out and remind your audience.
Reach out to previous buyers and tell them how many loyalty points they currently have that they aren’t taking advantage of. In the same conversation, you can suggest a few best-selling holiday items that they may be interested in and provide links to your online store.
4. Automotive – Reprioritize building trusted relationships with customers
Use the festive season to build trust with high-value customers by offering real-time customer service round-the-clock over WhatsApp.
If you have a customer service team, train them to communicate and engage with these selected customers over WhatsApp. Quick responses to queries such as service requests or diagnosing potential problems with the vehicles and offering fixes in real-time is key for maintaining a long and fruitful relationship with high-value customers.
You can create special QR codes for this WhatsApp service and advertise it across all your channels – printed promotional material, email, SMS, and other social media. Once customers have opted in, you can also send them maintenance reminders and upcoming service dates.
5. Food – Send out special holiday recipes and recommend some from your catalogue
Food is a major source of enthusiasm during the holiday season. People get together to have meals, cook special things they wouldn’t otherwise at home or just order something holiday appropriate online.
You can be a part of the holiday conversation by sending cooking instructions for popular festive meals. It is a great way to offer value to your audience.
In addition, you can also suggest something from your menu to customers who have opted into your WhatsApp communications.
If you are a restaurant, consider serving a special holiday menu during the festive season, and let people know over WhatsApp.
6. E-commerce – Regular shipping and delivery updates
The WhatsApp Business API allows you to create secure end-to-end conversations, meaning you can send customers sensitive information about their holiday purchases without worrying about the data being stolen.
If a customer has ordered multiple items at a go or has a few separate orders in progress, send them shipping updates for all the items at important points during the product transit.
For example, when your product first gets shipped from your warehouse, send them an update. When it reaches the local processing hub in their city and subsequently when it is out for delivery, you should send them updates over WhatsApp.
You can also send out gift cards that enable additional discounts or offers for people that make purchases beyond a certain amount.
7. Food – Allow people to order meals over WhatsApp
Food delivery apps work just fine, but you can offer your customers an even more hassle-free experience of ordering their meals. Lots of food orders during the holiday season are made spontaneously, so you want to make sure that there are as few steps as possible between your customer and your orders.
Using the WhatsApp API, you can create an automation flow that will guide the user through the process of selecting and then ordering a meal without having to leave the WhatsApp window.
Once the user has selected what they want to order, you can have your automation send out a payment link for the selected amount right there within the chat.
8. Apparel – Create an ‘Outfit of The Day’ contest
Creating a fun contest or a challenge around the festive season is a great way to reignite the imagination of your audience.
Let’s say you are creating a Christmas-themed promotion. You can use the WhatsApp API to create a mini-questionnaire or quiz for people who want to enter your ‘Outfit of The Day Contest.’
As part of the contest, users will have to enter their name, where they live and then send in a picture of them wearing a Christmas or winter-themed outfit built with items from your catalogue. The person with the best outfit every day (as selected by you) can get some sort of a reward – store credit for additional purchases/special gift/sponsored activity.
In return, you can use the best user submissions in your marketing – highlight the winners on your social media channels, on WhatsApp broadcasts (Here’s today’s OOTD featuring products A, B and C!) and if you can, reach out to the winners for a small interview/review that you can feature online.
9. Physical retail stores – Create offline events and market them using WhatsApp
You should have multiple advertising channels active during the festive season. Along with your online promotions, it is a great idea to create some events at your brick-and-mortar locations where people can get a more in-depth feel of your product line.
For example, you could have a special week-long holiday sale at select retail outlets. You could let people know that this sale is happening by informing them which of your locations is the closest to them. If you are not sure which is the closest, you can ask people to send in their location and you reply with a physical store that has the sale running.
Within your store, make sure your WhatsApp QR code is prominently featured. You should also consider putting the QR code on the bags and containers that you parcel your products in.
10. E-commerce – Create a referral program with an emotional hook
One of the major factors that governs which brand festive shoppers choose is how a particular product or service makes them feel. Appealing to buyer emotions is key to having a successful holiday marketing campaign.
Since you are looking to get more people to engage with your brand and purchase your product/service, why not start by recruiting your strongest cheerleaders – customers who have already purchased from you!
You should create a referral program that incentivizes people who have already bought from you to recommend your brand to people they know – friends, family, social media followers. You can frame the referral incentives in terms of community and being part of a movement in addition to the monetary benefits.
For example, if you are a fitness brand, you can make a referral campaign that goes something like “Invite your loved ones to be a part of the fitness revolution this season” or “This Diwali, give your loved ones the greatest gift of all – Good health.”
So, there you have it – 10 solid examples for using the WhatsApp Business API in your marketing to really take your brand to the next level this festive season. We hope these examples stir up some inspiration for how you can use the holidays to build a bigger audience and get more customers involved with your brand.