Initially known as a simple messaging app, WhatsApp was transformed in 2018 to include a business-focused alternative. Five years since its creation, WhatsApp Business is bearing fruit and has proven to be especially popular in Latin American countries like Brazil and Mexico.
According to DataReportal, We Are Social, and Meltwater studies, WhatsApp usage rates in certain countries like Brazil and Mexico exceeded 90% in 2022. WhatsApp’s popularity in Latin America becomes even more striking when compared to the United States, where the business application’s revenues are significantly lower.
Developed “with the small business owner in mind,” the WhatsApp Business App offers business owners an efficient way to organize and process communication with their customers. In June 2022, the app was downloaded nearly 70 million times in Brazil, making it the third country with the highest number of downloads for that month.
According to an analysis by AppMagic, in December 2022, Brazil led in revenue generation through the app with an astonishing figure of USD $5.28 billion, followed by Mexico with USD $1.94 billion. These data highlight Latin America’s importance, particularly Brazil, in Meta and WhatsApp’s business expansion strategy.
Brazil’s supremacy in this area is no coincidence. Meta chose Brazil as a pioneer market to test WhatsApp’s payment function, called WhatsApp Pay, competing with China’s successful WeChat. In collaboration with the ecommerce platform Mercado Libre, WhatsApp Pay has reentered the Brazilian market with a strong focus on in-app payments for purchases from small businesses.
While the traditional version of WhatsApp has been designed for personal communication, WhatsApp Business is specifically oriented towards the needs of businesses and business owners.
At first glance, both apps may seem similar, but key differences set them apart. For instance, WhatsApp Business allows companies to create a business profile with essential information such as the company’s address, description, email address, and website. Moreover, this business version offers tools like auto-replies and labels to organize chats, making managing multiple conversations with customers easier.
A particularly useful feature of WhatsApp Business is the catalog function. Companies can showcase their products or services directly within the chat, allowing customers to see the full range of offerings without leaving the app.
This level of integration makes the buying process more seamless and can ultimately increase conversion rates. By leveraging WhatsApp’s messaging capabilities, businesses can provide better customer service and send important notifications, order confirmations, and other relevant information efficiently and securely.
The migration towards digitalization has led small businesses to seek practical and low-cost solutions to interact with their customers. In this context, WhatsApp Business becomes an invaluable tool, especially in markets like Brazil and Mexico, where the app’s penetration is exceptionally high.
The ease of use and familiarity of WhatsApp’s format allow businesses to reach a broad customer base without incurring significant additional costs, as would be the case with more complex enterprise software platforms.