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Web Summit 2020 Talk: Whatsapp for Business



 It was the task of Michiel Mikx (CM.com) to explain the business benefits of the popular messaging app, Whatsapp, during today’s web summit roundtable discussion. The Lisbon based online chat also featured Egor Goroshko of Ukrainian tech Collabio, a teamwork focused document editor, and Swiss television social media developer, Isabelle Schwab. Both guests joined in from the audience, a nice little feature that was opened to the remaining 240 eager eyes in the meeting but politely declined, it seems we’re all camera shy. Mikx and CM.com lead the talk explaining their cloud based conversational commerce platform. Working with brand such as BMW and Booking.com the company handles both chat and commerce in one platform, allowing big events to manage customers easily through chatbots and conversation. The Dutch company were even at the helm of organising tickets for the sadly cancelled return of Formula 1 to the Netherlands, damn you COVID. 


In the past 10 months, Whatsapp’s user base grew from 1.5 billion to 2.1 and so the opportunity for commerce has never been better. By using Facebook, who own Whatsapp, approved APIs business can fully integrate themselves into the messaging app. This starts a dialogue unlike any other business to customer conversation. The casual and familiar nature of the app was praised alongside its low reliance on signal quality. Customers have the ability to chat anywhere, immediately and at their own free will. Not only is there an abundance of freedom but also a range of media capabilities. Whatsapp can send pictures, audio and video which could infinitely help customer service; can’t explain what’s wrong with your laptop? Send a picture!   



Security was also on the agenda, Whatsapp famously uses peer-to-peer connection which keeps conversation, while this has come under fire in recent years the tide may change as businesses get involved. While it seems from a business perspective, Whatsapp only really has its uses in customer service but Mikx argued there was B2B potential. Software on Whatsapp business would integrate abilities that help operational facilities as well. Noting that updates on certain services such as flights, meetings or deliveries through the app and even E-signature technology to help legal process. I was initially sceptic of Whatsapp business but once the opportunities were explored, it seemed a given. Whatsapp business is here already but is only slowly being embraced by the biggest brands. Come next year’s Web Summit, however, and you may be able to book your tickets through the messaging app. 

 

At the conclusion of the discussion, CM.com even offered a 'digital goodie bag' featuring a Whatsapp chatbot. A nice little touch and the first goodie bag I've received in a long time.


Sam Wallace - Podcast Producer/Presenter & Video Editor

Web Summit 2020 Talk: Whatsapp for Business Reviewed by Jack Glidewell on Friday, December 04, 2020 Rating: 5

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