As apps become more prevalent, entrepreneurs and small business owners are relying on these savvy tools to help their businesses grow and run smoothly with mobile technology at the heart of the digital transformation.
It is 7a.m. Annet Nyakaisiki of Barista House Limited a long Kafumbe Mukasa road, is busy with her phone, receiving calls and replying to messages. Meanwhile, one of the barristers next to her is also busy taking notes of the different deliveries he is expected to make from the orders coming in through Nyakaisiki’s WhatsApp business.
“I got to learn about the WhatsApp business App in 2019 through a friend. I was drawn to the fact that it comes with a catalog where I can display all my products in one go with additional information,” Nyakaisiski explains.
In a report by Almaz Gebru, resident representative, United Nations Development Programme Uganda, “The mobile revolution is continuing to shape the way we do things either as individuals, or institutions. The spread of mobile phones, communication systems, and the Internet has had a big impact on job creation, business development, and transformation in several sectors.”
Nyakaisiski notices that the most important tool on WhatsApp business is the catalog because it is here that information concerning services and products offered is displayed, thus making it a marketing tool. Every product or service in the catalog has a product name, description, quality, quantity and price, among others.
According to pickyassist.com, with the WhatsApp business catalog, clients can easily browse to discover something they want to buy at their comfort unlike before when a client held several back and forth conversations, requesting a business owner to send through photos of their products.
In addition, Nyakaisiski, reveals that WhatsApp business catalog is suitable for small business owners and makes one look professional and builds credibility. However, it will depend on the way you design your catalog.
According to Pew Research Centre, messaging apps boost engagement rates and are popular among young consumers. Having direct communication with your customer base is becoming extremely important. and reaching out to customers on messaging apps is a growing strategy among marketers.
A mobile App
In 2021, the GSMA estimated that Uganda had a smartphone adoption of 16 percent, meaning majority of Ugandans have access to smartphones which they can turn into advertising platforms for their small business since the WhatsApp business is an app on a smartphone, where you can always have a connection to your clientele anywhere and at any time.
In addition, according to Maria Jose of J’S Accessories, anyone who has saved your whatsApp business number can view your catalog.
“To gain from this you need to share your contact with as many people as you can and where possible kindly ask them to save it.
The catalog simplifies communication between clients and business owners. The moment you log on, you can check the messages, orders or recommendations and react to them. It is a personalized approach of engaging clients. By introducing a product catalog, you encourage your prospective customers to buy more than they originally planned for. You allow them access to products they most likely do not know you offer, urging them to say yes to more items,” explains Maria Jose of J’S Accessories at Krsna Mart Kisementi.
With information readily available, you encourage customers to take the leap and create purchase decisions that drive your sales.
It is brief, and easier to access the business information quickly than other digital platforms such as websites which need someone to pay in order to open an account. It boosts the business’ growth and reputation as you can receive client’s feedback, improve customer care and offer timely deliveries.
Boosts online presence
By having your product catalogs spreading around, you allow more customers to become aware of your brand. A catalog can quickly entice customers into transactions with you, especially if you let them know what you can offer them. However, your online presence partly relies heavily on how you have created your catalog,
Nyakaisiski says much as the app will help you showcase your business, it also comes with disadvantages.
“Auto reply messages are annoying to some clients because the moment someone texts you, they will receive a business reply either a welcome note, thank you or maybe an advertising note. It has limited functions, for example, you can share information in terms of sending information to more than five people at once hence being tiresome and time consuming.
Some people forget to update their catalogs, maintaining products that are already off the shelf.