WhatsApp has been actively working on the business line in recent years. Following WhatsApp Business, WhatsApp Business API was developed. Although the latter product was issued more than a year ago, businessmen still try to figure out the difference between the two and make the best choice. Let us discuss it together.
The first difference which is the reason for many derivative ones is how the two solutions work. WhatsApp Business is a smartphone application which has a desktop version and a web version as well. It is a finished product with fixed (therefore limited) functions. Only one person can work in the application directly. WhatsApp is sensitive about security issues.
WhatsApp Business API is an API platform. In order to install and maintain it, it is required to involve either a technician, or external resources for integration. But API has more capabilities. You will get access to the code together with some additional functions and benefits described below.
Verification is an account confirmation to obtain the official status from WhatsApp Inc. Such companies can use their names instead of phone numbers. They also have green ticks near the accounts’ names. The name and the tick increase brand recognition and customer trust.
Any company which has connected WhatsApp Business API can apply for verification. Users of WhatsApp Business do not have such an opportunity. However, it is only large international brands which can receive approval in most cases now.
WhatsApp spamming is a straight way to being blocked regardless of whether it is a personal account, a business account, or Business API. Nevertheless, the last solution has functions for safe mass messaging with the help of templates.
These templates allow you to send service, technical, transactional, and informational messages to users even if they have not written to you before. Mass messaging regarding a New Year promotion is not possible but you can easily inform your customers on their booking numbers, send them tickets, or remind them on the time of a webinar they have registered to.
API connection allows for integrating with additional services (CRM system, artificial intelligence, or internal software). A WhatsApp Business account cannot be directly connected to such programs. Some CRMs involve minimum messenger integration. Connection via a chat center is more functional. However, mass messaging can lead to account blocking in this case.
WhatsApp Business is a free application. WhatsApp Business API is a paid function. Its final cost consists of a monthly fee to the provider (it is impossible to connect the solution without one) and to the chat center. The cost also includes payment for template messages.
Business Size Difference
The cost of WhatsApp Business API is becoming more affordable but this solution is still not cost-effective for small companies. It will simply not pay off, while the functions of WhatsApp Business will be more than enough. The platform will be suitable for large companies with a lot of customers, and for medium business focused on high-quality service and scaling.
What to choose?
WhatsApp Business is good for small and medium-sized companies which do not encounter a large request flow in their messengers. It has everything to set up minimum automation. The application is user-friendly and does not require any specific skills. Communication with customers is simple and comfortable. Moreover, the application is free.
WhatsApp Business API is a more serious product. It has more capabilities and more requirements. In order to connect and maintain the solution, you need either your own technician, or a mediator, for example, a chat center. This solution is more expensive but you receive many capabilities such as the official Write First function, and integration with external services.
Although both products are intended for communication with customers in WhatsApp, they focus on different business needs. First of all, you should determine what you need and compare it to what you can — then select the right product. In order to make it easier to decide, find out the cost of WhatsApp Business API for your case and apply for a consultation. You can do it here