Over the past few years, WhatsApp has emerged as the primary communication channel for many notable brands. The flexibility of the platform has allowed businesses of all sizes to leverage it to its full potential.
Whether it’s Customer Care or Conversational Commerce, WhatsApp’s product features have enabled companies to make it an integral part of their digital transformation strategy. Brands have seen significant growth in their revenue, decreased costs, and improved Customer Satisfaction and Net Promoter Score with this channel.
Download Report: How is WhatsApp Shaping Commerce?
As India’s leading WhatsApp solution provider, we have been informed that WhatsApp is revising its pricing strategy, and we’d like to explain the New WhatsApp Business Pricing and what this means for your business.
In this blog, we’ll discuss what the new pricing is and how it affects your investment into WhatsApp, and much more. Let’s dive straight in!
Current WhatsApp Business Pricing Model:
Before we introduce the new WhatsApp Business Pricing Model, let’s understand the current WhatsApp Business Pricing:
- WhatsApp only charges for business-initiated messages their customers have opted-in to receive – like a delivery notification, for example.
- When a customer (user) sends you a message, you can reply for free for up to 24 hours from the last user message.
Per message rates when messaging a user with an Indian phone number are included below (in INR):
New WhatsApp Business Pricing Model:
Why is WhatsApp making this change now?
In a recent survey by Kantar, businesses reported that the WhatsApp API led to 89% higher average CSAT rating and 133% higher agent efficiency compared to alternative customer service channels. WhatsApp believes in the power of conversations to build customer relationships and is continuing to invest in making it easier to drive business outcomes across the customer journey by:
- Building rich, interactive features like the recently launched list messages and reply buttons
- Creating the ability for businesses to send new types of proactive notifications, such as back in stock updates
- Making user-initiated conversation rates accessible so businesses can maintain an always-on presence on WhatsApp
Now that you’ve understood the current WhatsApp Business Pricing model and why WhatsApp is adopting a new pricing model, let’s look into what’s new?
The first thing to note here is that WhatsApp is now moving to a conversation-based pricing model, with different pricing depending on who initiates the conversation.
- When the user initiates the conversation, WhatsApp would charge ~30p.
- When the business initiates the conversation, WhatsApp would charge ~50p.
- The first 1,000 conversations each month are free so businesses can start to build experiences their customers will find valuable before they begin to pay
As per the new WhatsApp Business Pricing, this is how the Cost Per Conversation (in INR) looks like when messaging users with an India phone number:
Here’s how a change in WhatsApp Business pricing is going to be a lot more beneficial and valuable to you:
- The first thousand conversations are free so your business can start to build experiences your customers will love. When you’re ready to expand 1000 conversations per month, WhatsApp’s pricing applies.
- The first conversation that originates from Ads that Click to WhatsApp or Page CTAs on Facebook will be free.
- A business can send free-form messages within 24 hours of the last user message in a conversation. If it’s been more than 24 hours since the last user message, a business must send a message template. The delivery of a message template opens a new, business-initiated conversation.
- WhatsApp now allows businesses to send more types of messages to people who opt-in to receive them - Personalized product recommendations, informational alerts, relevant offers, etc.
Ensure that you don’t spam your users with numerous messages, as this will reduce your Quality Rating.
The new rate card would kick in from February 1st, 2022.
Now that we’ve looked at the numbers; let’s understand what User-Initiated Conversations and Business Initiated Conversations mean. We'll explain the two different scenarios in these two categories.
Scenario 1: Customer care or general support inquiries in a single 24-hour conversation session.
Our user, Karan Mehta, messages Fly Airways with a question about an upcoming reservation. When Fly Airways’ reply message is delivered, it starts the 24-hour conversation session.
In this scenario, all additional messages are free within the 24-hour session. This encourages Fly Airways to follow up with support inquiries promptly while providing users the ability to exchange as many messages as needed to resolve concerns within the 24-hour session.
If Fly Airways continues to exchange messages with Karan after the initial 24-hour conversation session has ended, they’ll incur costs related to a new conversation. They’ll also be required to send a message template to start a new conversation if it’s been more than 24 hours since Karan’s last message, which will be charged as a business-initiated conversation.
In this scenario, Karan gets the info he needs about his reservation, and Fly Airways pays for one user-initiated conversation.
Scenario 2: User-initiated conversation leads to two conversations with a message template required.
Karan wants to check on an order he placed with Fashion Footwear, an online shoe retailer. He does so at 1:13 pm.
Fashion Footwear has a bot set up to reply to basic order inquiries and responds to Karan with delivery details at 1:13 pm.
As a follow-up the next day, the Fashion Footwear bot lets Karan know that his order has been delivered at 3:45 pm.
When the Fashion Footwear bot replies to Karan more than 24 hours after the first message confirming the delivery ETA, it starts a new conversation. Fashion Footwear also has to use a message template because it’s been more than 24 hours since Karan’s last message.
In this scenario, Fashion Footwear pays for one user-initiated and one business-initiated conversation.
Business Initiated Conversations:
Scenario 1: Business initiates the delivery of a message template.
- When a flight is delayed or its status changes, Fly Airways alerts customers who have opted in to receive notifications using a message template.
- Two message templates sent in a single 24-hour conversation session result in one business-initiated conversation charge.
In this scenario, Fly Airways wants to let Karan know that his flight is delayed by 30 minutes.
Fly Airways will be charged for one business-initiated conversation for the delivery of these two message templates to Karan within a 24-hour conversation session.
Scenario 2: Business initiated with user reply leading to a single conversation.
- When a customer places a new order from Fashion Footwear, the online retailer sends a text message to confirm the order has been received and asks the customer if they’d like to receive a notification when it ships.
- The customer selects Yes and opts into receiving additional order notifications.
In this scenario, Fashion Footwear pays for a single, business-initiated conversation. If the user replies more than 24 hours after the initial business message delivery and that is followed by a business reply, that will result in a new, user-initiated conversation.
Let’s look at how the New WhatsApp Business Pricing model will work out to be more profitable for your business:
Interested in knowing more about WhatsApp’s New Pricing Model
Reps are standing by to answer your questions about our products and services.
Helping you navigate through the New WhatsApp Business Pricing
If you’ve already invested in WhatsApp, you would have seen the results yourself. WhatsApp is a channel that lowers your customer support costs significantly by reducing the resolution time. Our customers have also seen a drastic increase in cart addition and conversion rates.
In the past few months, WhatsApp has rolled out new types of business messaging features relevant to millions of businesses and will continue to work on the capabilities of its WhatsApp Business API.
We are being proactive and sharing this in advance so that you can sensitize the sponsors and give them more context on this. We want to help you in every step of the way to understand the impact of the new price on your total cost so that it becomes easier for you to track the usage costs and invest more in this channel and continue to derive even greater value.
If your competitors are moving away because of this, you need to double down on WhatsApp and look at it as a D2C channel and capture more market share.
Final Thoughts on the New WhatsApp Business Pricing
The change in the pricing model was well expected by us, other BSPs, and our customers too. With brands now realizing the potential of WhatsApp as a channel, they’re ready to invest in it.
As an official WhatsApp Business Solution Provider, Haptik has implemented WhatsApp solutions for several brands such as JioMart, OYO, HDFC, Disney+ Hotstar, Tata Mutual Fund, to name a few. We have built the world’s largest WhatsApp chatbot for MyGov India.
We want to partner with you as you embark on your growth journey