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How brands can win on WhatsApp Pay

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Western brands will need to invest heavily in their Product eContent if they are to compete on the new WhatsApp Pay social commerce platform.

Hot on the heels of the launch of Facebook and Instagram Shops, Facebook has made another significant step forward with its social commerce strategy by announcing that WhatsApp will be offering digital payment services[1].

WhatsApp Pay will let users send one another money for free or make purchases from small businesses.

WhatsApp Pay is the Facebook-owned app’s new social commerce service – Image source: WhatsApp

Facebook making big social commerce strides

To remain consistent with the line taken in the Facebook and Instagram Shops announcement, Facebook has said that WhatsApp Pay is designed to help small businesses.

But we all know full well that – as in the case of Facebook and Instagram Shops – bigger brands will be scrambling to establish a highly visible presence on WhatsApp Pay. 

And who can blame them when you consider that the app has more than two billion global users?

Facebook knows that social commerce is definitely ‘the next big thing’, and the introduction of WhatsApp Pay is just the latest piece in their wider eCommerce plans.

Learning lessons from China

To say that Facebook has come out of left-field with a new innovation would be untrue. 

You may remember our focus last year on the pioneering steps that the likes of WeChat, QQ, Tmall and disruptor Pinduoduo[2] have been making into social commerce. 

Facebook has monitored the huge success that these Chinese platforms have enjoyed, and decided that the time is right to introduce its own seamless in-app social media shopping experiences to Western markets. 

One thing that has really stood out about these Chinese social commerce apps is that they have been defined by the outstanding shopping experiences that brands and retailers have been offering consumers. 

Outstanding online shopping experiences always require one magic ingredient: excellent content.

Brands will need a strong WhatsApp Pay content game

It’s vital that brands invest in great Product eContent like carefully weighted product titles, high quality images, video and expert eCommerce copywriting if they want to ‘win’ at online retailing. 

And social commerce is, of course, no different.

Brands in China have raised the bar across the globe in terms of Product eContent by using incredible interactive ‘shoppertainment’[3] content like livestreaming, mini-programs[4] and live influencer recommendations to help create online shopping experiences that drive sales. 

And this trend has accelerated during COVID-19 lockdown[5].

Product eContent-driven online shopping experiences like ‘shoppertainment’ and livestreaming have been vital to social commerce success in China – Image source: The Drum

Western brands will need to follow suit by pursuing ambitious content strategies that allow them to stand out in a crowded and competitive marketplace. These brands will need to be bold to not only entice customers but also drive loyalty and repeat business on WhatsApp Pay.

Please contact us if you’d like to learn how eBusiness Institute can help you create powerful Product eContent for WhatsApp Pay and other social commerce platforms that will generate online sales.  

This article was written and created by the eBusiness Institute team.

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eBusiness Institute focuses on the integration between marketing and sales to drive business results online and offline.

Our team has considerable experience and expertise in successfully delivering strategies, capability building and creative assets for brands that understand the importance of Digital Transformation, Product eContent, Data & Analytics, Retail Search and Retail Digital Media (RDM) to eCommerce sales success.

Please contact us if you would like to learn more about how the eBusiness Institute could help your organisation gain a competitive edge through these activities.


[1] https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-53059913

[2] https://econsultancy.com/what-s-behind-the-success-of-china-s-social-commerce-app-pinduoduo/

[3] https://www.trendhunter.com/protrends/shoppertainment

[4] https://technode.com/2020/04/23/jd-com-finally-launches-mini-programs/

[5] https://www.scmp.com/tech/e-commerce/article/3088788/social-commerce-taking-larger-share-chinas-online-retail-sales


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