When it comes to app popularity, it is hard to argue that WhatsApp Messenger with 2 billion users in 180 countries hasn’t been a smashing success.
At the time it was acquired by Facebook in 2014 for $19 billion, WhatsApp wasn’t making much money and was mostly popular outside the United States. However, WhatsApp was so successful, some believe Facebook viewed it as a potential threat to its core business which resulted in the large price tag for the acquisition.
Despite WhatsApp (and Facebook’s) more recent privacy issues related to collecting e-commerce behaviors of its users and the steady erosion of users moving to Signal and Telegram, the app continues to be a solid go-to for users around the world to communicate easily and cost effectively. This growth chart tells the story.
|*Stats courtesy of BusinessofApps.com|
So how does WhatsApp’s popularity relate to the business of marketplaces?
Marketplaces are all about engagement. Buyers and sellers. The more their users transact, the happier the marketplaces are. Many marketplaces (cars, real estate, financial services, insurance, etc.) are facilitating high involvement purchases. A high involvement purchase is something so important or expensive that you want to be crystal clear on the details before purchasing.
It’s Proven that High Involvement Purchases Often Result in a Phone Call
What’s a marketplace to do if they want to enable easy communications? Well, to keep costs down and make a call free for the buyer, many companies have chosen to incorporate a “call now” functionality into their home-grown mobile apps.
What better call enablement functionality to include than WhatsApp, the leader in worldwide free calling? Customers are already familiar with it and with a simple plug-in the “call now” button just wakes up the core dialing application and connects buyer and seller.
This is an example of this type of WhatsApp plug-in on a marketplace website. Seems like a perfect solution, right? Unfortunately not!
The WhatsApp plug-in is effective at making the call, but just like our screwdriver and hammer analogy, it’s not fit for purpose and here’s why.
iovox WebConnect is far more effective than WhatsApp for Marketplaces
When a marketplace opts for our latest innovation, iovox WebConnect, in place of WhatsApp, calls are still free to the person tapping the ‘call now’ button. The call is connected over a highly reliable, global network maintained by iovox and trusted by big brands around the world to carry important telecommunications. But here’s where it gets really interesting for the marketplace company.
5 reasons why WebConnect is the ideal fit for marketplace companies compared to WhatsApp
- Direct calls to the right location. With iovox Call Rules, you can set up simple, or very sophisticated routing rules for any call initiated by a WebConnect button. Want to route inquiries on a certain product type based on sales price to a VIP hotline and have the best salespeople focus on those opportunities? No problem. Iovox Call Rules allow for optimal call handling and making sure you’re matching up interested buyers with the best suited sellers.
- Improve your brand. As a marketplace, you want to remind your sellers of your value, so they continue listing their great products and services on your site. With iovox Call Whispers, every time a WebConnect call is initiated, the person receiving the call will hear a simple whisper indicating the call came from their listing on your platform. A simple, but powerful reminder of the value of your marketplace.
- Spot Trends and Improve Quality. With iovox Insights, our new Conversational AI solution, any call that is originated by a WebConnect button can be recorded, transcribed, analyzed, and keywords identified that match any criteria you or your sellers want to establish. For any business that wants to improve quality (are your reps going through their scripts correctly?), or spot trends (are you getting a lot of calls for a particular kind of product?), iovox Insights is a huge value-added service.
- Better decision making based on data. When used in a website, your marketing team will love the ability to see which pages were visited right before the call was made. This enables fine tuning of your webpage content, along with experimentation for strategic placement of the call buttons on your pages.
- Return call (outbound) tracking to see if leads are being followed up. As we mentioned in an earlier blog, some of our WebConnect marketplace customers are using the solution to monitor whether calls are being returned in a timely manner. Also, by pairing WebConnect with iovox Insights, our Conversational AI solution, marketplaces can determine the quality of interactions between buyers and sellers.
These are just a few of the ways that iovox is a more complete and valuable solution than WhatsApp when it comes to marketplace implementations.
If your marketplace wants to enable free calling from interested buyers to motivated sellers, iovox WebConnect is one of several tools by iovox that are truly “fit for purpose”.
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