1. Startups

Alfamart Takes Advantage of the WhatsApp Application, Expands Omnichannel

WhatsApp Business released the Flows feature, Meta Verification, and is developing AI to improve quality and speed

Alfamart announced that in the near future people will be able to communicate and place orders directly via WhatsApp. Consumers can browse the product catalog online, add items to their basket, before proceeding to the Alfamart payment system.

All purchases and payments will be completed outside WhatsApp on an external payment system managed and owned by Alfamart. After that, the order will be delivered to the consumer's address from the nearest Alfamart outlet. This experience will be available in the coming months.

This information was conveyed on the sidelines of the first WhatsApp Business Summit conference which was held in Jakarta today (1/11), attended by more than 1.500 participants, consisting of small entrepreneurs, companies and developer.

"Alfamart has succeeded in utilizing WhatsApp effectively to make it easier for our customers to access our loyalty program. Right now, we're excited about using WhatsApp to deliver experiences online-to-offline "which is simple and reliable for our consumers," said Alfagift Chief Commercial Officer, Alfamart Linda Valentin in an official statement.

Alfamart Experience on WhatsApp / WhatsApp

Alfamart initiative to enter omnichannel has started since the pandemic. WhatsApp is also Alfamart's tool for communicating with consumers. However, the flow is slightly different from the latest plans announced by the company today.

Based on guidance DailySocial.id, the Alfamart business account on WhatsApp is the starting gate for online shopping. With the message instruction "Shop", Alfamart will direct consumers to the Alfagift website page to shop from the available catalogue. Delivery to the destination address will be made from the nearest shop.

For experience omnichannel, offered via the Alfagit application. The flow is the same, consumers choose items from the available catalogue. However, consumers can choose the delivery method: Pick up at the Store or Send to Home.

“Indonesians love and use WhatsApp to send messages to friends, family and to more and more businesses because it is simple, secure and private. "Since 2022, daily conversations between individuals and businesses on WhatsApp in Indonesia will almost double, and we are determined to continue supporting the development of the digital ecosystem in Indonesia," said Meta Indonesia Country Director Pieter Lydian.

Country Director, Meta Indonesia Pieter Lydian / WhatsApp

It was explained that currently as many as one billion people around the world send business messages every week via the Meta messaging application. This behavior is growing increasingly rapidly throughout the world, one of which is Indonesia which is the leading country in its implementation.

Quoting from Business Messaging Usage Research by Kantar in March 2023, it was revealed that at least 9 out of 10 people in Indonesia said that they sent business messages at least once a week. Meta 2023 internal data also shows that daily conversations between customers and business people have almost doubled in Indonesia compared to last year.

WhatsApp Innovation

On this occasion, Peter also introduced a new feature, Flows. This feature gives businesses the ability to provide a variety of experiences, such as quickly selecting an airplane seat or making an appointment. Everything is done without having to leave the chat.

“With Flows, businesses can provide a variety of complete menu options and forms that can be adapted to various needs. The WhatsApp Flows feature is now available globally for businesses using the WhatsApp Business platform.”

Faster Chat Experience with Flows / WhatsApp

Apart from that, WhatsApp Business also provides Meta Verification for businesses. This step is to reassure customers that they are interacting with an official business account. To get verified, businesses can demonstrate their authenticity to Meta. Afterwards, the business will get a verified badge, enhanced account support, and protection from impersonation.

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This verification will come with additional premium features. Other capabilities added include the ability to create special WhatsApp pages that will be easy to find via web search and multi-device support so that several employees can respond to customers.

"We will trial Meta Verification first with small-scale businesses that use the WhatsApp Business application, before introducing it to businesses on the WhatsApp Business Platform in the future."

Meta Verified Business on WhatsApp / WhatsApp

In the near future, WhatsApp will support business people in improving the quality and speed of the services they provide to customers through the use of artificial intelligence (AI) solutions. Currently, it is still in the testing stage of AI specifically designed for business needs, so that every business can have AI that is able to interact with customers to make sales and provide support services.

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