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Salesforce x WhatsApp integration brings messaging tools for brands

Salesforce customers will be able to use WhatsApp for marketing, commerce and customer service messages.

Salesforce x WhatsApp integration brings messaging tools for brands

Salesforce and WhatsApp are teaming up to provide new avenues for brands to communicate with consumers through messaging, and develop new customer experiences centered around a conversation.

The partnership, announced at Salesforce’s Dreamforce conference this week, is an integration between the WhatsApp Business Platform and Salesforce Customer 360. It is expected to be generally available in 2022.

Called Whatsapp-first business messaging, it allows Salesforce customers to use WhatsApp business messaging across marketing, commerce and customer service interactions.

“We're partnering with Salesforce so all businesses that use their platform can use WhatsApp business messages to answer customer questions, run marketing campaigns, and sell directly in chat,” Mark Zuckerberg, the CEO of WhatsApp parent company Meta, wrote in a Facebook post. “More and more people prefer to communicate with businesses over text. That's why we launched our Cloud API earlier this year and are now partnering with Salesforce.”

The partnership centers one-to-one conversations as primary communication points between businesses and customers. This holds out the possibility of more direct and personalized interactions than would come from formats like email or social feeds.

The potential benefit for consumer brands comes into view in a quote from L’Oréal Chief Digital & Marketing Officer Asmita Dubey.

“As more customers use their mobile devices as their primary way to engage our brand, we need a single messaging solution that pulls in information across sales, service, marketing, commerce, and IT, to help us deliver personalized customer service, deliver product recommendations, and increase sales,” Dubey said. “Being able to do all of the above on WhatsApp as a single messaging platform could have a tremendous opportunity in beauty, to drive conversational commerce and build greater engagement.”

Through the integration, messaging can become the foundation for a wider customer experience that can be crafted using WhatsApp and Salesforce tools.

“For example, customers may receive a WhatsApp message with a reminder about an upcoming order arriving next week,” Salesforce writes. “As an extra incentive, the message could include a promotion with a 20% discount for a new or related product offering. The user could then confirm via a button whether to automatically add this new product to their next order.”

The platform will also draw on AI insights to personalize the messages with intelligent promotions and recommendations, Salesforce said.

Additionally, Salesforce will offer customizable message templates. These can include brand and product media, while others could showcase products and services with interactive messages that in turn allow consumers to purchase products in WhatsApp or leave a review. The messages will also have customizable buttons that enable users to respond with a single click, or open a web link.

When it comes to initiating a message, there is further opportunity to integrate with Salesforce Genie, a newly-launched data platform that is designed to power a real-time CRM.

“This enables companies to target those audiences with real-time data that informs Click-to-WhatsApp ads on Facebook and Instagram to drive customers to a one-to-one messaging experience,” Salesforce writes.

Ecommerce has long been an important part of Meta properties Facebook and Instagram, as brands sought to reach customers using the platform’s advertising and outreach tools. Developing more commerce tools for WhatsApp appears to be a growing focus for the platform. Last month, a new integration for consumers in India called JioMart enabled grocery shopping in WhatsApp. This underscores how WhatsApp is not only an emerging surface for commerce, but it is also one that is widely used globally. WhatsApp is also a widely used business tool, with more than 100 million messages per day on the app. Pairing it with Salesforce’s enterprise focus and data integrations, it is looking to help major brands start a conversation with consumers.

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