We will shortly be reaching out to the business messaging community asking for their views on how the Covid-19 pandemic has affected their business during the lockdown, and what their expectations are when the global lockdown comes to an end and life returns to whatever the new normal will be.
Mobilesquared believes there has been an upsurge in the number of people downloading WhatsApp, as communities come together in unison to communicate with their friends, family, neighbours in groups during this period of lockdown. New groups have emerged, people added, and traffic will be approaching New Year’s Eve levels most likely on a daily basis, as people check-in and communities look after one another.
Lockdown will have highlighted to business owners of all sizes how powerful WhatsApp can be when it comes to communicating with the local community. For small and micro businesses in particular, they will look to capitalise on this togetherness and resurrected support for local businesses, and use the WhatsApp Business App to drive their messages. To remind people they are still operating, or that they have re-opened following the lock down, or that they are running an offer on produce or stock, or that they have appointments available. The fact is there will be an unprecedented increase in companies using WhatsApp Business App on the other side of this pandemic.
At the end of 2019 we calculated that 5.25 million companies were using the WhatsApp Business App, (with growth likely to be limited over the coming 5 years based on growth levels from the previous 2 years). Right now, that means there has been a miserly 5% conversion rate of the 100 million plus downloads of the app to date.
Potentially, we might see a fall of around 25% of micro and small businesses from the total of WhatsApp Business App users in 2020, but then an acceleration of the dormant businesses that had downloaded the App but are yet to use it, kickstart their strategy, as well as a surge in companies looking to use the app, and most likely the API as well.
When we have completed our Covid-19 impact research we will have a better idea on the how it has, and will, effect WhatsApp Business. We will update our Databook accordingly and share.
We truly believe that the community spirit and togetherness that has formed in new and existing groups on WhatsApp during the pandemic will be the making of the WhatApp Business App.