The Benefits and Limitations of WhatsApp Business for Small Businesses

WhatsApp Business: Pros & Cons - Know Before You Use!

whatsapp business advantages and disadvantages

Social media platforms have always been a significant channel for small businesses.

WhatsApp has a global user base of over 2.7 billion, more than LinkedIn and Instagram, acting just perfectly for businesses to promote their products.

But, not every glitter is gold.

Hence, the question of WhatsApp Business Advantages and Disadvantages arises.

However, many small businesses are still not aware of WhatsApp Business for small businesses. They often get confused between the regular WhatsApp version and the business version. 

‍WhatsApp for Business has plenty of handy features for small businesses, including multiple messaging, automation, more accessible payment modes, etc. 

In this guide, we’ll explain WhatsApp for Business, its advantages and disadvantages for small businesses. So, let’s begin! 

WhatsApp Business Advantages and Disadvantages

What is the WhatsApp Business app? 

What is WhatsApp Business is a subjective question and might differ between small and large businesses on their use of this channel. In general, WhatsApp Business is designed specifically for small businesses. It empowers SMEs to communicate efficiently with their customers, by engaging throughout their life cycles and providing prompt support. 

Small business owners can use WhatsApp for Business for multiple functions: 

  • Sending bulk messages 
  • Automating replies 
  • Scheduling large media files 

And so on. 

Small businesses with limited marketing and customer support budgets can leverage this tool to scale faster without burning a hole in their pockets. 

whatsapp business advantages and disadvantages

Get verified on WhatsApp Business

Businesses also have the option to get verified on WhatsApp for Business portal to establish their credibility to the customers. 

Why does WhatsApp Business matter for small businesses? 

Small businesses often struggle with critical challenges. Some of these include: 

Payment collection difficulties 

D2C brands must undergo a long registration process to set up the online payment system. New entrepreneurs often struggle with online transactions.  They are still comfortable with cash, the traditional way of performing business deals. 

Such traditional mindsets often become the reason for failure. Fewer brands purchase from them as today’s customers are more comfortable with online transactions. 

Limited brand-building potential 

Building brand matters for small businesses. It is the key to generating new leads and building trust for existing customers. However, building a brand with less exposure and limited resources initially becomes difficult. 

Additionally, new entrepreneurs, even though they know the importance of brand building, often lag due to a budget shortage. 

indian D2C users

Insufficient knowledge and expertise 

Establishing an online venture is challenging. Even though your online store traffic is growing, many people are unaware of how to leverage this traffic in the long run. 

Additionally, small D2C businesses face other difficulties like logistics, marketing and sales, shipping, etc. They need assistance from experts who have dealt with these challenges in the past and can develop an efficient system to run the business seamlessly. 

Self-fulfilment Obstacles

Order fulfilment is a significant challenge for small businesses operating in the D2C industry. The in-house fulfilment process is complex and time-consuming, making it difficult for small sellers to manage efficiently. 

Additionally, traditional eCommerce services are often inflexible and not tailored to the needs of small businesses. Customers today expect real-time updates about their orders, and small businesses struggle to meet these expectations, which affects customer trust and satisfaction.

WhatsApp Business App vs WhatsApp Business API - what are the differences? 

You must have seen queries like what is the difference between WhatsApp and WhatsApp Business, but today, we’ll help you understand the difference between WhatsApp Business App and WhatsApp Business API. and the benefits of WhatsApp business vs normal WhatsApp, Let’s understand them below:

  • To begin with, WhatsApp Business App is a free, standalone app designed specifically for small businesses and D2C brands. Small business owners can create their business profiles, automate customer support, and manage customer interactions seamlessly. 

  • On the other hand, the WhatsApp Business API offers more advanced features. It suits medium and large enterprises requiring custom integrations and higher message volumes. You need a paid WhatsApp Business account and additional technical expertise to set up and maintain this tool.

  • The WhatsApp Business App is ideal for small businesses that want to easily engage with their customers without using complex integrations or additional technical support. It provides a user-friendly interface allowing businesses to create a business profile with essential information such as a business description, contact details, working hours, etc.  

This profile helps businesses build credibility and establish a professional presence on the platform. With the app, small businesses can also automate their responses to frequently asked questions, save a lot of time on repetitive tasks and ensure consistent customer communication.

  • The WhatsApp Business API, on the other hand, offers all these and some additional advanced features and customisation options. It allows businesses to integrate their existing CRM with WhatsApp, providing a seamless experience for the business and its customers.  

For large enterprises with a vast customer base, scheduling bulk messages becomes easier with WhatsApp API. A setback for small businesses here is that WhatsApp API is expensive and hence not always affordable for small businesses. 

How can small businesses set up WhatsApp for Business? 

Here are the steps to set up your WhatsApp Business account in four easy steps: 

Step 1: Download and install WhatsApp for Business app from Play Store/App Store or Chrome Store. 

Go to Play Store, App Store or Chrome Store based on your device (Android/ iOS/ Windows) respectively. Search for “WhatsApp Business” and install the app. 

whatsapp business advantages and disadvantages

Download WhatsApp Business from app store

Step 2: Register with your business’ contact details 

Once installed, it is time to register your contact number. Ensure to add a valid contact number for your business, as it will be the primary contact number to which the customers will reach out.  

The registration process is faster and seamless. 

whatsapp business advantages and disadvantages

Sign-up in WhatsApp Business

Step 3: Set up a business profile 

Once registered, it is time to set up your profile on WhatsApp Business. In this step, you need to add the following details like: 

  • Name of the business 
  • Address of the business 
  • Category of the business 
  • Active hours of the business 
  • Business logo 
  • Email ID of the business 
  • Brief description of the business 

whatsapp business advantages and disadvantages

Add Business description and logo

Adding all this information is crucial because they help you create an impressive first impression for your business. 

Step 4: Start messaging 

Now your WhatsApp Business account is ready to get started. With this tool, admins can start sending product updates, and the latest news, offer customer support, respond to customer queries, and more. 

Let’s now move on to the WhatsApp Business advantages and disadvantages for small businesses

The advantages of the WhatsApp Business app 

Here are the major benefits of WhatsApp for Business for D2C brands: 

Make the most of instant Communication

WhatsApp Business enables small businesses to engage with their customers instantly. Businesses can share updates, answer queries, and provide personalised customer support 24/7 through one-on-one chats or broadcast messages. 

With WhatsApp suite solutions, small D2C businesses can easily maximise their ROAS through: 

  • Reaching out to target audiences on a mass level and segment users based on their locations, SKU levels and buying patterns 
  • Running successful drip campaigns by sending promo codes and offering real-time support to customers when they seek for it 
  • Reducing cart abandonment rates by sending personalised triggers at the right time and increasing conversions by 15% 

Sportswear brand Adidas launched the 100% Unfair Predator campaign via WhatsApp Business to promote their latest product - Predator20 Mutator shoes. This campaign allowed Adidas users to connect with a professional athlete for a single local game. The Adidas-sponsored professional athletes would wear Predator20 Mutator shoes on the day of the match. It was a hugely successful customer engagement campaign run through WhatsApp Business. 

Branding becomes simpler for small businesses 

With WhatsApp Business, small businesses can create a professional profile. They can further personalise their business profiles by adding logos, colours, unique descriptions and product catalogs. This makes it easier for customers to find relevant information quickly and build trust in the business. 

AI-enabled chatbots help small businesses to create a focused buying experience through the following: 

  • Enabling customers to browse, pay and track orders within WhatsApp 
  • Answering product-related queries and offering personalised product recommendations 
  • Creating attractive product catalogs that group all products based on prices for a convenient shopping experience 

whatsapp business advantages and disadvantages

WhatsApp Business catalog

The above WhatsApp Business profile belongs to a bakery called Sandra’s Cakes. You can see how they have added personalised images, descriptions and product catalogs to attract potential customers. 

Automated Messaging 

WhatsApp Business offers automated messaging features to save time and streamline customer interactions. Small businesses can set predefined responses for frequently asked questions or use chatbots to handle basic inquiries. This improves efficiency and provides consistent communication.

With WhatsApp suite solutions, D2C businesses can achieve the following: 

  • Up to 3X boost in customer experience through best-in-class support 
  • Double support the team’s productivity with automated query resolutions 
  • Automate up to 75% of support automation 

FMGC brand Emami saved over ₹1,50,00,000 in COD revenue with WhatsApp Business. Emami had around 85% of COD orders, which led to losses compared to prepaid orders. Emami used WhatsApp Business, a consumer-first platform, to increase pre-paid orders by 14.33% and limit losses

Read the entire Emami Case Study here. 

Customer Segmentation 

WhatsApp Business allows small businesses to categorise their customers into groups based on specific criteria like intent, location, language preferences, purchase history, etc. This makes sending targeted messages or personalised offers to specific segments easier, enhancing the overall marketing strategy. 

With WhatsApp Omnichannel CRM tools, businesses can experience an intuitive dashboard that segments customers based on their previous purchase history and various other factors,  

Indian D2C brand Allo Innoware used a similar approach to understand more about their buyer persona. Here’s how they leveraged a WhatsApp CRM solution: 

  • Segmenting high-intent customers based on factors like..
  • purchase triggers
  • pain points
  • desired solutions
  • purchase frequency
  • order size
  • age
  • location
  • communication channel and more. 


  • Getting an in-depth understanding of the personal preferences of each customer.

    For example, Historic Data - knowing about their preferred platforms, when they are most active during the day, their search history, and their preferred payment gateway. 

Proper customer segmentation helped Allo Innoware achieve 11X ROAS growth with a conversion boost of 9.76%

case study of whatsapp business

Seamless Integration with Business Operations

WhatsApp Business offers seamless integration with various business operations, making it a versatile tool for small sellers. It provides messaging statistics that allow businesses to track and analyse their communication performance, enabling them to make data-driven decisions. 

Additionally, WhatsApp Business can be integrated with other customer communication solutions like: 

  • Userlike 
  • HubSpot 
  • Salesforce

All these tools help businesses to provide a centralised platform to manage all their customer interactions.

The disadvantages of the WhatsApp Business app 

When it comes to WhatsApp for Business, it is not all beds of roses. This app has some limitations, and businesses must be aware of the same: 

Restricted to five devices  

WhatsApp Business is installable on a single smartphone and four other devices. You cannot use it on more than five devices at a time. This can sometimes be a challenge for D2C businesses, as multiple admins often use WhatsApp Business from multiple devices. 

Account Charges 

While the WhatsApp Business App is free to use, the WhatsApp Business API requires a paid account for larger enterprises. This cost can be a limitation for small businesses with limited budgets, especially if they require advanced features available only through the API.

Small businesses should evaluate their requirements and assess whether the API is the right fit for their business. They should also consider the potential return on investment that the API can provide in terms of increased efficiency and improved customer communication.

Strict Usage Policies 

WhatsApp has strict policies regarding using its platform for business purposes. Small businesses must comply with guidelines to avoid being flagged as spam or facing account suspension. These policies sometimes limit the marketing strategies of small businesses. 

Small businesses must familiarise themselves with the WhatsApp Business Policies and ensure their communication practices align with the guidelines. By doing so, they can avoid disruptions to their business operations and maintain a positive reputation on the platform.

Make the most of WhatsApp for Business with Pragma 

Want to make the most of WhatsApp for business for your small business? You should know about Pragma. 

Here’s how it can help: 

  • Pragma helps you reach customers in both pre-purchase and post-purchase phases with fast checkout, auto-confirmation of orders, quick order notifications and more - all with WhatsApp Business. 


  • Pragma helps D2C brands create an efficient and automated return management experience that supports returns and refunds like a pro. 

  • Offer round-the-clock support to the customers and ensure that your customers experience unparalleled assistance when needed. 
book a demo button

Final thoughts 

WhatsApp Business offers numerous benefits for small businesses, including direct communication, business profiles, automated messaging, multimedia sharing, and customer segmentation. 

These features enable small businesses to connect with customers effectively, provide personalised support, and showcase their products or services. While there are some limitations to consider, such as potential account charges, and compliance with usage policies, WhatsApp Business is still one of the most versatile and affordable platforms for small businesses to generate highest ROAS (compared to Facebook, Instagram, Email, SMS, Google Ads, and VoIP) and drive exponential growth. 

Ultimately, it is important for small businesses to carefully evaluate their specific business requirements, target audience and their intents, and budget before integrating WhatsApp Business into their communication strategy. By doing so, they can maximise the benefits and overcome any limitations to effectively connect with their customers on WhatsApp.


What is WhatsApp Business, and how can it benefit small businesses?

WhatsApp Business is a free-to-use messaging platform designed for small businesses. It allows businesses to create a professional profile, send automated messages, and provide quick customer support. It helps businesses reach a wider audience, build brand credibility, and improve customer communication, leading to increased customer engagement and potential sales.

Can WhatsApp Business help increase customer engagement and sales?

Absolutely! WhatsApp Business offers features like quick replies, automated messages, and labels for easy organisation. These features enable businesses to respond promptly to customer inquiries, provide personalised recommendations, and send promotional offers. By enhancing communication, businesses can build stronger customer relationships, increasing engagement and potential sales.

Are there any limitations or drawbacks to using WhatsApp Business? 

While WhatsApp Business offers numerous benefits, it does have some limitations. It can only be used on a single device, making it less convenient for businesses with multiple employees. Additionally, it lacks advanced analytics and integrations with third-party tools. However, these limitations can be overcome using other business tools alongside WhatsApp Business.

Can WhatsApp Business be integrated with other business tools? 

Yes, WhatsApp Business can be integrated with various business tools to enhance functionality. For instance, businesses can integrate it with customer relationship management (CRM) software to streamline customer data and leverage it for personalised messaging. Additionally, it can be integrated with chatbots to automate responses and provide 24/7 customer support.

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