Manual for Whatsapp Business in 2024

Laura Plooster

Laura Plooster

| 15 min

WhatsApp Business is the new normal and if you want to compete, you have to have a presence. It may not be the first channel you think of in terms of customer service, but it is the one where the most profit can be made.

It allows customers to easily grab their smartphones and send your company a message through the medium where they can be found throughout the day anyway: Extra customer-centric, fast, and nice and approachable.

Social messaging is surpassing social media, and with more than 100 billion messages sent per day and more than 3 billion active users, WhatsApp is currently the largest social medium.

Whatsapp monthly users

What is WhatsApp for Business?

The WhatsApp Business app acts as a contact option for business customers. It is a completely separate app designed for business users and entrepreneurs.

It allows customers to ask the company questions about products or services, just like a traditional customer service desk. In addition, they can even place orders through the app or provide support in the purchasing process.

Although WhatsApp for Business is for business purposes only, anyone with a valid phone number can download and use the app. It does display whether the account is verified or un-verified. This verification can be requested from WhatsApp.

Who uses WhatsApp Business?

The business application is designed for small businesses that receive few incoming chats. Whatsapp for Business is mainly aimed at businesses with a limited number of users. Prior to September 2021, this application was limited to a few devices.

With the recent beta initiative, you can use up to four paired devices and one phone at a time. This means that your free version of WhatsApp Business is limited to one phone.

How do WhatsApp, WhatsApp Business, and WhatsApp Business API differ from each other?

Using WhatsApp as a business can be done roughly in two different ways: through WhatsApp Business, part of Facebook, or through a WhatsApp API.

Whatsapp, Whatsapp Business-app and Whatsapp Business-API

Which way is most convenient for you depends on your organization. We've listed the differences between the two ways below.

The difference between WhatsApp Business and WhatsApp Business API?

The main difference between the two options, concerns the amount of users. WhatsApp Business can be used up to four devices and one cell phone. By subscribing to WhatsApp Business Premium, you can link up to ten devices if you want to use multiple users, you actually quickly end up with an API. However, if one user is enough for you and you only plan to use the app, the WhatsApp Business app is sufficient for your organization.

💡 Get to use WhatsApp API easily with our Whatsapp Chatbot Integration.

Why you should use the WhatsApp Business app?

WhatsApp Business offers you easy communication with customers and with the help of tools you can automatically send messages, sort them and reply quickly. The nice thing about working with the Whatsapp app is that it offers the same environment as Whatsapp Messenger.

What are the benefits of WhatsApp Business?

While WhatsApp Messenger is mainly meant for private communication with friends and family, the Whatsapp Business app was developed with business functionalities in mind.

Functionalities such as: Linking a fixed phone number, allowing multiple users to manage, setting opening hours and creating a business profile.

The WhatsApp Business app can also be integrated with a website chat widget, which will further increase the number of contact inquiries.

Automatic & Quick replies

With Whatsapp Business, you can set up a welcome message that users receive as soon as a conversation is started with your business or after 14 days of inactivity. By sending the message automatically, you instantly welcome and introduce your business to a (potential) customer, without waiting times.

Automatic & Quick replies

Business Profile

When setting up Whatsapp Business, you have the option of fleshing out your business profile. Here you can post information about your business such as opening hours, contact information and more.

Business profile


It is possible on the Whatsapp Business app the link to a chatbot. A WhatsApp Business chatbot is a tool that emulates interaction with your clients through WhatsApp.

The chatbots are used to answer frequently asked questions from your customers, provide information and collect leads. WhatsApp bots are available 24/7 and can have multiple conversations simultaneously with different people.

💡 Learn Everything About AI Chatbots

Quick replies

Do your customers often ask recurring questions? Quick answers allow you to save and reuse the answers you often send. This allows you to answer frequently asked questions faster. By pressing "/" on your keyboard you can select a quick answer and send it to your customer.

Quick Replies


The catalog is the place to display your products to your customer, this allows customers to easily browse through your products and view products they are interested in.

The products in the catalog can be grouped on the Whatsapp page, eliminating the need for the customer to go to the website to view the products. For each item within the catalog, you can add information such as: price, description and product code.


Media Messages

The media feature within Whatsapp Business gives you more opportunities to respond to customer needs. For example, you can send order summaries as PDFs to customers via Whatsapp. Similarly, without having to wait for a response from the customer, stores can use media messages to send images of products.

Interactive messages

Interactive posts allow you to add interactive and more attractive buttons to your posts. There are two types of messages to choose from:

  • Call to action: ear clicking on this button redirects the user to a particular web page or allows the customer to be called.

  • Quick reply: customers also have the option to quickly reply with the predefined options, without having to manually type in the answer.

Labels and filters

You can organize and categorize your contacts with a label. This way you can filter contacts within your search by label and category and keep contacts grouped and organized.

Labels and filters

What limitations does the app WhatsApp Business have?

The main limitation is the number of users: Only five devices can manage the business account simultaneously, only one of which is a phone. In addition, advanced features such as automation and detailed insights require the API version.

Another obvious limitation emerges when considering a large audience. Because the Business app limits a broadcast list to 256 contacts, it becomes difficult to send a message to, say, a thousand or more contacts.

Also, importing contacts in bulk work is not easy. The app's import functionality consists of syncing phone contacts or adding phone numbers one at a time.

WhatsApp business for desktop

Like the traditional WhatsApp, the Business variant also offers a desktop version, which offers a more spacious layout for managing and replying to messages. First of all, you can easily access WhatsApp Business through your browser. You do this through WhatsApp Web by using these four, easy steps:

  • Go to:

  • Open WhatsApp on your phone and go to "Paired devices" under settings.

  • Click the blue button: "Pair a device".

  • Scan the QR code in your browser to link your account.

What is the difference between the WhatsApp Business app and the WhatsApp Business Platform?

Whatsapp's business solutions offer the WhatsApp Business platform and the WhatsApp Business app.

  • The WhatsApp Business app is suitable if you are a small business and primarily want to communicate personally with customers through the mobile app.

  • The WhatsApp Business platform allows you to integrate WhatsApp directly with applications and workflows to connect with customers worldwide.

Businesses can use ads that link to WhatsApp to increase awareness of their WhatsApp channel among people on Facebook and Instagram.

Whatsapp business API

What are the benefits of the WhatsApp Business API?

With the WhatsApp Business API, you can streamline your customer service and make it more efficient. By integrating the API, you can further automate workflows, such as sending automated replies.

In addition, you have the ability to build a chatbot that reads customer needs and refers the customer to the right department. Whatsapp API makes it easy to send out bulk messages for marketing purposes, send automatic notifications and combine all communication channels into an all in one inbox, among other things.

Whatsapp Business API is set up for multiple users and offers many opportunities for team collaboration and measuring customer satisfaction.

WhatsApp Business API costs: what to expect

Set-up costs

Costs for setting up a Whatsapp Business API go through Business Solution Providers (BSPs). Some PSPs charge an initial fee for setting up the account. This fee can be as high as €1000 with certain provider, important to note that not every provider offers a pricing structure.

The cost of setting up Whatsapp Business API can be overwhelming, especially considering that the actual setup is not complex. Fortunately, there are providers like Watermelon where you pay no cost for initiation.

Monthly costs

In addition to the initial investment, there are also monthly costs for using Whatsapp Business API. The cost is for account maintenance, the cost of which can vary by BPS.

When considering partnering with a BPS, it is important to consider your value. What do you want to get back for your investment?

In doing so, you can explore options for implementing a chatbot to get more out of your investment. Watermelon offers a GPT-4 chatbot including Whatsapp integration starting at €399,- per month.

💡 Read our guide to choose the Best AI Chatbot

Cost per conversation

For the WhatsApp Business API, you pay based on the number of conversations you have with customers. Depending on who starts the conversation, your customer or your business, the cost may vary, also the cost is location dependent and there is a fixed price for users in the Netherlands.

The API solution offers the first 1000 conversations per month for free for all API users. Subsequently, the costs for each type of dialogue depend on the country where your business is located, the following rates apply for the Netherlands in euro's:

  • Marketing: 0.184 (initiated by the company)

  • Utility: 0.092 (initiated by the company)

  • Authentication: 0.083 (initiated by the company)

  • Service: 0.103 (initiated by the user)

Marketing Conversations
As the name suggests, Marketing conversations are conversations initiated by companies to promote a product or service to customers. You can send your registered customers relevant offers, good deals, or information about products being back in stock.

Utility Conversations
Under the Utility category are initiated by companies and often relate to transactions. This includes information about purchases, confirmations, post-purchase notifications, and periodic invoice summaries for customers who have registered for this.

Authentication Conversations
With Authentication conversations, security is essential. Thanks to authentication templates, it is possible to verify users with one-time passwords at various times during login or verification procedures, such as when creating an account, account recovery, and other situations where identity confirmation is necessary.

Important to know: Every conversation started by companies that do not fall under Authentication or Utility is categorized as a Marketing conversation.

Service Conversations
All conversations that are initiated by users, often to resolve a customer inquiry.

Who is the WhatsApp Business API intended for?

Any business in need of comprehensive communication can benefit from the API platform. The benefits of the WhatsApp Business API are not limited to number of sectors.

In the e-commerce sector, it helps companies respond quickly and reliably to customer inquiries, which is essential given the high competition. For the automotive industry, it facilitates smooth interaction between dealers and customers.

In retail, it helps manage the high volume of customer messages, while fintech companies benefit from real-time information exchange on transactions. More content and benefits of Whatsapp Business API can be found here.

Getting started with WhatsApp Business

Follow the steps below for a seamless installation of Whatsapp Business API:

1. Download the app WhatsApp Business.

Navigate to your device's app store - Apple Store or Android Store. Search for the application WhatsApp Business and download the app. The logos of WhatsApp and WhatsApp Business are almost identical, but look at the title to make sure you are downloading the right one. Once you have downloaded the app, launch the Business app.

2. Review and accept the terms of service

Before delving into the app's features, it is essential to review the updated Terms of Service. Familiarize yourself with the policies, once agreed to here, press 'Continue' to proceed.

3. Create a business WhatsApp account

You can reuse your existing (personal) number for business use or choose a new, dedicated number for WhatsApp Business. It is advisable to use a new or separate number for a clear distinction between personal and business communications.

During installation, the app will ask you to choose the number you want to use. Remember that you can only link one number to one WhatsApp Business account. After you make the selection, you will be asked to verify the selected number.

4. Verify your phone number

Enter the number you want to associate with WhatsApp Business. The app will now send a six-digit verification code via text message. Usually, the app detects this code automatically and enters it.

However, if you are using a different device, you will have to enter the code manually. If the text message is delayed, you can also choose verification via phone call.

5. Switching from WhatsApp to WhatsApp Business

If you choose to reuse a personal WhatsApp number for business use, the current data of this account must be migrated to your new WhatsApp Business profile.

6. Grant access for WhatsApp Business

If you also want to share media files with clients, it is advisable to grant Whatsapp Business access to contacts and media.

7. Completing your Whatsapp Business profile

Now that all the basic settings are in place, it's time to work on your profile business card and complete the following information:

  • Company name: Use the official name of your company.

  • Profile picture: Here you can use your logo or another relevant image for your business.

  • Category: Within the drop-down menu choose a category that most closely matches your business and or services.

  • Description: Add a description about your business of around 250 characters.

  • Business address: Enter the official business location of your company.

What is a WhatsApp chatbot?

A WhatsApp Bot, integrated with WhatsApp, is an automated communication system that uses AI to conduct real-time conversations, generate responses and answer customer service inquiries. When your business has a WhatsApp chatbot, customers can easily reach out via WhatsApp and receive an automated reply, just like when they send a message via the website chatbot.

💡 Get to use WhatsApp API easily with our Whatsapp Chatbot Integration.

It's more than just a customer service tool; it's software that makes you accessible on WhatsApp and can be deployed to bolster your team, engage in more conversations or support other business goals.

Why use chat bots with WhatsApp?

Using a WhatsApp chatbot transforms how you can interact with customers by automating conversations and reducing workload. It's not just a time-saving tool but also aids in effectively generating leads and guiding customers through the marketing funnel.

The result? More breathing space for tasks that truly matter and a more efficient customer communication process.

💡 Build your own WhatsApp Chatbot with our guide: How To Build Your Own WhatsApp Chatbot

How much does it cost to build a chatbot for WhatsApp?

At Watermelon, the cost of a WhatsApp chatbot is tailored to your needs and can vary based on complexity and desired features.

Three subscription types are available: Starter, Standard and Business. The Starter subscription starts at €99,- per month.

For large enterprises, Watermelon also offers flexible and affordable solutions, including a custom extension called Enterprise, which offers a customized number of chatbots and users. Contact our Customer Success Manager to discover the ideal solution for your business.

How do you build a WhatsApp Business Platform?

With the Whatsapp Business Platform, you can quickly set up a platform that improves customer actions. The process of installation is smooth and free of complexity.

Connecting WhatsApp

Setup goes smoothly and is not complicated. After creating an account, you have immediate access to a user-friendly dashboard where messages from your customers arrive and can be answered immediately.

This facilitates immediate interaction your users coming from different platforms, such as your main website, advertising platforms or even the customer service page. These types of conversations, which are responsive to context, deliver high quality customer service and can significantly increase the likelihood of conversion.

Moreover, with the ability to send 1,000 marketing messages each month at no cost, you can develop and test detailed customer journey strategies. Once these strategies are refined to achieve the highest possible engagement and conversion rates, you have the choice to further scale up as needed.

Ready to demonstrate WhatsApp for business?

Message handling, templates and analytics are optimized; after logging in, the main dashboard provides you with an overview of your WhatsApp accounts, associated limits and the latest product updates. On the left side, you'll find key tools such as Insights, Message Templates, Phone Numbers and Catalog.

Phone Numbers:
n this section you will find a list of phone numbers connected to your WhatsApp Business Platform. This section provides information about view names, current statuses and even allows for the download of certificates critical to developers in the final stages of implementation.

Message templates:
Explore the heart of the WhatsApp Business Platform here. Create structured messages and automate them through so-called message templates, which are fundamental for active customer interaction.

Reflect on your access points:
It is essential to identify how and why customers interact with you. Their access point, whether for product support, promotions or advertisements, can have a significant impact on future interactions.

Create your first template:
Creating templates is straightforward. Click "Create Message Template," select a category, name your template and choose the languages. Then add sample messages, formulate the title, main text, footnote and even integrate call-to-action or quick reply options. After submission, your template will be reviewed. After approval, work with your development team to perfect the final details.

Go live!
With an account and some approved templates, you're ready for testing. Start by sending a message to your business number from a personal WhatsApp account. Responding opens a 24-hour window in which you can send various messages and evaluate the effectiveness of your template.

Seamlessly manage your chat apps for multichannel customers with

Watermelon's All-in-One Inbox ensures you don't have to switch back and forth between different tools or struggle with overflowing inboxes. Instead, you can easily view and respond to chats from all channels in one convenient view.

All-in-One Inbox

Filter chats for faster responses

Our chat filtering feature lets you quickly and easily find the chats you need to respond to based on channel, agent, chatbot, assigned or unassigned. This helps you respond to the right customers faster and improve overall customer service.

Chat Filter

Examples of powerful WhatsApp chatbots

Read here the success stories of our customers and their chatbots. Real experiences and extremely satisfied responses. Let yourself be inspired by their stories and discover what our WhatsApp Chatbot can also mean for your business.

WhatsApp Chatbot for Customer Service

How Erdee Media B.V. automated 50% of their conversations

Erdee Media B.V. has been a satisfied Watermelon customer for almost two years. Recently, they redesigned their chatbot to launch it on WhatsApp. They communicated and celebrated this occasion with the whole organization.

Erdee Media B.V.

A chatbot as an additional communication channel
The idea to implement a chatbot emerged as an additional communication channel for their target audience who are also working during office hours. Many of their subscribers are older, but they felt it was essential to be able to assist the younger target group at all times too. They decided to create a chatbot that could report any question or problem directly to the department where Nadine and Marc work, so they could address it immediately. Initially, the chatbot was primarily intended for subscribers, but later they added a flow regarding the delivery.

The number of conversations continues to grow and the chatbot is delivering more and more. Now the main goal is to grow the number of WhatsApp conversations even more. About 900 conversations per month are now coming in, of which more than a third are via WhatsApp and the remaining via the website widget. Half of the conversations are handled by chatbot Julia without the intervention of a human employee and more than half of the conversations take place outside office hours. This reduces mailbox traffic and frees up time for other things. It's hard to say exactly how much time this amounts to because time easily fills up, but it's estimated to be about an hour per day per person!

Read more: Click here

Figures Erdee Media B.V.

The story of

“We made it possible for our customer service team to work more effectively and have more fun,” says Felix, e-commerce manager at Kitcentrum. This is all thanks to their chatbot: Kittie. The chatbot has been live for just a few months, but has already answered or referred thousands of customer questions. “We’re not spending our precious time answering FAQ all day, our phone lines aren’t ringing off the hook.

🛠️ Check our Whatsapp Chatbot Implementation: Chatbot for E-Commerce

We knew it was time for a chatbot
“Before we had Kittie the chatbot, we answered every customer question manually,” says Felix, the e-commerce manager. “Since we grew so tremendously quickly, naturally the number of incoming questions grew with us. While we were busy processing orders, we also needed to answer all the incoming questions coming in from everywhere. Every morning we’d arrive to find our inbox full of questions; every day we spent time providing the same answer to many of those questions. It was basically a full time job. When you have to give the same answer to the same question thirty times a day, at some point you think ‘There has to be a better way’.”

Statistics, live chats and tags
There are a number of features in the Watermelon platform that help Kitcentrum automate their customer service. “I already named the website widget for live chat, and the powerful statistics - but we also work with a number of human agents in the platform. We can transfer conversations from the customer service team to our team of technical advisors. We also are big fans of the tag function, to keep track of things like how many times advice has been given, the nature of the advice, how many complaints have come in… we get a load of valuable information from the tags.”

Read more: Click here

Statistics, live chats and tags


How are WhatsApp Business and SMS different?

WhatsApp Business is an app designed specifically for small businesses to connect with their customers, offering features like automated responses and business profiles. SMS is a basic text messaging service without such features. WhatsApp Business also relies on an internet connection, while SMS uses cellular networks.

Can WhatsApp Business be used on multiple devices?

Yes, WhatsApp Business can be used on multiple devices through WhatsApp Web and the multi-device feature, allowing for greater flexibility and accessibility.

What are the benefits of WhatsApp business?

WhatsApp Business offers several benefits including better customer engagement through quick replies, business profiles for brand identity, labels for organizing contacts and chats, and message statistics for insights on communication performance.

How much does it cost to build a chatbot for WhatsApp?

The cost to build a chatbot for WhatsApp can vary widely based on complexity and functionality, ranging from a few hundred to several thousand dollars. It is advisable to get a custom quote based on specific requirements.

How easily does it integrate WhatsApp Business with your customer service software?

WhatsApp Business integrates relatively easily with most customer service software through APIs. However, the level of integration can vary depending on the software used and specific business requirements.

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