Image by Chad Madden

MARKET STREET: THE UK’S FIRST WHATSAPP HIGH STREET

 

Watford Borough Council is exclusively partnering with WhatsApp to help small businesses in the town use the WhatsApp Business app to more efficiently reconnect with their customers, increase sales and grow.  This exciting new initiative comes hot on the heels of the council’s ambitious new council plan. It sets out how Watford can thrive post Covid-19 and our commitment to promote it as an enterprising town where businesses can invest, grow and succeed.

About the initiative

In a time when small businesses are having to adapt to new ways of working, 20 small businesses from Market Street and Watford Borough Council have entered into an exclusive partnership with WhatsApp to help support them through this difficult time. Trained by experts, the businesses have been introduced to the WhatsApp Business app to help them connect with their customers more efficiently as the economy reopens, in order to increase their sales and grow.

 

Participating businesses have received expert guidance and advice on how to best use and how best to interact with their customers on the WhatsApp Business app. The businesses were shown how to use all the vital features the app offers such as business profiles, product catalogues, automated messages, QR codes and business stickers.

 

Watford Borough Council hope that this initiative will help the traders on Market Street recapture their popularity following lockdown and inspire other small businesses in Watford to consider the benefits of using digital technology to support their business.

About the app

WhatsApp Business is a bespoke version of the private messaging app used by 2 billion people around the world, and was designed specifically for small businesses. The WhatsApp Business app launched in 2018, and has 50 million users worldwide. Like the consumer app, it is free to download and free to use, with the goal of making managing customer communications easier, faster and more professional for small businesses. Features of the app include:

  • Business profiles: to highlight the most important information about a business and confirm their authenticity

  • Catalogues: to showcase key products to customers, these are sharable as a link outside the app too

  • Quick replies and automated messages: including frequently used information like prices, menus and directions

  • Labels: to organise messages from customers by category

  • QR codes: a digital front door that makes opening a chat with a business as easy as possible – and will be provided to participants to display at their premises to help them get discovered and find new customers

  • Stickers: bespoke stickers that help communicate with customers, say thanks and get business done

Meet the businesses taking part