WhatsApp has become a major communication channel for businesses for marketing, communication, and support. Every business is looking for such WhatsApp-based communication solutions to set up their WhatsApp Business account.
Platforms including WATI, BiteSpeed, and Interakt help these businesses get started with WhatsApp Marketing & leverage the benefits of conversational marketing.
While WATI is one of the best tools for WhatsApp Marketing & Support, some other good tools better serve specific use cases for D2C brands on Shopify such as Chat automation, abandoned carts, bulk messaging, upselling, and more.
So, in this WATI review, we’ll go through WATI’s pros and cons (kind of a review) in various departments & use cases so that you would be more aware before making a final decision.
Here’s what we’ve found about WATI.
So, what exactly is WATI?
WATI (WhatsApp Team Inbox) is a WhatsApp Business API-based solution that offers WhatsApp API access to businesses. Businesses can operate their WhatsApp Business account entirely from WATI's dashboard.
WATI provides features including a support dashboard, marketing campaigns & no-code WhatsApp chatbot builder to engage with customers on WhatsApp 24*7.
But is it an ideal solution for your business use case & budget? Let’s find out below.
Key features in WATI
WATI is indeed a feature-rich platform. WhatsApp broadcast, Chatbot, and third-party integration support are some of the functionalities that make it stand out from the competition.
Self-Serve Onboarding & minimal setup - You can directly buy a plan according to your requirements and set up everything on your own.
No-Code Chatbot Builder - WATI offers a drag-and-drop chatbot builder that can be used to build WhatsApp chatbots & conversation flows for sales & support.
Support Dashboard For Agents - WATI has a good support agent dashboard that comes with agent management & ticket assignment features.
WATI offers 5 Live Chat Agents support in the base Plan.
'WhatsApp Only' Platform (Huge bummer) - As of today, WATI is available only for WhatsApp Business. If you offer multi-channel marketing & support, you will have to buy an additional CRM tool.
BiteSpeed offers WhatsApp marketing and an omni-channel support inbox for Shopify stores to help them sell & support across platforms.
Free Trial Is An Incomplete Product Experience - WATI offers a pre-made sandbox account during the trial that can be used to test the platform only on a single number.
Chatbot Builder Is Self-Served - WATI doesn't offer chatbot & conversation design consultation in its plans.
Getting the 'Verified Business' Tick is not free - It costs $50(one time) in each country.
WATI customer support
It offers fast support only via Email in multiple languages (English, Hindi, Spanish, Portuguese, Chinese)
The support team offers assistance if you're stuck while onboarding.
There's no way to contact the support team via phone to raise an issue.
For 24*7 support & dedicated account manager, you need to buy an additional plan by emailing their support.
WATI's pricing structure
The base plan starts at $49/month & comes with only the basic features.
It offers 5 Live agents on the base plan itself.
A variety of integrations are available in each plan.
Integrations & Chatbot functionalities are limited in the base plan.
WhatsApp Green tick, Shopify integration, and an account manager will cost you extra.
WATI setup & learning time
WATI is indeed a feature-heavy platform. While the onboarding setup is simple and fast, learning all the features and their use cases for your business can be a bit challenging.
Integrations may initially require additional support from the tech team.
In our research, we needed to spend a lot of time going through support documents to learn simple features such as broadcast & chatbot.
Targeted ideal customers for WATI
Being a feature-rich platform, WATI aims to target businesses that want to offer automated customer support and marketing only on WhatsApp. It claims to be a 'WhatsApp-based CRM' for businesses.
Features such as third-party integrations, and automated flows aim to serve SMBs & enterprises in their chat automation systems. Though these features are available for everyone who want to use the platform.
Dedicated features for E-commerce
It does offer a Shopify Integration & it is available as a separate purchase. But, because WATI is only available for WhatsApp, the e-commerce functionality of this plugin is limited.
This plugin doesn't support e-commerce specific features such as:
- Pre checkout retargeting campaigns like product abandonment, cart abandonment, and checkout abandonment
- Deep segmentation for your broadcast campaigns so you never spam your customers
- Upselling to increase LTV
- Cross-selling to increase your AoV
Our Conclusion on WATI
(overall rating: 3/5)
WATI is indeed a WhatsApp Based feature-rich CRM. It provides you with all the features that WhatsApp Business has to offer.
If your business requires a WhatsApp-based CRM to set up business communication using most of the WhatsApp Business API features Chatbots, broadcasts, APIs, Web hooks, and third-party automation tools, you should go for it.But, based on your business domain & requirements, you may end up paying some extra for some functionalities that you’ll barely enable.
E.g. 1. if you’re a Shopify merchant, you’ll still pay for the full CRM functionality that comes with your pre-made bundled plan. There’s no way to customize your plan.
E.g. 2. If you would require an omni-channel conversational marketing solution for your business, WATI is not an ideal solution for you.