India is in the midst of a dramatic socio-economic and digital transformation. WhatsApp claims to be deeply committed to contributing meaningfully to India’s growth story. In 2022, the trends that will shape India’s journey to becoming a digitally inclusive and financially empowered society will come from the most simple, accessible, and scalable technology solutions. It has the power to bridge the urban-rural divide and address local challenges. Below are some trends WhatsApp believes will shape India’s future in 2022 and beyond.
1. Citizen engagement and governance: In 2021, social media saw technology-driven solutions forming a key part of the government to citizen services. State-level WhatsApp chatbots played a crucial role in helping authentic information reach the masses. Full-service vaccination use-case that enables access to authentic information relevant resources, booking of vaccination slots as well as vaccine-certificate downloads. Built into the MyGov Corona Helpdesk on WhatsApp is just the beginning of more such services being enabled by WhatsApp Business platform.
In 2022, it expects more innovation in effective governance, and efficient citizen engagement by city and state administrations, thus lowering barriers for citizens to access credible, authentic, and useful services.
2. Digitization of Small and Micro Businesses: India’s 63-million and growing SME sector is the backbone of the economy. Digitization of SMEs will be the need of the hour to propel the country’s economic recovery and growth after turning digital to survive the current Covid crisis. The free-of-cost WhatsApp Business App offers small and micro businesses tools and features. It can help them build a digital storefront and service their customers better.
15 million businesses in India rely on WhatsApp’s Business App to connect with their customers better. Additionally, this digitization has offered entrepreneurs across India, especially women in rural India democratized access to customer bases. It also helps them grow and scale their business, further bridging the gender digital divide.
3. Multilingual Chatbots: Businesses with high customer engagement are increasingly relying on chatbots to deliver a more natural and customized user experience. In order to improve localization efforts and broaden their reach, adopting multilingual chatbots will become vital for businesses. It will help them succeed in a geographically and linguistically diverse country like India.
4. Digital Payments: With RBI’s vision to transform India into a less-cash-based society, digital payments will be the way forward as more Indians get onto the internet. The collective goal for players in the payments ecosystem will be to scale financial inclusion. The same is possible via seamless and frictionless payments experience by:
(a) enabling access to digital payments, digital banking services, micro-finance
b) promoting easy and secure transactions with service providers and businesses. ‘Payments on WhatsApp’ can be a key partner to NPCI and RBI in achieving the shared objective. It is of scaling the adoption of UPI and enabling financial inclusion for the underserved.
5. Services with simple UX/ UI will scale the fastest: The number of internet users in rural India is set to surpass the urban areas by 2025 and many of those connected will be first-time internet users in rural India. Products and services with a simple UI/ UX that take away tech inhibition and effectively lower barriers to mobile internet adoption. They will be the ones to scale across unserved and marginalized communities, helping to further speed up the digitization of the Indian economy.
6. More and more traditional sectors will go the digital route: Digital transformation is resulting in innovative business models for traditional industries. Fundamentally changing how these sectors have operated in the past in delivering value for their customers. In the future, sectors like education, healthcare, banking, and financial services have the opportunity to scale their services and reach India’s rural population. Using transformative technologies that are efficient and cost-effective such as the WhatsApp Business Platform, can truly build an inclusive India.
7. Business Messaging: A survey was connected in some of WhatsApp’s largest countries showed that 75% of people want to “be able to communicate with businesses through messaging”. Furthermore, 68% are more likely to “do business or make a purchase from a company that they can contact via messaging.”
A survey by Harris Poll suggested that 81% of adults in India agreed that messaging (e.g. via chat app, text) is a quick and easy way to communicate with a business message.
o 77% of adults in India agreed that they want to be able to communicate with businesses in the same way that they communicate with friends/family through messaging.
o 78% of adults in India agreed that messaging with a business saves time compared to calling a business.
o 76% of adults in India said they are more likely to do business with/purchase from a company that they can contact via messaging (e.g. via chat app, text) than with one that they cannot.”
The year 2022 is estimated to see an increased reliance on AI-driven customer service that will help drive business efficiencies and improve customer engagement. Businesses will find newer ways to stay connected with their customers through innovative and immersive formats enabled by technologies like the WhatsApp Business platform.
The increase in communication between consumers and businesses on a platform such as WhatsApp gives businesses a unique opportunity to directly connect with customers. Additionally, to enhance personalized experience including new launches and offers, with customer support.