The Hows and Whys of DHLontheGo: Inside the WhatsApp Business API

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Whatsapp Business API

With the nationwide launch of DHLontheGo, the power of shipping now comes to the smartphones of Malaysians. Hosted entirely on WhatsApp, it enables mobile capabilities for our most popular enquiries, communicated in real time via instant chat. At just the send of a message, customers can receive shipping estimates, schedule pickups, complete secured payments, and track deliveries to anywhere across the country as well as DHL Express’ network of more than 220 territories globally.

It was only a matter of time before on-demand logistics services were fused with Malaysia’s most popular messaging tool, as residents here spearhead the world in WhatsApp market penetration at 51% (2017 Digital News Report). The ubiquity means there is already an established and vast audience, offering opportunities to both streamline processes for recurring clientele as well as interface with prospective leads.

Leveraging on the WhatsApp Business API also helps with minimising the labour associated with building the userbase and reaching critical mass for a new app. Indeed, this is a task made all the more difficult by the fact that only a select few command the majority of attention share, as consumers shy away from cluttering their screens.

According to Comscore’s 2019 Global State of Mobile Report, only 33 percent of respondents installed any new app on a monthly basis.

This indicates that those that perform specialist functions preside lower on the totem pole of desirability compared to all-in-one platforms offering seamless omnichannel experiences. Dubbed ‘super apps’, the market has been trending to their direction in recent years. An example close to home is Grab. What began as a ride-hailing solution has now become an integrated service provider encompassing food delivery, dispatch, shopping, insurance, mobile prepaid, bill payment, home care, and business financing.

With WhatsApp being so ingrained in the daily lives of Malaysians, DHLontheGo allows our company to interact with stakeholders on personal and familiar terms in ways never before possible. A unique profile is a requisite of the API, a flexible canvas for interjecting brand ethos for richer and more meaningful engagement through the use of web links, audio, images, contacts, locations, or documents.

The nature of WhatsApp facilitates direct communication akin to genuine conversations held face-to-face or over a call. Instead of being sent one-way messages or having to call the support hotline only to be put on hold, customers can get updated with notifications without prompting. Over the long term, this can be the catalyst for deeper customer loyalty and top of mind awareness.

Because business accounts are verified by WhatsApp, instances of fraud can be kept at bay as interested parties can be assured of our legitimacy before opting to connect. The security is further enhanced by the implementation of two-factor authentication in addition to end-to-end encryption of message content.

The potential of WhatsApp as a business channel cannot be overstated. The extensive reach, captive audience, and robust messaging features should make it a must-have in any enterprise’s customer relations arsenal, especially those contemplating venturing into foreign shores. In places where WhatsApp is the norm, services like DHLontheGo can be the difference maker in the competition for consumer eyes and dollars.