WhatsApp, Instagram, and Messenger, which is best for e-commerce?

Hello to all passionate e-commerce entrepreneurs!

You’re running a thriving e-commerce business and wondering how to boost your revenue? Then, this article is tailor-made for you!

 Today, we are diving into the fascinating world of conversational commerce. 

Are you wondering which channel is most effective for increasing your Lifetime Value (LTV), boosting your Average Order Value (AOV), and retaining your customers? You’re in the right place!

 We will take an in-depth look at the pros and cons of various channels such as WhatsApp, Instagram, and Messenger. So, buckle up, as we delve into the details!

Let’s start with the WhatsApp channel!

WhatsApp: Two Versions, Two Uses

To engage in conversational commerce, WhatsApp is an absolutely fantastic channel that offers incredible ROI

However, there are two options if you want to use WhatsApp for your business: WhatsApp Business and WhatsApp Business API.

WhatsApp Business vs WhatsApp Business API

WhatsApp is a popular messaging platform that offers two options for businesses: WhatsApp Business and WhatsApp Business API. WhatsApp Business is a free app aimed at small businesses, while the WhatsApp API is a paid solution for large enterprises looking to automate and personalize their interactions with customers on a large scale.

Whatsapp Business

One of the most appealing aspects of WhatsApp Business is that it’s completely free to use. This cost-effectiveness makes it an ideal choice for small businesses operating on a tight budget. You can engage with your customers, send updates, and even run marketing campaigns without worrying about additional costs.

Navigating through the app is incredibly straightforward, thanks to its user-friendly interface. Even if you’re not tech-savvy, you’ll find it easy to set up your business profile and start interacting with customers. The simplicity of the platform allows you to focus more on building customer relationships rather than figuring out how to use the software.

Beyond its ease of use, the platform offers a direct and personalized way to communicate with customers. You can send text messages, images, and even videos to provide a richer, more engaging experience. This direct line of communication helps in building trust and fostering long-term relationships with your customer base.

But WhatsApp Business isn’t just a messaging app; it’s a versatile tool that can be integrated into various business operations. You can set automated replies for frequently asked questions, reducing the workload on your customer service team. This feature allows you to provide quick and consistent responses, enhancing customer satisfaction.

The app’s global reach is another significant advantage. With billions of users worldwide, you’re not just limited to local customers. You can easily expand your business outreach to international markets, all while communicating in multiple languages supported by the app.

Security is a top priority in today’s digital age, and WhatsApp Business doesn’t disappoint in this regard. The platform offers end-to-end encryption, ensuring that all your messages and transactions are secure. This level of security provides peace of mind when sharing sensitive information like invoices or customer details.

While WhatsApp Business offers a plethora of advantages, it’s important to consider some of its limitations as well. 

One of the main drawbacks is the lack of advanced analytics and reporting features, which can be a hindrance for businesses looking to gain deeper insights into customer behavior and engagement metrics. Additionally, the platform is primarily designed for small to medium-sized businesses, and may not offer the scalability required by larger enterprises. 

There’s also the issue of data privacy; although the app provides end-to-end encryption, businesses must still comply with data protection regulations, which can be particularly challenging when dealing with international customers. 

Furthermore, being a mobile-centric platform, it may not be the most convenient option for businesses accustomed to desktop-based communication tools. Lastly, while the app is free, certain features like automated responses and verified business accounts may require third-party services that come with their own costs. Therefore, while WhatsApp Business is a robust tool for customer engagement and communication, it’s essential to weigh these limitations against its benefits to determine if it’s the right fit for your business needs.

Whatsapp business API

Lets now talk about whatsapp business API

One of the most compelling features of the WhatsApp Business API is its capability for advanced automation. Imagine a world where your customer service is not just automated but also highly personalized. The API allows businesses to send automated messages that are tailored to individual customer profiles, needs, and behaviors. This is a game-changer in the realm of customer service.

For example, if a customer has recently purchased a pair of running shoes from your online store, the API can automatically send a follow-up message asking about the customer’s experience and offering tips on shoe maintenance. This level of personalization can significantly enhance customer satisfaction and loyalty.


Another major advantage is scalability. If you’re running a large enterprise that deals with a high volume of customer interactions, the robust infrastructure of the WhatsApp Business API is designed to scale with your needs. This ensures that you can manage multiple customer interactions seamlessly, without any hiccups.

Let’s say you’re an online training provider, and you have thousands of students enrolled in various courses. The API allows you to send bulk messages, updates, and even course materials directly to your students’ WhatsApp, making the entire process more efficient.

With the WhatsApp API, you can accomplish incredible things such as sending whatsapp newsletters, recovering abandoned carts, and engaging in cross-selling. Thanks to Coco, you can also implement ‘text-to-buy‘ on WhatsApp. Your prospects can initiate a purchase by uttering just a single word or phrase, which is absolutely revolutionary!

Many people underestimate the potential of WhatsApp.

2.7 billion people  use WhatsApp monthly, allowing your business to reach a wide audience. The API is essential for larger businesses, as WhatsApp Business only allows you to reach 256 people with a single message, whereas the API offers unlimited reach.
That’s right—if you have a list of 100,000 people, you can send a message to all of them with just one click.

With a single click, a prospect can opt into your newsletters. This service is even free for up to 1,000 contacts per month. You heard it right, for 1,000 conversations where the prospect contacts you, it’s free.

SMS marketing is outdated

Also, if customers come from online advertising on the Meta platform and initiate a conversation with your brand, it will be free for you. Even though the API comes at a cost, the returns on investment (ROI) are absolutely staggering. Traditional SMS channels are saturated with ads, Instagram DMs are flooded with bots, and Messenger doesn’t allow for easy opt-in from prospects.

WhatsApp is an incredible channel because it is virtually untapped in terms of marketing, has a massive adoption rate, and is less crowded compared to other channels.

When compared to SMS, for example, WhatsApp is highly competitive since you only pay once per conversation, not per message… and that changes everything! A conversation lasts 24 hours. If you send 100 messages, 5 videos, and 2 voice messages, you won’t pay more than 15 cents (ranging between 1 cent and 15 cents depending on the country). In contrast, if you do the same thing via SMS, you’ll spend 100 times the cost of an SMS plus 5 times the cost of an MMS, etc.

By understanding these advantages and disadvantages, businesses can make a more informed decision on whether to opt for WhatsApp Business or the more advanced WhatsApp Business API for their customer communication needs.

If you’re looking for a channel where you’ll be the first in your niche, WhatsApp is for you. As the saying goes, the early bird often captures the majority of the market!

Let’s now have a look at instagram ! 

Instagram: The Power of Direct Messages

Instagram is a powerful platform for conversational commerce, especially with tools like Manychat. Manychat offers a range of features for Direct Message (DM) marketing on Instagram.

One of the standout features of ManyChat’s Instagram product is its 24/7 automated customer support. This feature is a boon for e-commerce businesses, as it eliminates the need for a virtual assistant, thereby cutting costs. Moreover, it ensures that customer queries are addressed promptly, regardless of the time of day.

Imagine a customer browsing your online store late at night and encountering an issue. With ManyChat’s automated support, their query can be resolved instantly, enhancing customer satisfaction and potentially sealing a sale that might otherwise have been lost.

ManyChat offers a robust suite of features that allow you to automate the entire sales funnel on Instagram. Tools like Flow Builder and Keywords enable personalized conversations that guide customers through the buying process, from lead generation to conversion.

For instance, if a customer shows interest in a specific product category, ManyChat can automatically send them tailored product recommendations, special offers, and even walk them through the checkout process, all within Instagram’s messaging platform.

One significant drawback of using ManyChat for Instagram is the limited 24-hour contact window. Instagram’s platform rules prohibit businesses from contacting a prospect or customer 24 hours after they have reached out. This limitation hampers follow-up efforts and can lead to lost sales opportunities.

Another limitation is Instagram’s inability to support long-term engagement strategies like newsletters or abandoned cart recovery. This makes the platform less suitable for businesses looking to maintain extended customer relationships.

Unlike Instagram, WhatsApp allows for an extended contact window, enabling businesses to re-contact customers and prospects more than 24 hours after a message. This feature is particularly beneficial for e-commerce businesses that require longer customer engagement cycles.

If a customer is lost due to Instagram‘s 24-hour window, that’s a missed opportunity. WhatsApp, on the other hand, is better suited for e-commerce businesses with larger audiences, as it allows for more extended engagement, thereby increasing the chances of conversion.

By understanding these advantages and disadvantages, businesses can make a more informed decision about whether to invest in ManyChat’s Instagram product or consider alternatives like WhatsApp for their conversational commerce needs.

Messenger: The Versatile Channel

Messenger, Facebook’s messaging platform, is also an excellent choice for conversational commerce. Manychat is also available for Messenger and offers similar features to those for Instagram.

One of the most compelling features of ManyChat for Messenger is its ability to create highly personalized user experiences. With tools like Flow Builder, you can design intricate and tailored conversational flows that resonate with your audience, enhancing customer engagement and satisfaction.

ManyChat offers seamless integration with a variety of other tools and platforms, such as MailChimp, Google Sheets, Klaviyo, and Zapier. This easy integration allows businesses to streamline their operations and manage multiple aspects of customer engagement from a single dashboard.

While it’s intriguing that a tool like ManyChat allows businesses to capture contacts, create conversational flows, and re-engage with customers, there are significant challenges that often go unmentioned.

The first issue is the 24-hour engagement window.

 ManyChat for Messenger restricts businesses from re-engaging with individuals more than 24 hours after the last message was sent. This limitation can be a significant hurdle for businesses that require longer customer engagement cycles, essentially causing potential sales and conversations to be lost.

Another challenge arises when a prospect needs to opt-in to your service.

For this to happen, the individual must be logged into Facebook. This requirement poses a considerable problem, especially for mobile users. Prospects browsing an e-commerce site on mobile apps like Chrome or Safari are often not logged into the browser itself but are logged into the mobile Facebook app. This situation can trigger an error, causing you to lose both the opt-in and the potential sale.

By understanding these challenges, businesses can better assess whether ManyChat for Messenger is the right tool for their specific needs and how to navigate its limitations effectively.

In summary, ManyChat Messenger is good to use directly on Facebook or on desktop, but definitely not on mobile.

When compared to WhatsApp, it quickly becomes evident that Messenger is much less suited for maintaining a consistent customer relationship. We recommend using Messenger for occasional interactions, but utilizing the WhatsApp API for increasing the Lifetime Value (LV) on your e-commerce platform.


In the ever-evolving world of conversational commerce, choosing the right channel for your e-commerce business is crucial. From WhatsApp and Instagram to Messenger, each platform offers unique advantages and disadvantages that can significantly impact your business’s Lifetime Value (LTV), Average Order Value (AOV), and customer retention.

WhatsApp stands out as a particularly robust channel, especially when utilizing the WhatsApp Business API. With features like advanced automation and scalability, it’s an ideal choice for large enterprises. The API allows for incredible functionalities such as sending newsletters, recovering abandoned carts, and even engaging in cross-selling.

Instagram and Messenger, while powerful in their own right, come with limitations that can hinder long-term customer engagement. For instance, the 24-hour contact window on Instagram and Messenger can be a significant drawback for businesses that require extended interaction cycles.

If you’re interested in taking your conversational commerce to the next level, Coco is here to help you skyrocket your results with features like ‘text-to-buy‘ and ‘smart cart recovery AI,’ all directly within WhatsApp. These advanced functionalities can revolutionize your customer interactions, offering a more personalized and efficient experience.

To explore how Coco can help you maximize your ROI through WhatsApp, you’re invited to schedule a demo with us. We’re committed to helping you navigate the complexities of conversational commerce, ensuring that you make the most informed decisions for your e-commerce business.

So, are you ready to unlock the full potential of conversational commerce? Let Coco guide you in making WhatsApp your ultimate sales channel.

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