In some countries, Whatsapp seems to be the “new” communication channel for retailers. More and more customers are using very simple instant messaging app until now free of add and commercial intrusion. It appears that in other countries, like in Spain, this app has been introduced already some years ago. An example is Isla Azul, in Madrid, where the visitors of the shopping centre can quickly contact and ask questions. This simple way of contact is probably not the preferred channel for the shopping centre, that normally prefers their Web or specific App… but from a customer point of view this is of course very efficient.. you only get what you ask for.. until now (and if they answer).
I did test 3 shopping centres with simple questions to try to see speed and quality of answers.
Isla Azul (Madrid) did answer my first question instantly and then disappeared.
Moraleja Green (madrid) answered each question after a delay of 2 to 3 minutes but were very precise and professional, thanking me for contacting them.
Puerto Venecia (Zaragoza) answered after 11 minutes quite precisely my first question.. and ended rather professionally 21 minutes after only 3 questions.
When preparing the test I realised that many shopping centre do not offer Whatsapp contact facilities but are of course all present in at least 3 social media.
Even if probably “nice to have” and for sure with some potential benefits (Cf. Article) it seems that the retailers that started to use this media have not cracked the code yet. Of course this is a very limited sample but it shows that the focus is much more on Facebook and twitter (as we know), somehow passive and collective, rather than opening the door to individual interactions (with all the consequences it may have).