WhatsApp vs WhatsApp Business for Sales and Marketing

Ryan Tan
June 4, 2024

Today, WhatsApp is among the most widely used messaging apps worldwide, with over 2 billion active users. But beyond personal communication, WhatsApp is increasingly used for sales and marketing purposes. Unfortunately, regular WhatsApp can be limiting for this which is why there are two options for businesses: WhatsApp Business App and WhatsApp API, also known as WhatsApp Business API.

In our WhatsApp vs WhatsApp Business article, we’ll cover why you should consider moving to either WhatsApp Business App or WhatsApp API if you’re currently using regular WhatsApp for sales and marketing before comparing the two in detail.


WhatsApp vs WhatsApp Business: Why Regular WhatsApp for Sales and Marketing is Limiting

Standard WhatsApp is a proven staple for communicating with friends and family, but it falls short for business operations. While it can technically be used by solopreneurs and very small businesses, its weaknesses become apparent as you scale WhatsApp sales and marketing efforts.

Standard WhatsApp is great for daily use. But when you start to use WhatsApp for sales, it falls short

Inability to Scale

Regular WhatsApp was primarily designed for personal use. When your teams need to manage hundreds, if not thousands, of conversations daily, WhatsApp’s limit of allowing only 5 devices (including your primary device) per single account makes it virtually impossible to handle high volumes of interactions efficiently.

Lack of Verification

Between WhatsApp vs WhatsApp Business, standard WhatsApp doesn't support the verification of accounts. This is a shame as verification helps establish trust and credibility with customers and prospects. Without this, it can be difficult to differentiate between legitimate businesses and scammers.

Inefficiency for Sales Conversations

Using WhatsApp for sales operations requires more than just a chat interface. Teams need to track conversations, have easy access to chat histories and collaborate with other team members by handing off conversations as needed. Unfortunately, standard WhatsApp does not offer these features, leading to potentially missed opportunities when selling on WhatsApp.

Why Use WhatsApp Business App for Sales and Marketing?

WhatsApp Business App is one of the two options businesses can opt for and was primarily designed for smaller businesses. Unlike WhatsApp API, WhatsApp Business App is entirely free to download and is available on both Android and iOS. Its familiar and accessible WhatsApp features, such as quick replies and labeling, make it easy for teams to start using it.

WhatsApp Business App is often the go-to solution for smaller business owners who manage low volumes of customer interactions, such as local stores and restaurants. It suits those with a simple catalog of goods or services to display and who need basic automation features like automated greeting and farewell messages and is ideal for those not ready to invest in alternatives like WhatsApp API.

Pros of WhatsApp Business App

WhatsApp Business App offers many advantages for smaller businesses compared to regular WhatsApp, though it also has some limitations. But before we go into that, here’s why it's so appealing:

The benefits of WhatsApp Business App include the following
WhatsApp Business App is great for those wanting to use WhatsApp for Marketing and Sales thanks to these benefits

User-Friendly Interface: WhatsApp Business is straightforward to use, with a familiar interface and a low learning curve. This is ideal for users who may not be tech-savvy or have the time to learn more complicated tools.

Essential Features: WhatsApp Business App provides the essential tools any small business needs to succeed, including a business profile, product catalog and broadcast messages (limited to a single message) along with offering automated messages.

Voice and Video Calling: Unlike WhatsApp API, WhatsApp Business App readily supports both video and voice calling. This is particularly appealing for small businesses that rely on these forms of communication, such as healthcare providers, event planners and local service providers (e.g., fitness instructors and cleaners).

Cons of WhatsApp Business App

While the WhatsApp Business App is fantastic for small businesses, offering most of what they need, it also has some drawbacks:

Though it isn't perfect, between WhatsApp and WhatsApp Business App, the latter will always prove a better option for businesses.
Sales and marketing with WhatsApp Business App, unfortunately, does come with some limitations

Lack of Integration: Integrations with Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tools or other third-party software are not currently available. This restriction makes tracking and managing customer conversations more difficult.

Number of Users: WhatsApp Business App only supports up to four users, which is a significant drawback for businesses with larger teams or smaller businesses looking to scale their sales and marketing operations.

No Verification: Green Tick verification, which helps establish trust and recognition among prospects and sets you apart from scammers, is not offered by the business app.

Why Consider WhatsApp API for Sales and Marketing?

For larger businesses looking for a more robust solution that can scale with their sales and marketing goals, WhatsApp API offers a powerful option, allowing businesses to manage, automate and monitor conversations.

WhatsApp API is a fantastic solution for larger businesses because they often have more complex and extensive communication needs (and larger budgets). The ability to automate interactions, integrate with business tools and customize workflows makes handling large-scale communication efforts a much smoother affair.

Pros of WhatsApp API

While we’ve established that medium to larger businesses often opt for WhatsApp API, let’s take a closer look at some of its standout features:

Thanks to integration support, external WhatsApp tools and WhatsApp CRM can be used with WhatsApp API.
WhatsApp API is a powerful solution for businesses looking to use WhatsApp for sales and marketing. Here’s why

Customizability: WhatsApp API allows businesses to tailor the platform to their specific needs, enabling them to create custom workflows. However, do note that this does require technical experience to set up properly.

Verification: WhatsApp API can provide you with the iconic Verified Green Tick, which can go a long way in promoting brand legitimacy and trust, especially with new customers.

Integration: WhatsApp API offers the freedom and ability to integrate with a wide variety of CRM systems or other relevant business tools. WhatsApp integration is especially for purposes such as monitoring, which promotes transparency in customer communications.

Scalability: WhatsApp API essentially allows for unlimited users on a single number, meaning that regardless of team size, everyone who needs to be involved, can be involved.

Cons of WhatsApp API

Though WhatsApp API can potentially offer a lot more to businesses, it does not come without its own set of cons that include the following:

WhatsApp's benefits when it comes to API are many but its cons should also be considered.
Though WhatsApp API brings a lot to the table, there are some cons to note

Lack of Interface: Unlike the Business App, WhatsApp API does not come with any readily usable interface which means that businesses will need to connect it manually with an existing messaging software, such as, to communicate with leads and customers.

Complexity: While WhatsApp API offers flexibility and a greater degree of customization, it still requires technical expertise and knowledge to properly take advantage of.

No Built-in Calling: WhatsApp API does not readily support voice or video calls, which can be a severe drawback for businesses that rely on this feature instead of doing sales mainly via chat.

Pricing: While WhatsApp API isn't free, what it brings to your business can make it worth the investment. Businesses need to cover the costs for three things: their phone number, a messaging inbox and WhatsApp's conversation-based pricing charges.

WhatsApp Business App and WhatsApp API: A Comparison

Now that we’ve covered why you should consider either solution along with their main pros and cons, let’s take a side-by-side look at how both solutions differ:

When it comes to using WhatsApp for Business and why people use WhatsApp for business, these list of features should highlight WhatsApp Business features and benefits.
Struggling to decide between the Business App and API for WhatsApp for Sales needs? This table should come in handy

Is WhatsApp API Better Than WhatsApp Business App?

Time to answer the big question: which is the better option?

This may seem like a cop-out, but the answer depends entirely on your unique business needs and future plans. Both are definite upgrades from using regular WhatsApp for sales and marketing purposes, however.

WhatsApp Business App is ideal for small businesses, providing essential features without the need for technical expertise. It’s practical and cost-effective, making it perfect for businesses with a lower volume of customer interactions.

On the other hand, the WhatsApp API, while more suitable for medium to large-sized businesses, can be seen as a long-term investment that grows and scales with your company. It offers advanced features like automation, detailed analytics and CRM integration. That said, transitioning early from the WhatsApp Business App to the API can make it easier for your teams to start adopting new processes and avoid the potential headaches caused by losing chat histories during migration, whenever that may be on your timeline.

At, we’ve witnessed firsthand how businesses thrive with the WhatsApp API. Our platform integrates seamlessly with WhatsApp API for sales and marketing activities, providing a customer conversation management platform for businesses as a recognized Meta Business Partner. Why not sign up for a free account today and experience firsthand how we can elevate your WhatsApp sales and marketing operations?


Further Reading

Did you enjoy our article about WhatsApp vs WhatsApp Business and are interested in learning more? You might find these articles helpful:

Ryan Tan
Content Writer
Ryan Tan, a London School of Economics (LSE) law graduate, is a Senior Content Writer at He specializes in demystifying business messaging, providing readers with practical insights that pave the way to robust growth.
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