By Rodrigo Bandeira*

A instability occurred mainly in the WhatsApp messaging application, and that is still being taken up slowly, aborted the communication of micro-enterprises and giants in Brazil and in the world. With the tool institutionalized as one of the main channels, or the main channel, of communication with customers, companies saw their dialogue with the consumer abruptly stop, having little to do for the moment.

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In 2020, the terrible escalation of covid-19 in Brazil forced entrepreneurs of different sizes to close their doors for months and, overnight, migrate their sales channels to other directions. WhatsApp was one of the immediate solutions found, which helped and still helps many "CNPJs" to stay alive and breathing in front of the peak of the disease last year and currently at a still slow pace of economic recovery. In times of ultrasonic needs, the application it was the outlet for thousands of businesses.

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It so happens that a part of entrepreneurs and companies stopped at “page 2” of this true digital metamorphosis. Satisfied in communicating via WhatsApp using it as a sales channel, they have not progressed to other stages of their digital life and many have not even put sales sites on the air, until today.

Yes, there were many, in Brazil about 160 thousand new virtual stores emerged in the very short space of 365 days, in the year 2020. A milestone for e-commerce in Brazil that, year after year, has always accumulated growth in the order of 20% or more and saw a jump to the incredible 68%.

In Brazilian e-commerce, there were traditional customer service channels, such as telephone and e-mail. We added to this collective of forms of contact the well-known chat that was run by people of flesh and blood, now robotic, and we arrived at the era of WhatsApp. All automatically with menus that, at each interaction, list possibilities according to your need and in the same way that it makes life easier for the youngest and most knowledgeable about technology, it makes communication difficult for the elderly, who are not yet used to menus and robotic solutions.

And now? How are we when the one who seemed to be our savior and at the same time plays the role of executioner, faced with the daily flood of messages, completely abandons us for a few hours? Migrating to competitors with similar communication solutions is no simple task and faces its pains with a sudden turn of followers, in “crowd mode” seeking its services, causing slowness and errors for the user. The old, and we can say rudimentary, SMS communication, until then only used for security confirmations and for advertisements fired by the thousands to a very small number of targets hit, also operates in a deficient way with delays or errors in the delivery of messages. The king of all, the good old phone call is suffering and calls with voice transmission failure and without completing were a reality of that fateful afternoon of October 4th.

For the simple user of the media, there is an emptiness and a strange feeling that the phone line was cut, and that the night of October 4th was one of loneliness. For entrepreneurs of any size, from large corporations to micro-entrepreneurs, it is painful to remember the maxim that we cannot put all our eggs in one basket. In modern times, the problem is no longer the fall and consequent breakage, but the failure to send the photo, well arranged in a basket, ready for sale.

*Rodrigo Bandeira is vice president of ABComm, an association that promotes e-commerce with relevant knowledge and helps in the creation of public policies for the sector

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