In March when coronavirus started spreading in India, Abhishek Sayam was forced to close his two Books By Kilo stores on the outskirts of Mumbai. The company, which sells books by weight and not by printed cost, also had to stop holding exhibitions to avoid putting customers and teammates at risk. “Due to (the) uncertain nature of lockdowns and curfews we can not confirm the date of delivery,” reads a popup on Books By Kilo’s website.

This situation could have led Sayam’s two-year-old venture to collapse. But like for many other entrepreneurs, technology came to his rescue.

Books By Kilo has seen a 40% increase in sales and customer interactions since March thanks to WhatsApp Business, a free-to-download mobile app that acts as a storefront for small businesses on the world’s largest instant messaging app. Sayam has been using the app since 2018, but during the lockdown, the app was

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