Whatsapp has been continuously exploring new feature after another for some time. In this time, Whatsapp has added a new shopping button, which make it easier for anyone to explore a business list.
This button will let them see which products or services are offered by any business. Whatsapp says that the new button will make it easier for businesses to have their products discovered and this can in turn help increase sales.
Whatsapp Craze in India
According to WhatsApp, more than 175 million people message a WhatsApp Business account every day and more than 40 million people view a business catalog each month, which includes more than 3 million in India.
In India, WhatsApp has over 400 million users, and the company just rolled out the Payments featured powered by Unified Payments Interface (UPI).
Shopping Button Features
With the new WhatsApp feature users will now see a shopping button next to the business accounts profile. The button looks like a storefront icon. This marks a change from the earlier setting, where a user had to tap into the business profile to see the catalog.
Tapping on the shopping button will open up the catalog and users will be able to browse through the items.
WhatsApp says this new shopping button is available now across the world and will replace the voice call button on business accounts. In order to find the voice call button, a user can simply tap on the call button to select either a voice or video call for the business account.
For WhatsApp integration of shopping on the platform is the next big step. As the video below shows WhatsApp eventually hopes to be the one stop destination for shopping where a user can check out the product, message the seller, eventually buy the product and make payment for the same.
The user would get all order details on WhatsApp itself without ever having to leave the platform at all. However, this functionality is still some time away.
In India, WhatsApp has launched its Payments service, though it will be limited to 20 million users for now. The payments service is based on UPI and will allow for direct bank transfer payments from WhatsApp itself.
How to use the shopping button on WhatsApp next to a business account
Go to any business account on WhatsApp. This could be a business account with which you are chatting regularly say a local bakery or a local seller.
If the seller has uploaded a catalog to their business account, users will see the a store shop symbol right next to the account name.
The social messaging platform is also working on a customer service to help businesses use WhatsApp more seamlessly to provide support to customers, and add additional features to help people buy, and business buy and sell. It will also offer hosting services through Facebook. WhatsApp, however, will charge customers for some of the services it plans to offer.
Parent Facebook is already dabbling with e-commerce with a pilot in the U.S. Its users will also be sell products via WhatsApp. Earlier this year, Facebook unveiled a similar shopping tab on Instagram.
For its new features, WhatsApp is leveraging the Facebook Shop platform that was introduced earlier this year for small and medium businesses.
When the system is fully integrated into WhatsApp, a user can just start a conversation with a business storefront and browse through its offerings, chat with it instantly, select products to purchase and make the payment instantly.
Many local and hyperlocal businesses in India currently rely on WhatsApp to communicate and reach out to potential customers with means of text updates, images and videos. With the roll-out of WhatsApp Pay in India, it truly has the potential to perfectly unify the shopping experience for customers on WhatsApp.