WhatsApp makes shopping possible directly in the chat

Messaging giant WhatsApp is expanding its business functions. In the future, users will be able to view products in the chat and buy them there. However, business customers will have to pay for some services in the future.

Facebook’s messaging app WhatsApp has around two billion users worldwide and for that reason alone is ideal as a shop window and shopping channel for companies. WhatsApp brands are now offered additional options to sell products to users directly via chats in the app. In addition to shopping in the chat, the company is also optimizing customer communication in order to be able to conduct business even more smoothly. Business customers incur the first costs.

View catalog, place order, view order information – all in WhatsApp chat

The official WhatsApp blog explains that not only personal communication but also business conversations are increasingly shifting to messaging apps like WhatsApp. According to this, more than 175 million people send a message to a WhatsApp business account every day, because users often prefer direct communication via such a channel to a phone call or an email. And companies spend huge sums of money managing their emails, calls or SMS for business purposes.

With the WhatsApp Business App and the WhatsApp Business API, Facebook’s subsidiary supports brands of all sizes in managing their chats. Now these chats are explained to the shopping environment. Because users can find out about available products from brands there and then even buy them directly via the chat. WhatsApp would also like to help companies integrate the new functions into their existing retail and customer solutions.

A user can now, for example, ask for a product catalog in a chat, view it directly in the app and then even complete the order there. And then it is then still possible to clarify further order details in the chat process, for example when an ordered product can be picked up.

This is what shopping in WhatsApp chat can look like
This is what shopping in WhatsApp chat can look like (click on the picture to get a larger view), © WhatsApp

In this way, WhatsApp could become an immensely important player in social commerce. Not to mention Facebook, which introduced the Facebook Shops this year and is also shaping the social commerce market with various shopping options on Instagram. In order to make WhatsApp’s social commerce solutions as user-friendly as possible for companies, the app provider cooperates with various providers of corporate solutions. The management of WhatsApp messages via Facebook hosting services is also to be expanded. This could make sales and inventory easier, especially for smaller companies. And the reaction to various messages from users is then also optimized regardless of location.

Business customers will have to pay in the future

Business customers have to pay for some of the services offered by WhatsApp in the business context. The company explains the step as follows:

This will allow us to further expand our own business model and continue to offer free end-to-end encrypted chats, video calls and voice calls to more than two billion people.

“From the business around the corner to the company on the other side of the globe”, WhatsApp wants to promote social commerce worldwide in its own app. The largest messaging app in the world could change people’s shopping behavior forever. Because the combination of a shopping experience – including inspiration from the product catalogs – and advice as well as purchase processing in one app, which many use anyway, is a step towards maximum customer convenience. All of these new features will be rolled out gradually over the coming months. WhatsApp comments:

We are very excited about everything that lies ahead of us.

The e-commerce market and the digital world are likely to be too.

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