WhatsApp’s New Shopping Button for Business Accounts

Dec 17, 2020
4 min read

What does the new shopping button mean?

WhatsApp is releasing a new shopping button that will help customers to discover a catalog of the business accounts easily. It will also let users see the products or services offered by a particular company or business. According to WhatsApp, over 175 million people message a WhatsApp Business account every day. Moreover, around 4 million people view the catalog of a business profile each month, which accounts for over 3 million in India. There are more than 400 million WhatsApp users in India, and they recently rolled out the Payments feature powered by the Unified Payments Interface (UPI).[1]

What does it mean for the business account owners?

As per WhatsApp, this new button will make it easier for business accounts to have their products or services discovered. Eventually, this can help them to increase their sales and reach their targets. It is worth noting that users can see a shopping button on those business account profiles who have set up a catalog.

The features of the new shopping button

With this new WhatsApp feature, users can now see a shopping button that looks like a storefront icon placed next to the business account's profile. This marks a change from its earlier setting, where a user had to tap into a business account's profile to see the catalog. Now, tapping on the shopping button will open up the catalog, and users can browse through the items offered by the business account profiles who have uploaded their catalog.

Users will be able to see a store shop symbol right next to the business account name. Tap on this symbol, and the catalog will open, displaying the products offered by the businesses. You can now browse the catalog and see pictures of each product. If you like a product and wish to buy it, tap on the Message Business button shown below its picture to raise a query about that specific item.

Though this shopping button does not bring any new functionality to the table, it makes discovering product catalogs easier. Having a storefront icon, replaces the call button within the conversations. However, users are still able to place a voice or video call in the application.

How can business owners use it?

As per WhatsApp, business owners across the world can now use this new shopping button as it will replace the voice call button on the business accounts profile. To find the voice call button, you can tap on the call button to select either a voice or video call on your business account. The shopping button is available on both Android and iPhone, and it is currently available to those who use the WhatsApp Business app and have set up a catalog.

Is Facebook threatening to enter the e-commerce space?

To increase its e-commerce presence, Facebook has now introduced a new shopping button on the Business Version of WhatsApp. The new feature allows users to browse through a business catalog and message them directly. As this button gives the users direct access to the catalog of businesses on this platform, it is easier for them to explore their products and services while chatting.

The integration of the shopping button on WhatsApp is the next big step by Facebook as it is entering the e-commerce space. Watch the video below that shows how WhatsApp is ultimately hoping to be a one-stop destination for online shopping- where a user can check the product, message the seller, and eventually buy a product and make payment for the same. All in all, the users will get all order details on WhatsApp itself without ever have to leave the platform.

How to Use the Shopping Button on WhatsApp Business from Official WhatsApp

However, this functionality is still some time away. WhatsApp has launched its Payments service in India, though it will be limited to 20 million users. This service is based on UPI and will allow for direct bank transfer payments from the platform itself.

A new avenue for sellers?

With nearly 50 million people viewing a business' catalog every month globally, it's no surprise that more consumer businesses are adopting WhatsApp to engage with their customers.[2] The best reason businesses use this app is that most customers are probably already using it, and they love this platform to engage with them. As per the Facebook Messaging Survey, about 67% of mobile messaging app users said they expect to use chat more than communicating with businesses over the next two years. Additionally, nearly 53% of respondents say they are more likely to shop online with a business they can message directly. [3]

With the introduction of new features on WhatsApp, Facebook is aggressively boosting its e-commerce presence across the world. So, it is becoming a new avenue for sellers to sell their products directly from the platform and allow purchases by the users. Moreover, the company will also provide hosting services to small businesses through Facebook's partners in the country.

Takeaway

The new shopping button gives users direct access to a specific business' catalog. While interacting with a WhatsApp Business account, users will see this button on their chat screens of the specific business account on the platform. Tapping this button will take you to the business' catalog through which you can see the goods and services to purchase from that particular business.

The launch of this shopping button will eventually help businesses enhance the discovery of their goods and services to boost their sales. Though it is not clear as to when this new feature will be released for users, teasers shared by the WhatsApp official account indicate that we may not have to wait for too long.