In some parts of the world, small businesses don’t only use social media and messaging apps to promote their products — they sell their goods through them. Now, WhatsApp is making it easier for those businesses’ customers to buy their products. It has launched catalogs for its Business application, and entrepreneurs who don’t have an official website can use the feature to build a mobile storefront that showcases their goods. In other words, it now has some sort of in-app shopping service that lets people buy products without having to visit a website.
Businesses selling through mobile apps sometimes have to send potential customers their price lists and product photos again and again. The new feature allows them to build a list of goods with photos, prices and descriptions — take note that customers don’t have to download the Business app to be able to browse the products listed. Catalogs are now available for both Android and iPhone devices in Brazil, Germany, India, Indonesia, Mexico, the UK and the US, but the Facebook subsidiary says it’ll be available around the world “soon.”
WhatsApp launched its Business app in early 2018, allowing businesses to display their official bio, email, address and contact number. It also gives them access to messaging metrics and other business-oriented tools, including a way to program smart replies for FAQs.