The world is plagued with the 'COVID-19' coronavirus. While some places may have recovered, most others are still struggling to contain this viral disease.
Because of this, most of the world is still in high alert, with people urged to not leave their homes unless for an emergency, and work/study from home whenever possible. This trend shifted a significant part of communication, business and commerce, to the internet.
Among a number of companies that benefited from this trend, is WhatsApp.
Owned by Facebook, the popular messaging app wants to be present where the money is.
And this time, the messaging app is introducing a 'Shopping' button to its WhatsApp Business app.
What it does, is allowing users to easily shop within the app, through a more streamlined experience.
Tapping on the button, users will see a catalog of goods and services, listed by WhatsApp from the many businesses that are already in its platform.
Initially introduced only to limited users, the button looks similar to the storefront icon.
If a business on WhatsApp has set up a product catalog, users can tap on the button to view it. Users can then chat with the business if they want.
With WhatsApp Business placing the button where the voice call button used to be, WhatsApp is literally creating a call-to-action button where instead of a single call button, users can have options to choose either voice and video calls.
Previously, users were required to tap on the business’ profile to see if the business had a catalog. With the Shopping button, users can directly browse products and start shopping.
“This will make it easier for businesses to have their products discovered which can help increase sales,” WhatsApp said.
While WhatsApp has introduced the feature, and also uploaded a video about it, the feature isn't quite polished yet.
For example, WhatsApp showcased the feature displaying a 'message business' option, but there is no buy or 'add to cart' button. In other words, it doesn’t appear that there’s any way to actually purchase items through WhatsApp at the moment of introduction.
WhatsApp released another video showing off its vision of "how easy we think messaging a business should be." There was an "add to cart" option shown in that demo.
However, this marks an expansion of the WhatsApp for Business e-commerce platform; the company released a couple of videos targeted at businesses today, revealing that sellers can connect their existing Facebook Shops with WhatsApp.
The button is just the first step towards a more robust shopping experience on WhatsApp.
Facebook has been making aggressive push into e-commerce through its various services and products over the years.
Knowing that the social giant is already capable of building a captive audience throughout its properties, Facebook is confident about introducing more e-commerce methods, as it aims for more revenue sources.