WhatsApp Gets a Shopping Button, to See What Businesses are Selling on the App


WhatsApp has started rolling out a new shopping button that will let users quickly look at the catalogues offered by businesses on the platform. The new button, which will replace the voice call button, will be featured directly on the chat screen to ease shopping on WhatsApp. In September, the Facebook-owned company was spotted adding the shopping button to help businesses better showcase their products and services to customers through the instant messaging app. The feature was initially seen on a WhatsApp beta version for Android. However, it is now heading to both Android and iPhone users globally.

With the addition of the shopping button, which seems like a storefront icon, WhatsApp users can look at a business’ catalogue directly from the chat screen. This is unlike previously when people had to tap into a particular business’ profile to see if the business had a catalogue and what goods or services they offer.

The new shopping button sits next to the newly designed call button and replaces the existing voice call button. Users will see the shopping button on the chat screen of businesses that have a catalogue of their offerings. This means that you won’t be able to see the new button while communicating with your friends or family members on WhatsApp.

Once tapped, the shopping button will take you to the business’ catalogue through which you can see what goods and services you can purchase from that business. This will essentially help businesses on WhatsApp enhance discovery of their products and boost their sales.

In November last year, the WhatsApp Business app enabled the catalogue feature to let small businesses showcase their products to WhatsApp users. The businesses that have set up a catalogue will now be able to make the shopping button visible on their chat screen. You can also, however, still access the catalogue of businesses from their profiles on the messaging app.

As the shopping button replaces the voice call button in case of business chats, you can find the latter by tapping on the call button. This brings up the option to select whether you want to make a voice or video call.

WhatsApp claimed that already more than 17.5 crore users message a WhatsApp Business account on a daily basis and more than four crore people view a business’ catalogue on the app each month — those include over 30 lakh in India. The arrival of the shopping button is one of the key steps to further expand business adoption of the app and make it as a full-fledged platform for e-commerce — alongside being a leading instant messaging platform.

In 2020, will WhatsApp get the killer feature that every Indian is waiting for? We discussed this on Orbital, our weekly technology podcast, which you can subscribe to via Apple Podcasts or RSS, download the episode, or just hit the play button below.

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Jagmeet Singh
Jagmeet Singh writes about consumer technology for Gadgets 360, out of New Delhi. Jagmeet is a senior reporter for Gadgets 360, and has frequently written about apps, computer security, Internet services, and telecom developments. Jagmeet is available on Twitter at @JagmeetS13 or Email at jagmeets@ndtv.com. Please send in your leads and tips.

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