WhatsApp has entered the e-commerce market with a shopping button feature in its Business App. This addition will allow users to make a purchase within the app and explore various product catalogues from chat screens.
The option to shop directly from the app has been rolled out globally. However, the shop button is currently unavailable in India, but is expected to be launched in the near future.
In a blog post, the Facebook-owned company said that about 175 million users have a WhatsApp Business Account. "We will expand ways for people to check out available products and make purchases right from a chat," WhatsApp noted.
The company would ensure that users can add items to a cart and check out within the messaging app. The payment method is likely to be introduced for all users, but in India, it might be subject to WhatsApp's UPI payment feature.
Reserve Bank of India has not yet granted WhatsApp permission to launch its payments service in the country. Currently, the feature is in the beta phase.
While highlighting some data about its business oriented app, WhatsApp said, “We’ve heard from many small businesses how they already use WhatsApp to close sales. They might use their catalogue to showcase their goods or services, and then chat with the customer to coordinate the details and payment. We want to make all of this even easier and simpler in WhatsApp for everyone involved."