As part of Facebook Inc's strategy to improve revenue flow, WhatsApp, the in-demand communication app, has launched a shopping button in India, just days after receiving a nod from authorities to launch its payment services.
According to reports, the launch of shopping button will kickstart WhatsApp's foray into the commercial market with a long-sited plan.
In the initial phase, users will be able to see catalogues of small businesses on WhatsApp and interact with them to place orders, thereby bringing ease of doing business. However, payments to merchants have still not been enabled. As of now, a user can pay the small store owner through Unified Payments Interface (UPI) or through peer-to-peer transactions. The shopping button was launched globally in late October and it’s coming to India following the launch of WhatsApp Pay.
"More than 175 million people message a WhatsApp Business account every day and more than 40 million people view a business’ catalog each month, which includes more than 3 million in India," Whatsapp said.
WhatsApp has said a shopping button would make it easier for people to discover a business’ catalog to know the range of goods and services being offered, without undertaking visits to various business profiles to find out the best deal.
Recently, Facebook Inc launched WhatsApp Payments service in India, after years of struggle to bag a permit to run the service in India. WhatsApp Pay finally got the approval for the roll-out in the country and is available for all iOS and Android users.
“To send money on WhatsApp in India, it’s necessary to have a bank account and debit card in India. WhatsApp sends instructions to banks, also known as payment service providers, that initiate the transfer of money via UPI between sender and receiver bank accounts,” WhatsApp said.
In order to use the shopping button on WhatsApp, you need to go to any business account, if that account has uploaded a catalog, users can see the store shop symbol next to the seller's name. You can tap on the symbol and the catalog will open, which will show products which are available.
You can browse on the catalog and see pictures of each product. If you like a product, just tap on the message Business button below each picture and you can raise query about that particular product.