Facebook announced a new feature for the WhatsApp Business app called “catalog” that will allow businesses to showcase their products, add prices, description, links and share them with potential customers in one go. Previously, businesses on the app could only share product photos and information with customers one at a time.
This new feature essentially acts as a mobile storefront on the WhatsApp Business app. This way, businesses can collate their products in one place and share it with potential customers without needing to have a separate website. It is likely to help small businesses on the app who might not have the resources to create a website to showcase their products.
Why this matters: WhatsApp seems to have all but one piece of the jigsaw. With chats and now catalogs, all that WhatsApp has to do is enable payments on the platform, and its Business app might become a full-blown, powerful e-commerce marketplace.
How to set it up: The business settings in the latest version of the app will have a new catalog option, using which users can add images of their products or services, product names, prices, description and also link out to another website in case a business has one.
Once a business owner sets up a catalog, s/he can share it with a customer in a WhatsApp chat window. Here’s a video explainer that Facebook made:
Availability: For now, the catalog feature is available in India, Brazil, Germany, Indonesia, Mexico, the UK and the US, on both Android and iOS. Other regions will get the update soon, Facebook said.