Daily Management Review

WhatsApp Gets New Shopping Feature


Facebook adds Whatsapp in its e-commerce run as it seeks to monetize its “high-growth” services for revenue boost.

Last week, Facebook Inc introduced a catalogue for the WhatsApp messaging app, owned by the social media giant. The former had purchased the latter for “$19 billion” in 2014, while the newly revealed feature is part of the company’s plan of introducing e-commerce tools in the service for monetizing the same.
Facebook has been attempting to increase the revenue of “higher-growth units” such as “Instagram and Whatsapp”, while its “flagship News Feed product” is bringing in “big ad dollars”, although getting new users seem a bit of a struggle. Before announcing the e-commerce feature for WhatsApp, Facebook has already tried the same with Instagram from March, whereby users can click on the “checkout” option to make direct payment from “within the app.
However, the WhatsApp tool will not go that far and the transactions will be routed elsewhere, although small business users of “WhatsApp Business app” will have the option of displaying a “mobile storefront” wherein they will be able to showcase “their wares with images and prices”.
In the words of a Product Manager of WhatsApp, Amrit Pal:
“We’re opening commerce as a new chapter. We hear from businesses every day that WhatsApp is where they meet their customers, rather than sending them to a website.”
In fact, Facebook C.E.O, Mark Zuckerberg had revealed the plans of “adding bots and augmented reality tools” to private chats for creating a platform wherein businesses and consumers can communicate through messages. Last year, Facebook had also said that businesses sending out “marketing and customer service messages on WhatsApp” will be charged a fixed rate for the deliveries that are confirmed, while the price would vary from “0.5 cents to 9 cents per message depending on the country”.
One of the WhatsApp spokesperson said that over hundred business were availing the “paid product” now and nearly five millions use the “WhatsApp Business service” which is provided free of cost. While Reuters reported that:
“WhatsApp’s catalog feature is available for users in Brazil, Germany, India, Indonesia, Mexico, Britain and the United States and will be rolled out around the world in the next few weeks, said the spokesman”.