The platform has unveiled a shopping button globally, to launch in India later.
The company has announced its intentions of allowing users to add items to a shopping cart and check out, all within WhatsApp.
With the launch of its shopping button and digital payments option, WhatsApp offers a strong alternative to ecommerce platforms in India.
The platform has launched a shopping button globally but will launch it in India sometime later. The company has announced its intentions of allowing users to add items to a shopping cart and check out, all within WhatsApp.
It is worth noting that WhatsApp’s digital payments platform WhatsApp Pay has been stuck in limbo in India since its beta launch in 2018, and is awaiting final approval from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) for its full-scale launch in the country. The platform has reportedly partnered with several Indian banks to facilitate payments through the Unified Payments Interface (UPI) network on the platform.
With the launch of its shopping button and digital payments option, WhatsApp could give Indian sellers who’d rather opt for a direct-to-customer (D2C) model for their business, an alternative to the prevalent choice of selling their wares through ecommerce platforms such as Amazon and Flipkart.
In July, WhatsApp claimed that there were 50 Mn WhatsApp Business accounts globally, of which 15 Mn were from India. The company had announced its plans of providing businesses with QR codes. The QR codes could be displayed on a business’ storefront or their product receipt and packaging material. Instead of having to save a business’ number and then starting a chat, users could simply scan the QR code to initiate a WhatsApp chat with the business. Last year, the company introduced the catalogue feature for WhatsApp Business, allowing businesses to showcase and share the goods or services they offer, which can help them close sales.
“This will make it easier for small and medium-sized businesses to get started, sell products, keep their inventory up to date, and quickly respond to messages they receive, wherever their employees are,” WhatsApp says.
The company plans to expand its partnerships with business solution providers and will charge users of WhatsApp Business if they choose to avail such advanced services.