WhatsApp Introduces Catalogue Collections




  • In Business
  • 2021-10-20 22:48:46Z
  • By WWD
 

WhatsApp's slow march to commerce has just passed another mile marker, with an update that allows merchants to create catalogue collections.

The feature, unveiled Wednesday, is targeted to small businesses, enabling them to sort or group products from their catalogue. The idea is to free shoppers from having to scroll endlessly to find particular items. In one example, the company said clothing stores would now be able to create collections for men's or women's apparel categories, or organize items according to type, like shirts or pants.

  • 2020 Holiday Gift Ideas: Google's Top Searched Beauty, Home and Tech Gifts

  • Inside the Jacquard by Google Exhibit in Paris

  • How "The Bachelor" Contestants Have Gone From Reality T.V. to Mega-Influencers

"We want to make WhatsApp the best way for people to shop for goods and services and for businesses to connect with their customers, which is why we are making it easier to see what a business offers on WhatsApp - just in time for the holiday season," the company explained.

The change is so fundamental, it's a bit surprising that the company is only now getting around to it. But that's been WhatsApp's modus operandi so far, evolving incrementally to grow a stable shopping infrastructure.

The platform launched catalogues for businesses in 2019, shopping carts in 2020 and this year, it opened up catalogue management to desktop and mobile and gave stores the ability to hide products that are no longer available.

But that was all prelude to the inevitable - Facebook Shops' expansion from Facebook and Instagram to WhatsApp in June. The move turned the chat app, which was used mostly for customer service and communications, into a shopping platform.

Over the last few years, Facebook has been pushing to unify its family of apps, and it's obvious that the strategy extends to its shopping initiatives. The social giant's focus on social commerce tends to revolve around its own platform and the company's Instagram business.

Focusing on chat, WhatsApp is cut from a different cloth, so it's no surprise that it approaches shopping in a different way. But the motivation is clear: WhatsApp is a massively popular app in places like India and Brazil, giving Facebook potentially solid footing for a commerce play in emerging markets.

In other regions, like Asia, chat apps act like hubs for shopping, ride hailing, food ordering and more. For instance, China's WeChat, which has grown its third-party ecosystem out to cover a multitude of services, nabbed the equivalent of nearly $250 billion in annual transactions last year.

The motivation and strategy look obvious. What's less clear is what Facebook's transformation from a social media company to a metaverse company may mean to its family of apps.

Metaverse applies to virtual worlds that connect people in various ways, including augmented reality, virtual reality and their applications across glasses, headsets and other devices. For now, it will include smartphones, but it's generally considered next-generation tech beyond mobile devices.

In a leaked memo this summer, Facebook chief executive officer Mark Zuckerberg - who has publicly discussed his enthusiasm for the metaverse - confirmed that the company's work on communities, creators, commerce, and virtual reality will turn its attention to the emerging tech as a priority. Facebook is so dedicated to this idea that it reportedly plans on rebranding itself, even changing its name - possibly as soon as next week, according to a new report from The Verge based on a source "familiar with the matter."

WhatsApp seems somewhat removed from the musings of its parent. But it's hard to ignore the fact that it's a phone-based chat application tied to a company that's looking to go beyond phones.

COMMENTS

More Related News

Fact check: Photo altered to show Jeffrey Epstein posing with Joe Biden
Fact check: Photo altered to show Jeffrey Epstein posing with Joe Biden

The image in a popular Facebook post combines two separate photos of President Joe Biden and Jeffrey Epstein.

Uber to allow users to book rides via WhatsApp in India
Uber to allow users to book rides via WhatsApp in India
  • US
  • 2021-12-02 07:04:22Z

U.S. ride-hailing company Uber Technologies Ltd said on Thursday it would roll out a feature that will allow users in India to book rides via messaging...

A sixth Idahoan has been arrested in Jan. 6 Capitol riot. He
A sixth Idahoan has been arrested in Jan. 6 Capitol riot. He's the first from East Idaho
  • US
  • 2021-12-02 00:02:32Z

An Idaho Falls man, Tyler Tew, was picked up by FBI agents and local law enforcement Tuesday.

Westchester DA investigates anti-abortion activists arrested for entering health clinic
Westchester DA investigates anti-abortion activists arrested for entering health clinic
  • US
  • 2021-12-01 21:45:34Z

Westchester County District Attorney Mimi Rocah said the three men could face charges under New York State health and trespassing laws.

Facebook: Fake scientist used to spread anti-US propaganda
Facebook: Fake scientist used to spread anti-US propaganda
  • US
  • 2021-12-01 20:51:50Z

A disinformation network with ties to China used hundreds of fake social media accounts - including one belonging to a fictitious Swiss biologist - to spread...

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Cancel reply

Comments

Top News: Business