Can I move my e-commerce business to Whatsapp Catalog?

Written by
Isabel Edwards

With 74% of consumers trusting social networks to guide purchasing decisions, it comes as no surprise that social platforms are capitalising on this trust to sell e-commerce products.

The top 500 retailers earned an estimated $6.5 billion from social shopping, up 24% from 2016.

Customers crave the convenience of shopping whilst engaging with their favourite content, and this shows with 54% of millennials using social channels to research products before they buy.

In this article, we’ll delve into Whatsapps new e-commerce feature, how you can utilise it to boost your sales and other social media platforms you can adapt to your e-commerce strategy.

What is Whatsapp’s new Catalog feature?

Whatsapp’s latest addition to their business adaptation of the app is called ‘Catalog’.

It allows business owners to create a mobile storefront, which they were previously unable to do within the app.

Previously, Whatsapp Business was primarily for automating, sorting and quickly responding to messages. It also allowed users to create a business profile and view statistics on how their messages were performing with customers.

Catalog is Whatsapp’s first move towards e-commerce, but the development comes as no surprise with so many social media and messaging apps already taking advantage of the lucrative online shopping industry.

Although the feature doesn’t allow business owners to actually sell products within the app, it allows them to share a photo, price, description and link to their external e-commerce store.

How can I sell products on the new Whatsapp Catalog?

Business owners are still unable to sell directly through Whatsapp, but they can utilise the new feature to showcase their product offering in a catalogue, hence the name.

Here’s how they explain the benefits of this new update for users:

The key benefit is to keep customers engaged and provide a more seamless experience whilst browsing a business product offering.

Whatsapp states that the update ‘keeps customers engaged in the chat without having to visit a website’, which is true until the customer decides they’d like to purchase, when they would have to visit an external website.

But, business owners can add a direct link from their Catalog to their e-commerce store, which allows for a smooth transaction.

To showcase your products on the new feature, simply download the Whatsapp Business app, create a profile and enter your product details.

Will 2020 be the year of social commerce?

Whatsapp may be a little late to the social commerce game, but it’s a monumental development in the world of social commerce.

The messaging platform follows in the footsteps of other social media giants, such as...

Snapchat for Business launched ‘Shop and Cop’ in late 2018, where they invited a select few influencers and business owners to sell exclusive products through the app.

After the initial success, it has now rolled out to a wider community of entrepreneurs that can now sell their products through Snapchat.

In late 2015, Facebook launched its shopping feature, simply named ‘Shop’. Similar to Whatsapp’s Catalog, it allows users to browse through a list of featured products.

Instagram launched ‘Checkout’ in early 2019, providing users with a shoppable Instagram feed. The feature allows business profiles to tag products in their photos and provide an external link to their e-commerce store.

Social and e-commerce haven’t reached a seamless integration just yet, but we’re getting closer.

As customers demand a more seamless experience and the convenience of purchasing as they’re engaging with their favourite social content, platforms will develop to accommodate for these rising expectations to stay ahead of their competition.

Although placing an entire order solely within a social platform seems like a novelty today, soon it will become the norm for online shopping.

What are your thoughts on social commerce, and do you think this is a step in the right direction for Whatsapp? Let’s chat on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram :)

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