Facebook brings shopping to WhatsApp

Example of shopping via WhatsApp
Photo: WhatsApp

Facebook subsidiary WhatsApp expands its options for businesses: while some retailers already let customers order via the messaging app, buying via WhatsApp will soon become an official option.


Ordering via WhatsApp

WhatsApp is working on a shopping application for the app: in the future, consumers will be able to buy products directly via chat. Companies will be able to let customers shop, pay and contact customer service, all in the same app. While chatting, the idea is that consumers will soon be able to find out what products a company offers or even has in stock, and they will be able to order straight away.

The corona crisis has made the need for this clear, says COO Matt Idema in a press release: "The global pandemic has made it clear that companies need fast and efficient ways to serve and sell their customers. WhatsApp has become a simple and convenient tool in this day and age".


175 million business users

Today, more than 175 million people send messages to a business WhatsApp account every day. Typically, those accounts are currently used to answer customer queries, as a simpler and more accessible channel for customer service than phone or email.

The service will be paid for by businesses, as will a number of other services that are currently free of charge - such as automatic reply messaging. Sending tickets or order forms via WhatsApp will also soon be subject to a fee, although the price per company will depend on several factors.