WhatsApp has launched a range of updates for its shopping features in the UK as it seeks to capitalise on the pandemic-driven ecommerce boom.
The Facebook owned messaging app, like almost all of its stablemates including Instagram and Facebook itself, has been repositioning itself to enable users to shop in-app for a number of years.
With ecommerce sales in the UK increasing around 18 per cent in 2020 to £70 billion, WhatsApp has wasted no time in trying to streamline its platform to help its growing number of retail users connect with its millions of users.
WhatsApp catalogues, which was launched in 2019 and allows users to browse more than 8 million business catalogues, will now be rolled out to WhatApp web and desktop apps enabling businesses to edit their shop fronts outside of the mobile app.
Alongside this WhatsApp carts, which was launched during the Christmas shopping season last year, will now enable businesses to hide items that are out of stock, a feature which has been missing since launch.
“We’re opening commerce as a new chapter,” WhatsApp product manager Amrit Pal told Reuters back in 2019 when it first made moves into ecommerce.
“We hear from businesses every day that WhatsApp is where they meet their customers, rather than sending them to a website.”