WhatsApp is set to roll out a new update that will let users search and find shops and other e-commerce businesses within the app itself.
This is a first for the Facebook-owned messaging service and is part of a strategy developed by the social media giant to boost e-commerce revenue.
The search option is currently undergoing testing in Brazil ahead of a planned global rollout, which seeks to give WhatsApp users quick and easy access to shops and services through a directory contained within the app.
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Business owners will undoubtedly warm to the new initiative as it will allow them to be more visible from directly inside WhatsApp. Unlike Facebook and Instagram, WhatsApp has never run ads in its software. So far, businesses have been forced to put their WhatsApp numbers in other places like promotional packaging or on their e-commerce websites.
Recently, however, WhatsApp has developed and introduced more tools to help businesses sell their products and services through the hugely popular social media outlet. There is now a specialized app for small businesses with an API that allows large companies to build WhatsApp integration into their own business systems. Connecting the components together can help businesses improve their business and generate revenue for Facebook.
With demand for e-commerce retail proving stronger than ever, it’s no surprise that Facebook continues to evolve its online sales tools. The possibilities of in-app purchases in the social media platform’s apps have increased, for example, Facebook Shops has recently been rolled out to more countries. WhatsApp now also offers shopping tools, including product catalogs and shopping cart options for businesses to use.
The current level of testing is limited to the So Paulo region, with several neighborhoods validating business potential across multiple categories, including food, retail and local services. India and Indonesia join the list as the next countries where WhatsApp will continue to test the new feature.
However, having previously faced criticism for confusion over privacy updates, WhatsApp is keen to emphasize that it will not know or store the location of search results made by consumers.
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- Via: Reuters