Meta-owned instant messaging platform WhatsApp on Thursday announced a new feature to allow users to connect with a brand and make purchases right within the app. Called Business Search feature, it is aimed to help people find, message and buy something from a business on WhatsApp. According to Meta, these new features are introduced to offer an enhanced end-to-end commerce experience for users and connect with their favourite brands while discovering new ones. The new Business Search feature will be available in Brazil, Indonesia, Mexico and the UK. In India, Meta launched a similar experience in partnership with Reliance Jio.
“Starting today, people can search for a brand or a small business right on WhatsApp. If you run a business in Brazil, that means people will be able to find you, contact you and purchase from you all in one WhatsApp chat, and we’re working to bring this experience to more countries in the coming months too. This is the next step for business messaging and I’m looking forward to hearing about the opportunities this unlocks for all of you,” said Mark Zuckerberg in the WhatsApp Business Summit in Brazil.
Find a Business
With the help of this feature, users can find a business on WhatsApp by browsing businesses by category – such as travel or banking – or search by the business name. Users don’t have to find phone numbers from the brand’s websites or type a number into their contacts.
However, the ability to search for a business is currently launched in Brazil, Indonesia, Mexico and the UK where people can find companies using WhatsApp Business Platform. In Brazil, directory features will help people to find small businesses as well.
After the discovery, users can chat with the businesses, ask product questions, browse their catalogue of goods and services, and add items to a cart so the business knows what they want to buy.
WhatsApp also allows users to make secure payments directly from a chat with their credit or debit card. Already launched in India, this feature is currently under testing in Brazil with multiple payment partners.
“This seamless checkout experience will be a game-changer for people and businesses looking to buy and sell on WhatsApp without having to go to a website, open another app or pay in person,” said the company in a blog post.