In May Facebook ShopsMade its debut streamlining the process to allow businesses to set up an online store that customers can access via both Facebook and Instagram. The platform expressed its desire to facilitate the new online shopping experience by allowing customers to message businesses via their shop listings. WhatsApp? Messenger Instagram Direct.
While consumers can’t yet view a business’ shop and make purchases directly from within a messenger stream, as of todayThey can choose the items they want to buy and share their list via a WhatsApp messenger stream.
How to use WhatsApp Carts
When you are visiting a business’ catalog on WhatsApp (tap on the shopping button icon listed next to their name), you can use the ‘Message Business’ to start a conversation or use the ‘Add to Cart’ button if you’re ready to place an order with the business about a product that you’re viewing. As users find the items they want when interacting with a business in the app, they’ll now be able to tap “add to cart” as they go.
Once you’ve finished shopping, you can then send your Cart as a message to the business to submit your full order. You can access the details of your order by tapping on the ‘View Cart’ button in your chat window with the seller.
This allows brands to track their requests more easily and provide personalized responses in a more seamless manner. Shopping might not be the first thing that comes to mind when thinking of Whatsapp, but it’s become an increasingly popular space for small businesses eager to sell their products.
Per The VergeIn October, 175 million people used WhatsApp Business to send a message to a WhatsApp Business Account every day. The WhatsApp Business app had more than 50 million users worldwide in July.
Shopping experience re-energized
This isn’t WhatsApp’s first foray into e-commerce. To date, it’s launched QR codes, dedicated shopping buttons, and the ability to share catalog links in direct chat messages. It also opened up free storage to merchants to host their business’s messages.
“Catalogs have allowed people to quickly see what’s available and helped businesses organize their chats around particular items. With more and more shopping happening through chats, we want to make buying and selling even easier,” the platform explained.
WhatsApp’s growth and the future of shoppable social media
Many of the old ways people and businesses communicate have stopped working. Shopify data shows that a staggering 92 percent of U.S. shoppers have purchased online since the outbreak, compared with 65 percent who bought in-store. Over half of Americans have moved more of their spending online in March, especially young consumers aged 18-34. These younger consumers are more likely than others to search for products online, shop them via social networks, use new commerce tools, prioritize shipping, and order them.
Stats aside — what’s key here is: With an acceleration towards apps for personal commerce and e-commerce, the time is now to consider Alternative shipping options, conversational commerce, and shoppable social media.
Consumers are conscious of cutting down on mindless scrolling, following and following. If a brand wants their message to resonate and stand out, they need to be true to their personality while still delivering value through their content. Understanding specific wants and needs and diving deeper into the consumer’s motivation versus relying on predictions based on prior purchase patterns will be instrumental in e-commerce strategies in 2021 and beyond.
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