We use WhatsApp every day. Well, I don’t want to speak for you but at Stuff it’s our primary form of communication. We use it to talk to friends, family and to check in on one another when there’s been a lull in the website (one of our cats just had kittens, so it’s been a really fun week). Yet while we mostly use the app for socialising, especially during a rampant global pandemic, there are plenty of folks that use the Facebook-owned instant messaging app to conduct business. It’s with this mind that WhatsApp is adding a suite of features that will no doubt appeal to those businesses that use the app for day-to-day dealings as it boosts investment into “online shopping”.
Announced in an official blog post, WhatsApp has stated that the global pandemic has made the company aware that more and more people are using the app as a business tool. “The global pandemic has made clear that businesses need fast and efficient ways to service their customers and make sales. WhatsApp has become a simple and convenient resource at this time. More than 175 million people every day message a WhatsApp Business account,” reads the blog post.
With that in mind, our favourite instant messaging app is in the process of expanding its business operations by investing in aspects that will no doubt grow WhatsApp Business and the WhatsApp Business API. The fields of investment include, “Shopping…(and) Facebook Hosting Services.”
WhatsApp-ing with your business?
In terms of online shopping, WhatsApp is looking at expanding, “ways for people to check out available products and make purchases right from a chat.” Which is actually a really cool idea for a business that often deal with clients through WhatsApp, essentially removing the middle man and ensuring customers have the most convenient purchase process available to them.
Beyond the addition of purchases directly through the app, businesses will soon be able to “manage their WhatsApp messages via hosting services that Facebook plans to offer. Providing this option will make it easier for small and medium-sized businesses to get started, sell products, keep their inventory up to date, and quickly respond to messages they receive – wherever their employees are.” Sure, it’s another way Facebook is trying to stuff everyone into its greasy pockets but it certainly sounds more efficient than juggling loads of different social media.
The company has stated that businesses will need to pay a small fee to use these expanded services which I suppose makes sense given that general service is free for everyone to use. Still, maybe think about whether these expanded services are even investing in before you spend the money.