WhatsApp is introducing a new shopping carts feature that lets you order multiple items with a single message from businesses on the service. It works in conjunction with the service’s existing catalogs feature. Now, while browsing a business’s wares, you can add multiple items to your shopping cart and send the entire order in a single message, replacing the back-and-forth communication that needed to happen previously. The feature will be available globally starting today.
Shopping might not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of the Facebook-owned messaging service, but it’s become an increasingly popular venue for small businesses around the world to sell their products. Over 175 million people used the service to message a WhatsApp Business account each day as of late October, the company said. Businesses manage their WhatsApp presence via the WhatsApp Business app, which had over 50 million users worldwide as of July this year.
WhatsApp’s popularity as a shopping service means that the company recently announced that it’s investing in new business features. These include offering hosting services for businesses to manage their WhatsApp messages and expanding ways for customers to make purchases right from a chat.
Despite its popularity as a shopping destination, WhatsApp’s support for actually making payments in-app is still in its early stages globally, TechCrunch notes. Although it recently launched its payments feature in India, its rollout in Brazil hit a speed bump when the country’s central bank suspended the service soon after its launch. However, Reuters reports that the president of the country’s central bank, Roberto Campos Neto, recently indicated that he expected them to relaunch peer-to-peer payments “soon,” following the launch of Brazil’s new state-owned instant payments system.