Meta has launched the ability for WhatsApp users in Brazil to browse businesses on the messaging app and reach out to them.
Some of its partners are also testing payments, so customers may buy from particular businesses without leaving the app.
When such features go live, Meta aims to bring the entire shopping experience to the platform.
As a result, consumers may soon find, message, and buy from businesses on WhatsApp.
Launching the initial elements of this plan at the first-ever WhatsApp Business Summit in Brazil, Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Meta, said:
Starting today, people can search for a brand or a small business right on WhatsApp, either by browsing a list of categories or by typing the name.
“We’re making this possible by expanding our directory feature to all of Brazil and bringing it to larger companies using our WhatsApp Business Platform here in Brazil and a few other countries as well.”
Such a native customer journey lowers effort, saving customers from searching the web, finding the company’s contact details, and typing that into their contacts.
Meta believes this will prove particularly popular with businesses that already promote WhatsApp as a customer service channel in packaging materials, store signs, and websites.
Yet, if Meta can execute its vision for WhatsApp over time, it could transform online customer engagement.
After all, 96.4 percent of Brazil’s online population uses WhatsApp – according to Statista – and it’s hugely popular in many more territories across the globe.
Its new announcements will soon allow Meta to leverage this audience, expand its presence in the CX world, and perhaps follow in the footsteps of WeChat – in regard to how people in China use the app.
Will WhatsApp Follow WeChat’s Lead?
In helping consumers do more through WhatsApp, Meta seems to be challenging the search engine dominance of conventional browsers such as Chrome.
WeChat is doing precisely that in China, as the country’s number one networking, shopping, and mobile payment platform, even contributing to the demise of plastic bank cards in the country.
WhatsApp can potentially replicate such a strategy in the West, and this announcement is perhaps an acknowledgment of that.
As Zuckerberg stated:
The ultimate goal here is to make it so you can find, message, and buy from a business all in the same WhatsApp chat.
With this vision to bring the complete shopping experience to WhatsApp – as is possible through Meta’s social media platforms – the future of customer messaging looks bright.
Kustomer – a Meta company – recently shared their advice to prepare for such a future of messaging in the article: How to Create Excellent Messaging Experiences