WhatsApp is launching a new feature called “Collections” to make it easier for users to shop for items using categories. The Facebook-owned platform is rolling out catalog collections to small businesses around the world starting today.
The new collections feature essentially allows businesses to organize items in their catalogs by category so customers won’t have to scroll through long lists of items to find what they’re looking for and can instead go directly to what they want to shop for.
For instance, restaurants can create collections featuring appetizers, entrees and desserts, while a clothing store could add collections for men’s clothes, women’s clothes, shirts, pants and more. Once shoppers have browsed collections, they can add items to their carts and send the order to the business.
“We want to make WhatsApp the best way for people to shop for goods and services and for businesses to connect with their customers, which is why we are making it easier to see what a business offers on WhatsApp,” the company said in a statement.
WhatsApp first rolled out its “Catalogs” feature in 2019 to allow businesses to showcase their products and services to potential customers who could then browse photos and view prices. The catalogs effectively serve as a mobile storefront on WhatsApp — and one that can be operated without the need for a web page at all. The company then launched its “Carts” feature last year to make it easier for consumers to buy multiple items from a business and for merchants to keep better track of order inquiries and manage requests.
WhatsApp has added a number of shopping features in recent years to expand the e-commerce experience on its app. Most recently, Facebook added “Shops” on WhatsApp to give customers the option to chat with businesses before buying something. Since Facebook has been pushing e-commerce on platforms like Instagram, it makes sense that it’s doing the same for WhatsApp too.