WhatsApp Platform Poised for Major eCommerce Enhancements for SMBs
Facebook’s annual meeting of the minds, F8, recently wrapped up after two days of intense tech-centric discussions which brought developers, entrepreneurs and innovators together in one forum. In the F8 keynote speech, Mark Zuckerberg highlighted exciting enhancements ahead to boost the eCommerce functions of the Facebook-owned WhatsApp platform.
According to Zuckerberg, WhatsApp will focus on web-hosted marketplaces, online product catalogues and even the ability to send and receive funds. This is big news for startups looking to use this versatile platform to better reach, and connect with, customers.
WhatsApp as a Versatile eCommerce Tool
Currently, many startups utilize the online marketing and advertising functions of WhatsApp Business to connect to, and communicate with, customers. The versatile platform even allows businesses to deliver mass notifications to clients and interact directly, one-on-one, with consumers.
In its current form, WhatsApp even offers an AI-fueled chatbot function to address and resolve basic questions and concerns from customers rapidly. Beyond communication tools, though, WhatsApp Business also delivers small to mid-sized companies the ability to quickly build an online profile containing a wide range of essential data including:
- Hours of operation
- Physical address
- Description of the products and services offered
- Website URL
- Phone number, email address or other contact information
Big Changes Ahead for WhatsApp’s Business Tools
Mark Zuckerberg’s 2019 F8 keynote speech foretells of a tectonic shift ahead for the WhatsApp platform. SMBs looking for innovative ways to connect with customers, reach more prospects and, ultimately, craft a strong online reputation, should take note of these possible forthcoming enhancements.
One, in particular, focuses on building product catalogues that allow customers to browse, and purchase, goods and services directly from startups. This versatile function could deliver a game-changing capability for small businesses which lack the resources to build a robust web presence and, instead, rely heavily on social platforms for sales and marketing.
Beyond innovative new ways for customers to access products, WhatsApp appears to be postured to launch a robust, in-app payment system to allow individuals to send and receive money seamlessly. This system, currently in a test phase in India, shows great potential for future expansion. Although full details are sparse at the moment, SMBs should keep an eye on the horizon for a full suite of exciting new upgrades to the eCommerce functions of WhatsApp.
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