Facebook has announced increased investment into ecommerce with its messaging platform WhatsApp.
The social media giant said that it has taken feedback on board and is set to offer an expanded range of tools to assist businesses in increasing their online sales.
Chiefly, Facebook is aiming to simplify the process for businesses conversations and to help them close sales. It will be rolling out features that allow customers to communicate directly with a business while browsing, selecting and purchasing products – all within the WhatsApp platform.
This announcement comes following the shopping tab released on the Facebook app itself and one of its other platforms, Instagram, which both enable in-app purchases. The new tools are set to fill a gap in the online market, and according to Facebook:
“Many of the old ways in which people and businesses communicate are not working. While businesses spend billions of dollars annually managing phone calls, e-mails, and SMS, people do not want to wait on hold, get passed from person to person, or wonder if their messages were received.”
Facebook released a short video called ‘The Future of Business Messaging’ alongside the announcement, which illustrates a scenario between a customer and business using the platform:
The video highlights the ease of being able to directly chat, browse a product catalogue, query a product and make a purchase all within a single platform – just like an in-store interaction.
Facebook has stated that some of the new services, such as messaging, video calling and chat, will be free for businesses to use, while others will be charged. It also announced that it is working to integrate WhatsApp with the eCommerce applications and “customer solutions” already in use among businesses.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, online sales have surged, forcing businesses to adapt and shift much of their attentions to their online presence. Establishing a quality website and implementing an effective eCommerce solution has, therefore, never been so critical for the success of many businesses. These new features released by Facebook could help businesses increase their online relationship with customers, and integrating these tools with their existing ecommerce solution could be a great way to help improve customer experience.
If you need help in growing your presence online, in setting up an ecommerce store or with developing your social media platforms, get in touch with our Engage Web team today.
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