As businesses across the world prepare to re-open and expand online, people need simple ways to get in touch with businesses to ask questions, get information or find something they might like to buy.
Today we support more than 50 million WhatsApp Business app users. To help them and the thousands of larger businesses on the WhatsApp Business API get discovered, we’re introducing new features to start a chat with a business on WhatsApp and see what goods and services they offer.
Starting a chat with a business using QR codes
QR codes are a digital front door that make opening a chat with a business as easy as possible. Previously when people came across an interesting business, they had to add its WhatsApp number to their contacts, one number at a time. Now, people simply can scan the QR code a business displays on its storefront, product packaging or receipt to initiate a chat.
For example, Ki Mindful Wearing, an activewear brand in Brazil that helped us test the feature, is placing QR codes on packages and product tags to invite customers to reach out for support on WhatsApp.
Scanning a QR code will open a chat with an optional pre-populated message created by the business to start the conversation. With the app’s messaging tools, businesses can quickly send back information such as their catalog to get the conversation going. To start using a QR code, businesses can follow these quick steps.
QR codes are available for businesses around the world using the WhatsApp Business app or WhatsApp Business API starting today.
Catalog sharing to discover what a business offers
Catalogs allow businesses to showcase and share the goods or services they offer, which can help them close sales. Since launching last year, catalogs have become a popular way for people to engage with a business on WhatsApp. In fact, more than 40 million people view a business catalog on WhatsApp each month.
To make it easier for people to discover products, we’re making catalogs and individual items available to be shared as links on websites, Facebook, Instagram and elsewhere. And if people want to share a catalog or item they find with friends or family, they can simply copy the link and send it on WhatsApp or other places as well.
Catalog links are available globally and businesses can learn how to share them here.
While the road ahead for businesses will be a long and challenging one as they adjust to a new reality, we look forward to supporting them.