All you need to know about WhatsApp's new cart shopping service

Messaging platform expects its new cart service to be popular during the holiday season

(FILES) In this file photo taken on October 05, 2020 the logo of mobile messaging service WhatsApp on a tablet screen in Toulouse, southwestern France. WhatsApp on December 8, 2020 added virtual shopping carts people can load with purchases and then use to fire off orders to businesses as the Facebook-owned messaging service pushed deeper into e-commerce. / AFP / Lionel BONAVENTURE

WhatsApp launched a feature on Tuesday that allows its more than 2 billion users to shop through the messaging platform and enables merchants to track orders and inquiries.

WhatsApp Cart was introduced globally after the company piloted the service with select businesses. The Facebook-owned instant messaging app expects its new feature to have traction during the holiday season this month, the company said.

Here is how the new shopping platform will work and potentially disrupt the contactless shopping ecosystem globally.

What is WhatsApp cart?

WhatsApp cart is useful when messaging businesses that typically sell multiple items at once, like a local restaurant or a clothing store. With cart, people can browse a catalogue, select multiple products and send the order as one message to the business. This will also make it simpler for businesses to track orders, inquiries, manage requests from customers and close sales.

How to place an order using cart?

Users can go to the business profile of the company and tap on the shopping button icon to access the catalogue. After accessing the catalogue, they can use the "message business" option to start a conversation. They can browse through a list of products from different categories and order by clicking on the "add to cart" button.

How to edit the cart?

As with online shopping, cart users can at anytime see the items they have added by clicking on "view cart". They can click "add more" to navigate back to the catalogue to continue adding more products. They can also edit the quantity for each product added to the cart.

Once the cart is successfully updated, users can send it to the seller as a WhatsApp message. They can also see the details of the order by tapping on the "view cart" button in their chat window with the seller.

How safe is WhatsApp messaging for business?

To attract more business users, WhatsApp is also offering free storage to host messages. WhatsApp ensures safety through its high level of encryption, the company said.

“Every private message sent using WhatsApp is secured with end-to-end encryption by default. Strong encryption acts like an unbreakable digital lock that keeps the information you send over WhatsApp secure, helping protect you from hackers and criminals.”

Messages are only kept on your phone, and no one in between can read your messages or listen to your calls, it said.

WhatsApp is committed to not using messages to boost target advertising.

How big is WhatsApp community?

WhatsApp was founded in 2009 and sold to Facebook for $19 billion in 2014. The messaging platform has more than 2 billion users, compared with 1.5 billion in 2018. Nearly 175 million of WhatsApp's 2 billion users interact with a business on the app every day, according to the company's chief operating officer, Matt Idema.

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