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WhatsApp Catalog: A Comprehensive Guide to WhatsApp Shopping Catalogs

WhatsApp Business has emerged as a crucial tool for a multitude of businesses. Yet, the process of exchanging multiple messages with a customer can often be slow and cumbersome for both parties involved. Enter WhatsApp Catalog, a feature designed to streamline the process, allowing businesses to efficiently share their product inventory with customers in a professional manner. Currently exclusive to the WhatsApp Business App, plans are underway to extend its availability to the WhatsApp API, promising an even broader reach. In this comprehensive article, we will delve into the intricacies of using WhatsApp Shopping Catalog on the WhatsApp Business App, offering invaluable insights for businesses seeking to enhance their WhatsApp Shop.

Introduction to Catalogs

WhatsApp’s widespread popularity has paved the way for a prevalent practice in numerous countries – online shopping through the platform. However, the functionality for in-app purchases is not yet integrated. Typically, businesses employ WhatsApp primarily to respond to inquiries about their products and occasionally process orders. This paradigm shifts significantly with the introduction of the Catalog Feature within the WhatsApp Business App. How does this feature revolutionize the business-customer interaction?

Understanding WhatsApp Shopping Catalog

Before the advent of the WhatsApp Product Catalog, sharing product photos with clients via WhatsApp was a time-consuming ordeal. Businesses were obliged to send images one by one, manually typing out all pertinent information. As one can imagine, this process could be exceedingly time-intensive.

WhatsApp Catalog In A Nutshell

The introduction of WhatsApp Catalog transformed this landscape. This feature empowers small businesses to display their products or services directly within the app. The result? A vastly improved user experience, fostering faster, more effective communication for businesses.

WhatsApp Catalog: Enhancing Shopping Experiences on WhatsApp Business App

Upon its initial launch in late 2019, WhatsApp Catalog was only available in select countries, including India, Brazil, Germany, Indonesia, Mexico, the UK, and the US. Since then, its availability has expanded to numerous other countries where WhatsApp boasts a strong user base.

Features of WhatsApp Business Catalog

The WhatsApp Business Catalog serves as a comprehensive repository of products or services offered by a business. Within the Catalog, businesses can provide a wealth of relevant information about their offerings. This includes:

  1. Name: A distinctive identifier for the product within the WhatsApp Catalog.
  2. Price: Currency is automatically determined based on the country code associated with the SIM card.
  3. Description: A space to furnish a detailed description of up to 5000 words.
  4. Link: A particularly valuable feature, enabling businesses to direct customers to a website. This allows for seamless navigation to checkout or access to more detailed information.
  5. Product Code: An optional field for coding products, if desired.

You Can Add Product Pictures and Details | Image from WhatsApp

Businesses have the flexibility to share the entire Catalog or select products within individual chats, group chats, or across other social media platforms.

WhatsApp Business Catalog Limits and Management

WhatsApp Catalog empowers businesses to register up to 500 products within their Catalog, with each entry capable of accommodating a maximum of 10 images. Notably, WhatsApp optimizes storage by retaining photos within the Catalog even if deleted from the user’s gallery.

The Catalog Manager feature further provides the option to hide specific items, a valuable tool for when a product or service is temporarily unavailable. Once reintroduced, businesses can seamlessly reinstate it within the Catalog.

Some WhatsApp Catalog Features

Adhering to WhatsApp Commerce Policy

It’s crucial to note that WhatsApp enforces a Commerce Policy, placing the onus on businesses to uphold their terms and transactions. This policy also delineates the types of products that can be sold on the platform.

Navigating the WhatsApp Catalog as a Customer

For customers seeking to peruse a WhatsApp Shopping Catalog, the process is straightforward. Simply initiate a conversation with the desired business, then tap on the Shopping icon resembling a storefront. The Catalog will be prominently displayed below the business details.

Businesses also have the capacity to proactively share their WhatsApp Catalog with customers within the chat thread, facilitating a seamless shopping experience. Imagine a customer expressing interest in purchasing a computer mouse; they can easily contact the shop via WhatsApp to acquire relevant information.

Accessibility of WhatsApp Catalog Across Devices

WhatsApp Business users can access the Catalog feature from their Android or iOS devices. Notably, WhatsApp has recently expanded this functionality, allowing businesses to manage their Catalogs via WhatsApp Web or Desktop interfaces.

Creating a WhatsApp Shopping Catalog

To embark on the journey of creating a WhatsApp Catalog, a WhatsApp Business App Account is a prerequisite. If you already possess one, let’s proceed to the next steps.

For Android Users:

  1. Launch the WhatsApp Business App and tap on More Options (usually represented by three dots) in the action bar. On certain devices, this may be a physical button.
  2. Navigate to Business Tools > Catalog.
  3. Select “Add New Item.”
  4. Tap the Plus icon and then “Add Images.”
  5. Choose from your Gallery or use the Camera to capture new images. You can include a maximum of 10 images per product.
  6. Enter the requisite product details and save.

Steps To Create a Catalog for Android

For iPhone Users:

  1. Open the WhatsApp Business App.
  2. Go to Settings > Business Tools > Catalog. To create a new Catalog, select “Add New Item.”
  3. Tap the Plus Icon or “Add New Item,” then click “Add Images.”
  4. Select “Choose Photo” to upload images from your stored files, or opt for the Camera to take new pictures. You can include a maximum of 10 images.
  5. Enter the relevant product details and save.

For Web/Desktop Users:

  1. Click on More > Catalog at the top of your Contact List.
  2. Select “Add New Item.”
  3. Click “Add Images” to upload them from your files. Remember, 10 is the maximum.
  4. Enter the necessary product details.
  5. Add the product to the Catalog by clicking “Add To Catalog.”

Steps to Create a WhatsApp Shopping Catalog for Web/Desktop

Following the creation of a new product entry, you’ll notice a small green clock icon, indicating that the product won’t be immediately visible. WhatsApp will undertake a brief review to ensure compliance with all policies. Typically, this process concludes within a few minutes, after which the product will become visible to your clients.

Sharing WhatsApp Catalogs with Clients

After populating the Catalog with your products, the next step is sharing them. Fortunately, businesses have the ability to proactively reach new customers by disseminating Catalogs both within and outside the app. In the subsequent section, we will explore the various methods for sharing Catalogs with clients.

Various Methods of Sharing WhatsApp Catalogs

1. Directly Within the App:

Businesses can seamlessly share their Catalogs with customers within the chat thread. For instance, if a customer expresses interest in a specific product, the business can promptly provide the relevant Catalog entry.

2. Using the Catalog Link:

WhatsApp provides businesses with a unique link to their Catalog. This link can be shared across various platforms, including social media, email, and even on a website. Customers can simply click on the link to access the Catalog.

3. Via WhatsApp Status:

Businesses can leverage their WhatsApp Status to showcase products from their Catalog. This feature allows for temporary visibility, creating a sense of urgency among customers.

4. QR Codes:

Businesses can generate QR codes linked to their Catalog. Customers can scan these codes to instantly access the Catalog.

5. Social Media Platforms:

Catalog links can be shared on other social media platforms to expand the reach beyond WhatsApp.

6. Broadcast Lists:

Businesses can create broadcast lists to send the Catalog to multiple customers simultaneously. This ensures a wider audience receives the information.

7. WhatsApp Business API:

While currently limited to the WhatsApp Business App, plans are underway to extend Catalog functionality to the WhatsApp API. This will open up even more avenues for businesses to reach their customers.

Share a WhatsApp Catalog for Android

Sharing a catalog with an individual or group chat on Android is a straightforward process:

  1. Open a conversation in the WhatsApp Business App.
  2. Tap on the Paper Clip Icon located near the Text Field.
  3. Go to Catalog > Send Catalog. To send specific products, tap on them and then tap Send.

Steps to share a WhatsApp Catalog on Android

Share your Catalog link through Catalog Manager on Android

  1. Open the WhatsApp Business App.
  2. Tap on Business Tools > Catalog to access the Catalog Manager.
  3. Tap the link icon at the top right, then select Share. To share a specific item, select it first.
  4. Locate your link on the screen. Below, you’ll find three options:
  • Send link via WhatsApp Business.
  • Copy link.
  • Share link via email or other social apps.

Share a WhatsApp Catalog for iPhone

Sharing a catalog with an individual or group chat on iPhone is as follows:

  1. Open a conversation in the WhatsApp Business App.
  2. Tap on the Plus Icon adjacent to the Text Field.
  3. Go to Catalog > Send. To send specific products, tap on them and then tap Send.

Share your Catalog link through Catalog Manager on iPhone

  1. Open the WhatsApp Business App.
  2. Tap on Settings > Business Tools > Catalog.
  3. Tap the three dots at the top right. If you want to share a specific item, select it first.
  4. Locate your link on the screen. Below, you’ll find two options:
  • Forward the link to other WhatsApp Contacts.
  • Share the link via email or other social apps.

Share a WhatsApp Catalog for Web and Desktop

Sharing a catalog on Web and Desktop is also a seamless process:

  1. Open a conversation in the WhatsApp Business App.
  2. Click on the Paper Clip Icon next to the Text Field and then click the Business Icon.
  3. Choose the products you wish to share.
  4. Click the Send Icon.

Steps to Share a WhatsApp Catalog on Web/Desktop

Share your Catalog link on Web/Desktop

  1. Open the WhatsApp Business App.
  2. Click the Arrow icon above your conversation list and select Catalog.
  3. Click on the link icon above to share the entire Catalog. To share a specific item, select it first.
  4. Locate your link on the screen, click it, and select Contacts or groups to share it with.
  5. Click the Send icon.

Making Purchases from WhatsApp Shopping Catalog

WhatsApp is actively working on developing digital payments, though they are not yet widely available. While WhatsApp Pay has been tested in Brazil and India, it’s not universally accessible. However, the WhatsApp Shopping Cart feature facilitates the checkout process. This extension allows customers to select products and send them to the business for checkout, including specifying the quantity for each item.

Shopping Cart Feature for WhatsApp Business App

WhatsApp Catalog: Future Prospects

WhatsApp, boasting the highest number of monthly active users globally, is positioning itself to play a more integral role in people’s lives, akin to WeChat in China or Line in Japan. The integration of WhatsApp Pay, Catalogs, and Business Guide is indicative of its evolving ecosystem.

WhatsApp Catalog API and Business Guide

The forthcoming release of WhatsApp Business API indicates that larger companies will soon have the capability to share their products and services with customers through the platform. More details will be provided as they become available.

WhatsApp Business Guide for Brazilian Market

In response to the Brazilian market’s significance, WhatsApp has tailored its offerings accordingly. This market has seen substantial growth in catalog creation, with 1.75 million catalogs generated between November 2019 and January 2021. Additionally, WhatsApp Business Guide is being tested in Sao Paulo, Brazil, providing a tool akin to Google Maps for locating businesses of various categories nearby.

Future of WhatsApp Catalogs

Envisioning a future where users can seamlessly navigate the entire shopping experience on WhatsApp is not far-fetched. This would involve using WhatsApp Business Guide to find a nearby business, selecting a product from the Catalog, and completing the purchase with WhatsApp Pay. While this vision may not yet be fully realized, WhatsApp is undoubtedly making strides towards this comprehensive shopping experience.

Conclusion: Leveraging WhatsApp Shopping Catalog for Business Success

In conclusion, WhatsApp Catalog has emerged as an indispensable tool for businesses looking to streamline their interactions with customers and enhance their online shopping experience. By effectively showcasing products or services within the app, businesses can significantly improve user satisfaction and engagement.

It’s important for businesses to take advantage of the various features within WhatsApp Catalog, including adding comprehensive product details, utilizing images effectively, and managing the Catalog efficiently. Additionally, adhering to WhatsApp’s Commerce Policy is crucial to ensure compliance and maintain a positive business presence on the platform.

As the availability of WhatsApp Catalog expands to the WhatsApp API, businesses can look forward to even greater reach and potential for growth. By mastering the art of utilizing WhatsApp Catalog, businesses can stay ahead of the curve in the ever-evolving landscape of e-commerce and customer engagement. 

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