Facebook-owned instant messaging platform WhatsApp expanded its offerings for business users on Wednesday. The company announced two new features that make WhatsApp Business more effective and friendly for businesses. The features include better support for WhatsApp Catalogs on desktops and the option to hide out-of-stock items.
The instant messaging platform had introduced its Catalog feature back in 2019, allowing businesses to create a storefront and menus for products they sell. But businesses can only create and manage these from mobile right now. However, with the new update, the same will be possible from WhatsApp’s web/desktop applications.
The second update allows businesses to hide items that are unavailable from customers temporarily. The feature is common amongst e-commerce platforms, grocery delivery, and food delivery services, where a dynamic storefront is required. It essentially lets sellers change their menus on the go and avoid delays in delivery or taking orders for products that may not be immediately available.
The feature updates bring WhatsApp Business at par with competing platforms. While the company has been trying to get more small businesses on board, it competes with virtually every delivery service on the market today. WhatsApp does have a large user base already, but a well-rounded feature set will be just as important.
However, WhatsApp is just about a month away from enforcing its new privacy policies, which landed it in a massive controversy and led to millions switching to other platforms such as Signal and Telegram.