WhatsApp Business launches chat using QR Codes, expands Catalog feature

Business, the communication platform’s business version, will launch two new ways for users to connect with businesses- QR Codes and Catalog sharing.

Business, which has seen a phenomenal rise in customers the past few months, now has more than 15 million users every month, compared to 1 million last year.

Globally, more than 50 million Business app users use the facility every month.

QR codes will eliminate the need for people to store a local business’ WhatsApp number to their contacts in order to contact the business.

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 WhatsApp test the feature, is putting the 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 information such as their catalog to get the conversation going. To start using QR codes, businesses can follow these quick steps.

QR codes are available for businesses around the world using the app or API starting today.

WhatsApp is also expanding its Catalog feature, which it launched in India in January.

Catalog is a mobile storefront for businesses to display and share goods or products they are selling, for people to easily browse and discover.

Launched globally last year, catalogs are viewed by more than 40 million people worldwide. In India, 3 million users see catalogs 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. 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,” WhatsApp said in a blog post.

WhatsApp will also be launching new “Open for Business” animated sticker packs to help people and businesses stay connected, say thanks and get business done.

“I’ve already shared my catalog link with over 1,000 customers over WhatsApp and FB. Since the lockdowns, the catalog links feature has had a very positive impact on my business. Now customers can explore my whole store from their living room!” said Uttam Toys, an India based business.

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