WhatsApp has now enabled businesses to create and manage their catalog from WhatsApp Web or desktop clients — adding to the same functionality available on mobile devices earlier. The instant messaging app owned by Facebook has also introduced the ability to let business users hide items from their catalog that are unavailable and show those items again when they are back in stock. Both new changes are aimed to enhance the experience for businesses using WhatsApp as a source for reaching their customers.
As businesses often use computers to manage their inventory, WhatsApp has enabled them to create and manage their catalog on the platform directly from its Web and desktop clients. “This will be extremely helpful for businesses with big inventories like a restaurant or clothing store so they can manage their catalog from a bigger screen,” the company said in a press note.
The latest addition for businesses is available to all WhatsApp Business app users.
WhatsApp introduced the ‘catalog’ feature on its business app back in November 2019 to let businesses easily showcase and share their offerings on the platform. It claimed that people can browse more than 8 million business catalogs on WhatsApp, including one million in India alone.
Alongside the ability to manage catalogs through desktops, WhatsApp has brought the option to hide specific items from a record and get them again when they come back in stock or are available to customers. Businesses on the WhatsApp Business app can hide a catalog item by going to Settings > Business tools > Catalog. The app will show all the items listed in the catalog hidden by tapping the more options (three dots) icon and then going to Hide > HIDE. Business users can also hide items in bulk by pressing and holding one of the items they want to hide until the green checkmark appears and then tap the other things they tried to hide. Hidden items can be unhidden by going to the product detail page and selecting Unhide > UNHIDE after tapping the more options icon. Business users can also unhide items in bulk by selecting multiple items.
It is important to note that hidden items will still appear in the catalog manager with a “hide icon” over the item image. A note will also indicate that the item is hidden once you open the product detail page.
WhatsApp said it received requests from businesses about bringing an easy way to let customers know what’s currently available so they don’t get orders for unavailable or out-of-stock items. That eventually resulted in the arrival of hiding and unhide options.
The options to hide and unhide items in catalogs have started rolling out to businesses globally starting today.
In December, WhatsApp brought an Add to Cart button to let customers pick specific items from business catalogs offered on the messaging app. It also added a shopping button in November to allow businesses to show off what they have to sell through the app.