WhatsApp Launches Flows To Enhance In-App Shopping Experience


WhatsApp, the popular messaging platform owned by Meta, is taking steps to enhance its shopping experience for both merchants and users with a new feature called Flows. This feature allows users to complete various tasks, such as booking appointments or selecting seats on a flight, without leaving the app. By integrating building blocks like text boxes, calendars, and seat pickers, merchants can create seamless and engaging shopping experiences directly within WhatsApp.

Key Takeaway

WhatsApp is introducing Flows, a new feature that enables in-app shopping experiences without the need for users to leave the app. Merchants can utilize various building blocks to create rich experiences, enhancing convenience for users and increasing business transactions.

Enhancing Business Messaging within WhatsApp

WhatsApp has been conducting tests with several businesses, including Brazilian bank Banco Pan, retailer MagaLu, Lenovo, Indian travel service Redbus, Indian bank SBI, and car reselling platform Spinny. These tests aim to refine Flows as a tool to bolster the shopping and e-commerce vertical on WhatsApp. The goal is to empower businesses and users to accomplish more tasks directly within the chat thread, leveraging the convenience and accessibility of the platform.

Nikila Srinivasan, VP of business messaging at Meta, expressed WhatsApp’s vision to create rich experiences for businesses beyond e-commerce. While Flows initially caters to e-commerce businesses, the company intends to extend its capabilities to other types of businesses in the future.

Payment Integration and Partnerships

WhatsApp’s revenue model for businesses revolves around conversations, categorized into marketing, utility, authentication, and service interactions within a 24-hour window. To facilitate seamless transactions, WhatsApp is introducing new payment partners for the checkout experience in India, where the platform has over 500 million users. Users can now make payments through other UPI apps, as well as credit and debit cards, thanks to alliances with payment gateway providers Razorpay and PayU.

The company’s collaboration with Reliance Jio in India last year enabled an end-to-end shopping experience, allowing customers to complete transactions through WhatsApp Pay. With extended payment support and Flows, WhatsApp aims to foster more frequent business transactions by encouraging seamless end-to-end shopping experiences.

Personalized Messages and Merchant Growth

WhatsApp continues to focus on expanding its business offerings to merchants. The platform’s Business app has surpassed 200 million monthly active users, demonstrating the growing adoption of WhatsApp as a business communication tool. WhatsApp has also begun testing personalized messages for merchants, enabling businesses to send customized messages, discounts, and offers to select customers. This feature further strengthens the bond between businesses and their clientele, fostering customer loyalty and enhancing engagement.

With the introduction of Flows and continued improvements to its business features, WhatsApp aims to position itself as a comprehensive platform for business communication and transactions, fostering growth and convenience for both merchants and users.

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