Hey, are you looking up restaurants to eat at? Searching for an online store to shop for your daily essentials? Browsing for brands that sell scented candles?
Yellow pages have been around for a while. But what's new is WhatsApp’s latest feature launch that works like yellow pages. In Meta’s terms, the new feature is known as a “Directory”. WhatsApp will now let users look up brands, contact them and make a purchase without having to leave the app. However, this feature is rolled out in select countries namely Brazil, UK, Indonesia, Columbia, and Mexico.
What is a WhatsApp Business Directory?
According to WhatsApp, the business directory is defined as “a fast, safe and convenient way to find shops, restaurants, and businesses. The directory helps businesses expand their reach by sharing their business information, and connecting with new customers for free.”
Businesses need to apply to be included in the directory. To apply, follow the steps mentioned below:
Tap more options > Business tools > Business directory > APPLY NOW
Businesses that have registered can expect an inflow of direct messages. WhatsApp has recommended some best practices to help manage the increasing number of customer queries:
✅Use quick replies and labels to manage new messages ✅Update the business profile so that customers can access business information ✅Create a catalog to showcase products and services
“We want to make it easier for people to get more done on WhatsApp. Part of that is building better ways to engage with businesses. And while millions of businesses in Brazil use it for chat, we haven’t made it easy to discover businesses or buy from them, so people end up having to use workarounds,” states Mark Zuckerberg, Meta CEO, in a press statement.
The feature “Business Search” allows users to avoid wasting time looking for phone numbers of businesses to contact them.
The new feature will allow users to browse and discover local merchants on WhatsApp. However, this is only limited to Brazil for now and will gradually be rolled out after testing in Sao Paulo. In addition, users will be able to pay merchants directly using the new P2M or Pay to Merchant feature.
A user can look up businesses in two ways:
a. Typing the name of a business B. Typing a category
The popular messenger is also looking to expand its payment feature. The feature, however, is already in place in India.
The new directory feature comes as a savior for businesses as well as users due to its ease of usage. Shopping has become more gratifying with WhatsApp. With users’ quick adoption to browse, shop and pay via WhatsApp, this feature will allow them to look for specific brands they love, contact them, raise queries, and more.
WhatsApp is currently working to roll out this feature to other countries in the upcoming months.