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WhatsApp Catalog: Everything about WhatsApp Shopping Catalog

Román Filgueira García
Content Writer, Respond.io
September 30, 2021

WhatsApp Business is a very important tool for many businesses. Unfortunately, exchanging multiple messages with a customer can be slow and inefficient for both ends. WhatsApp Catalog helps businesses share their product inventory with customers in an effective and professional way. For now, it is only available for WhatsApp Business App, but soon will be available for WhatsApp API too. Looking to improve your WhatsApp Shop? In this article, you'll find everything you need to know about using WhatsApp Shopping Catalog on the WhatsApp Business App.

Intro to Catalogs

Due to WhatsApp's popularity, online shopping through WhatsApp is a common practice in many countries. However, in-app purchases are not available yet.

Businesses use WhatsApp mostly to answer inquiries about their product and occasionally, to take orders. This changes for the better with the release of the Catalog Feature in the WhatsApp Business App. How does it make things easier for businesses?

What is a WhatsApp Shopping Catalog

Before WhatsApp Product Catalog, sharing product photos with clients via WhatsApp was a tiresome task. Businesses had to send photos one by one, typing down all the requested info. As you can imagine, this can be very time-consuming.

Things became easier after the release of WhatsApp Catalog. This feature allows small businesses to showcase their products or services in the App. The result, better user experience, and a faster, more effective way of communicating for businesses.

WhatsApp Catalog: Improved shopping experience only for WhatsApp Business App
WhatsApp Catalog In A Nutshell

At the time of launch in late 2019, the feature was only available in India, Brazil, Germany, Indonesia, Mexico, the UK, and the US. The list has increased for the last two years. Although WhatsApp hasn't disclosed the country list, we know WhatsApp Catalog is now available in multiple countries where WhatsApp is popular.

WhatsApp Catalog Features

WhatsApp Business Catalog is a list of products or services that your WhatsApp Business offers. WhatsApp Catalog allows you to include all the relevant information about those products or services. There are 5 fields where you can add the details:

  • Name: You can choose a name for the product within WhatsApp Catalog.
  • Price: The currency will be determined from the SIM card country code.
  • Description: You can add a description of 5000 words max.
  • Link: This is particularly interesting since you have the option to lead customers to a website. Once there, they can proceed to checkout, or simply access more detailed information.
  • Product code: Lastly, you can code your products if you wish.
How to enter product details in WhatsApp Catalog
You Can Add Product Pictures and Details | Image from WhatsApp

Businesses can share the whole Catalog or only certain products in an individual chat, group chat, or on other social apps.

But what is the WhatsApp Business Catalog limit? WhatsApp Catalog lets Businesses register up to 500 products. And each Catalog can include a maximum of 10 images.

If you are the type who tends to run out of memory on your phone device, there is good news. WhatsApp will save you some storage space by keeping the photos in the Catalog. This means they will remain there even if you delete them from your Gallery.

The WhatsApp Catalog Manager also offers the possibility of hiding certain items. This is useful when a product or service is not available anymore. Once it's back in your shop, you have the option to re-include it in the Catalog.

WhatsApp Catalog Features: Maximum 500 items, product description, product price and catalog links
Some WhatsApp Catalog Features

Something to keep in mind: WhatsApp has a Commerce Policy which makes you responsible for your terms and transactions. This policy also determines the things you can sell on the platform.

How to View a WhatsApp Catalog

To view a WhatsApp Shopping Catalog as a customer, you simply need to open a conversation with your business of choice. Then, tap on the Shopping button, which looks like a storefront. You will find the Catalog right under the business details.

Businesses can also share a WhatsApp Catalog with customers in the chat thread. Imagine someone wants to buy a mouse for your computer. That customer contacts the shop via WhatsApp to get information.

How to view a WhatsApp Catalog in the chat thread
Catalogs and Products Can Be Viewed in the Chat Thread

To make things easier on both ends, the business replies with the Catalog or a specific product. Alternatively, the customer can access the Catalog and share the desired product in the chat.

WhatsApp Business Users can access the Catalog feature from their Android or iOS device. But there's more: This year, WhatsApp made it possible for businesses to manage their Catalogs from WhatsApp Web or Desktop too.

WhatsApp Shopping Catalog for WhatsApp Web/Desktop
Catalog Manager for WhatsApp Web/Desktop

To create a WhatsApp Shopping Catalog, you'll need a WhatsApp Business App Account. You can learn how to create one here. Do you own one already? Then let’s move on to the next part.

How to Make a WhatsApp Catalog

As usual, WhatsApp has decided to keep things simple. You can create a WhatsApp Business Catalog easily from your WhatsApp Business App Account. Next, you'll learn how to add Catalog in WhatsApp.

Create Catalogs for Android

  1. Open the WhatsApp Business App and tap on More Options (triple dot) in the action bar. For some devices, More Options is a physical button.
  2. Tap Business Tools > Catalog.
  3. Choose Add New Item.
  4. Tap the Plus icon and then Add Images.
  5. Select Gallery to upload stored images, or select Camera to take new pictures. You can choose a maximum of 10 images per product.
  6. Enter product details and tap Save.
Create a WhatsApp Catalog on Android
Steps To Create a Catalog for Android

Create Catalogs for iPhone

  1. Open the WhatsApp Business App.
  2. Tap Settings > Business Tools > Catalog. If you want to create a new Catalog, choose Add New Item.
  3. Tap the Plus Icon or Add New Item and then tap Add Images.
  4. Select Choose Photo to upload stored images, or select Camera to take new pictures. You can choose a maximum of 10 images.
  5. Enter product details and tap Save.

Create Catalogs for Web and Desktop

  1. Click on More > Catalog on the top of your Contact List.
  2. Select Add New Item.
  3. Click Add Images to upload them from your files. Remember, 10 is the maximum amount.
  4. Enter product details.
  5. Add the product to the Catalog by clicking on Add To Catalog.
How to create a Catalogue on Web/Desktop
Steps to Create a WhatsApp Shopping Catalog for Web/Desktop

After you create a new product entry, you'll find a little green clock on it. This means your product won't go live right away. WhatsApp must review it to ensure that it complies with all the policies.

Normally, this process only takes a couple of minutes. Once the product gets accepted, the clock will disappear and it will finally be visible to your clients.

After adding all the products to a Catalog, sharing them is the next step. Luckily, businesses can actively reach new customers by sharing Catalogs in and outside the app. In the next part, we will explain different ways to share Catalogs with clients.

How to Share a WhatsApp Shopping Catalog

Sharing Catalogs comes in handy for customers, but it's invaluable for businesses. Not only they can send it to Contacts and Chat Groups - but they can also share it as a link on different social apps. This is how you can share it on Android, iPhone, and Web/Desktop.

Share a WhatsApp Catalog for Android

Share your Catalog with an Individual Chat or Group Chat on Android:

  1. Open a conversation in WhatsApp Business App.
  2. Tap on the Paper Clip Icon by the Text Field.
  3. Go to Catalog > Send Catalog. To send only certain products, select the product(s) by tapping on them. Then, tap Send.
How to share a Catalogue on an Android device
Steps to share a WhatsApp Catalog on Android

Share your Catalog link through Catalog Manager on Android:

  1. Open the WhatsApp Business App.
  2. Tap on Business Tools > Catalog. You are now in the Catalog Manager.
  3. Tap the link icon at the top right and select Share. To share only a specific item, select it first.
  4. Find your link on the screen. Below, there will be three options:
  • Send link via WhatsApp Business.
  • Copy link.
  • Share link via email or other social apps.
How to share a WhatsApp Shopping Catalog link on Android
Steps to Share a WhatsApp Shopping Catalog link on Android

Share a WhatsApp Catalog for iPhone

Share your Catalog with an individual Chat or Group Chat on iPhone:

  1. Open a conversation in WhatsApp Business App.
  2. Tap on the Plus Icon by the Text Field.
  3. Go to Catalog > Send. To send only certain products, select the product(s) by tapping on them. Then, tap Send.

Share your Catalog link through Catalog Manager on iPhone:

  1. Open the WhatsApp Business App.
  2. Tap on Settings > Business Tools > Catalog.
  3. Tap the three dots at the top right. If you only want to share only a specific item, select it first.
  4. Find your link on the screen. Below, there will be two options:
  • Forward the link to other WhatsApp Contacts.
  • Share the link via email or other social apps.

Share a WhatsApp Catalog for Web and Desktop

Share your Catalog with an Individual Chat or Group Chat on Web and Desktop:

  1. Open a conversation in the WhatsApp Business App.
  2. Click on the Paper Clip Icon by the Text Field. Then, click the Business Icon.
  3. Choose the products you wish to share.
  4. Click the Send Icon.
How to share a WhatsApp Shopping Catalogue on Web/Desktop
Steps to Share a WhatsApp Catalog on Web/Desktop

Share your Catalog link :

  1. Open the WhatsApp Business App.
  2. Click the Arrow icon above your conversation list and click on Catalog.
  3. Click on the link icon above to share the entire Catalog. If you only want to share only a specific item, select it first.
  4. Find your link on the screen. Click it, and select Contacts or groups to share it with.
  5. Click the Send icon.
How to share a Shopping Catalogue on Web/Desktop
Steps to Share a WhatsApp Catalog Link on Web/Desktop

Sharing Catalog links on social apps is a rather useful way to introduce your business to your audience. But when it comes to checking out, things are not as straightforward. So, what if a customer wants to buy an item from my Catalog?

How to Checkout in WhatsApp Shopping Catalog

WhatsApp has already made significant advances to develop digital payments. In fact, they have been testing in-app payments in Brazil and India.

Shopping on WhatsApp still has important limitations. Despite the fact that WhatsApp payments are not widely available, WhatsApp has already released a feature that makes the checkout process a bit easier.

WhatsApp Shopping Cart is a WhatsApp Catalog extension that allows people to select the products they want and send them to the Business to check out. In addition, it is also possible to indicate the product quantity for each item.

Ideally, businesses would charge customers in the app. But since WhatsApp Pay is only available in Brazil, they must look for alternative ways to charge customers, such as bank transfer or third party payment gateway.

How Shopping Cart works
Shopping Cart Feature for WhatsApp Business App

To place an order, clients only need to tap on their desired product from the Catalog. Then, they can choose between Add to Cart or Message Business, which allows them to inquire about the product in question.

In the future, we'll probably see how businesses use Catalogs to sell their products directly on the platform with WhatsApp Pay. But for the time being, both WhatsApp Catalog and WhatsApp Pay are moving slowly.

WhatsApp Catalog: Future Implementations

WhatsApp is the most popular messaging app in the world by monthly active users. WhatsApp's latest moves suggest that the app wants to use its worldwide popularity to take part in more aspects of people's lives - similar to WeChat in China or Line in Japan.

In the last few years, WhatsApp has been experimenting with digital payments and even e-commerce. WhatsApp Pay, Catalogs, and Business Guide are pieces prepared to work in conjunction.

WhatsApp Catalog API

We have discussed WhatsApp Catalog for WhatsApp Business App. But what about WhatsApp Business API? We know that it's coming soon this summer. This means that bigger companies will also be able to share their products and services with customers. We will update this space once more information is out.

WhatsApp Business Guide

In the latest years, WhatsApp has been catering to the Brazilian Market. This is no surprise since it is one of WhatsApp's biggest markets. In fact, just between November 2019 and January 2021, 1.75m of WhatsApp Catalogs were created in the country.

In September 2021, WhatsApp started testing an exciting new feature in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Like some sort of Google Maps, WhatsApp Business Guide will allow people to find businesses of different categories located nearby.

Future Implementations for Catalogs
Two Future Possibilities for WhatsApp Catalog

It wouldn't be strange to imagine a future in which Users can go through the entire WhatsApp shopping experience on the platform. Starting from finding a close business with WhatsApp Business Guide, choosing a product from the Catalog, and completing the purchase with WhatsApp Pay.

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