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WhatsApp’s new feature lets you window shop without leaving the app

WhatsApp has launched a new feature called Catalogs (Catalogues to us in the UK), allowing you to chat with businesses and browse their products directly within the messaging app.

The feature makes it even easier to chat with businesses that are on WhatsApp, just in time for Black Friday.

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Catalogs are essentially mobile store fronts designed to help businesses showcase their goods while chatting with customers. Now you can browse through products and listings and decide what to buy directly in the app without leaving the conversation, the way you might be forced to with a website.

Sellers can forward items from their catalogs directly to customers. This means you can ask your favourite shop for recommendations on the perfect dress for a Christmas party or a great gift for your mum and a shop assistant can send you specific listings from the catalog that match what you’re looking for.

This is also pretty helpful on the store’s end as they won’t need to copy and paste the same photos and info to every customer, giving the seller the time and space to send you more options to choose from without thoroughly cluttering your chat history or taking up valuable space on your phone with PDF catalogs.

For each individual product you’ll be able to view photos, a price, a description, the product code and any relevant links — perhaps to a page of customer reviews or to a video of the product in action — getting all the important info across in one handy profile.

However, you can’t buy products directly from the WhatsApp app.

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WhatsApp Business is a version of WhatsApp designed to allow small businesses and local shops to communicate with you one-on-one through the messaging service.

Catalogs are available today for shops using the iOS and Android versions of WhatsApp Business in the UK, US, Brazil, Germany, India, Indonesia and Mexico, with more countries to follow soon.

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