Messaging apps seem bent on not letting you out of their sight by offering you features that would let you do almost everything that you do in the digital world right from their app. So if one of the things that you do is online shopping, then Viber is getting ready to unleash an commence solution that would let you have a shopping experience straight from your chat box. This will be available by March 6 in the US but will rollout globally later this year.
Viber is actually trying to brand itself as an “all-mobile-services-and-needs-platform” instead of just a messaging app. And adding an e-commerce component is one step towards that direction. When you’re chatting with someone about a particular product, you can tap on the shopping button and search if the product is already in their database. Its has “visually-rich” information and supposedly all the details you would need to make a decision to buy it. You can talk about it with your friends or even with the brand itself.
However, what’s missing in this process is the ability to buy the product directly from Viber itself. If you’ve already decided to buy it, then you will be led to the product page either on a browser or an app if you have it installed in your device. But eventually, that is the longer game, that you will be able to do everything from within the app and not switch to another one and maybe risk not going back to Viber after the purchase.
They have not yet made public the list of merchants that will be on the e-commerce solution during its initial launch. Obviously, Rakuten will be there since they own Viber and insiders say Macy’s will also be there. There will supposedly be a section called “deals” so we might see partnerships with group buying sites as well. This will rollout to US users on March 6 and eventually to other countries later this year.