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You can now do your Black Friday shopping through WhatsApp

(Image credit: Shutterstock)

You can now shop directly through WhatsApp using virtual storefronts hosted by the messaging service.

The new feature, Catalogs, has arrived just in time for Black Friday and Cyber Monday, and will let you indulge in a spot of retail therapy from small businesses that don't have their own websites.

Catalogs are available now for Android and iOS in the US, the UK, India, Germany, Indonesia, Brazil and Mexico, and WhatsApp says it intends to roll them out worldwide in the near future.

Simple shopping

Retailers build their virtual storefront using the WhatsApp Business app, but you can browse them using the standard version of WhatsApp you already have installed for messaging family and friends.

Catalogs include lists of photos, prices and descriptions of products and services, plus SKU codes to identify specific products. Once you've chosen what you'd like to buy, you can contact the business through WhatsApp to place your order.

Check out the video below to see how it works:

WhatsApp Business was created to make it easier for small businesses to stay in touch with customers with tools including automatic replies to common questions. Hopefully the addition of catalogs will give them a little extra help as Christmas approaches, enabling independent retailers to compete better against giants like Amazon.

Cat Ellis

Cat (@CatEllisBristol) is the fitness and wellbeing editor at TechRadar. She's been a technology journalist for 11 years, and cut her teeth on magazines including PC Plus and PC Format before joining TechRadar. She's a trained run leader, and enjoys nothing more than lacing up her shoes and hitting the pavement. If you have a story about fitness trackers, treadmills, running shoes, e-bikes, or any other fitness tech, drop her a line.