By Sharleen D’Souza & Sourabh Lele
‘First-ever end-to-end shopping experience’ on messaging platform, says Mark Zuckerberg
Meta Platforms Inc, the parent company of WhatsApp, will partner with Reliance JioMart for a service where WhatsApp users can buy groceries on the messaging platform from the Indian retail firm.
Mark Zuckerberg, chief executive officer (CEO) of Meta Platforms, said in a Facebook post, “[I am] Excited to launch our partnership with JioMart in India. This is our first-ever end-to-end shopping experience on WhatsApp–people can now buy groceries from JioMart right in a chat.”
“Business messaging is an area with real momentum and chat-based experiences like this will be the go-to way people and businesses communicate in the years to come,” he said in an announcement coinciding with the annual general Meeting (AGM) of Reliance Industries the parent company of JioMart.
A Reliance press statement said the service “will enable users in India, including those who have never shopped online before, to seamlessly browse through JioMart’s entire grocery catalog, add items to cart, and make the payment to complete the purchase–all without leaving the WhatsApp chat.”
WhatsApp users can shop on JioMart via by messaging “Hi” to +917977079770.
Mukesh Ambani, chairman and managing director of Reliance Industries, said, “The JioMart on WhatsApp experience furthers our commitment to enabling a simple and convenient way of online shopping.”
“Reliance Retail is looking at touching as many consumers across the country and WhatsApp is a logical platform as India is the largest market for the messaging app in the world,” said Devangshu Dutta, CEO of Third Eyesight, a retail consultancy firm. While WhatsApp is important for growth, Reliance Retail will also need to work on product availability and the cost of delivering to the customer, he said.
Ambani said Reliance’s retail business model has “five imperatives”, or ‘Panch Pran’. These include: enriching customer experience using technology; operationalising and growing multiple channels; integrating with small merchants and providing them a platform to prosper. The fourth imperative is to expand the product portfolio and the fifth one is to strengthen logistics and supply chain.
Isha Ambani, director at Reliance Retail Ventures, said at the AGM that the digital commerce platforms–reliancedigital.in and JioMart–enabled the retail major to deliver 93 per cent of online orders from stores within six hours. “We rolled out our JioMart Digital (JMD) initiative during the year. The platform enables small electronics merchants to sell the entire product portfolio of Reliance Retail on an assisted selling model, helping them deliver superior customer experience and growing their income,” she said.
The company’s new commerce initiative is on course to partner with one crore merchants as it expands to cover the entire country in the next five years, Isha Ambani said.
Last year, Reliance Retail entered pharmacy retail with the acquisition of Netmeds. That year, it launched new operations through Netmeds Wholesale and onboarded merchants in 1,900 towns and cities.