Home / Industry / Retail /  Reliance's JioMart integrates with WhatsApp for order placement

NEW DELHI : Online ordering platform JioMart has deepened its engagement with WhatsApp, allowing shoppers to tap and shop via a JioMart business account on the Meta-owned messaging app. The move could drive greater adoption of the Reliance Industries-backed online grocery channel.

Akash Ambani, director and head of strategy, Jio Platforms Ltd, and his sister Isha Ambani, director, Reliance Retail and Jio Platforms Ltd, gave details of the project at Meta’s Fuel For India event held virtually on Wednesday.

They pointed to further collaboration with WhatsApp to build native features that will help users shop seamlessly on WhatsApp and assist retailers in increasing stocks and improving margins.

A demo shared by JioMart showed that shoppers in select cities could start shopping on WhatsApp by chatting with a JioMart business account over the messaging app. Shoppers then receive a “Start Shopping" prompt along with a catalogue of groceries and other items of daily use. Orders will be offloaded to the nearest store or fulfilled from a network of Reliance Retail’s stores.

Digital shopping is now just an extension of messaging via WhatsApp to JioMart, Akash Ambani said.

“The JioMart experience through WhatsApp is actually, very simply put, ‘conversational’ in nature. WhatsApp is extremely simple and easy to use. So there’s no customer inhibition when ordering supplies. It’s extremely intuitive, so there are no barriers to technology," he added.

JioMart’s integration with WhatsApp, which has well over 400 million users in India, could further raise the stakes in the fight to gain dominance in the country’s online and offline retail trade.

JioMart currently has over half a million small mom-and-pop retailers that use its platform to order goods for their stores. In January, Mint had reported that the integration of WhatsApp with JioMart was under development.

All a customer needs to do is order away on JioMart, said Isha Ambani.

“Bread, butter, vegetables, beverages, everything that you need in your household that day or that week...Look up a product, set up a subscription for a regular buy if that’s what you want, or get personalized recommendations based on your past purchase history; it’s all there," she said in a virtual chat hosted by Marne Levine, chief business officer, Meta.

The integration, said Isha Ambani, is a step close to her father industrialist Mukesh Ambani’s vision of enabling millions of small retailers to become digital-first via Jio and JioMart.

JioMart is an online selling channel of Reliance Retail Ltd. It was launched in May 2020. In April 2020, Facebook Inc. had bought a 9.9% stake in Reliance Industries’ digital unit Jio Platforms for $5.7 billion.

JioMart engages with small retailers, acting as a distributor by supplying products to retailers.

It also facilitates B2C orders to end-consumers that are passed on to retailers.

On the business-to-business side, JioMart has been actively gaining ground. In Gurugram, it has garnered more than one-fourth share of distribution for retailers within six months of partnership with them, according to a recent report by Kotak Institutional Securities.

Suneera Tandon
Suneera Tandon is a New Delhi based reporter covering consumer goods for Mint. Suneera reports on fast moving consumer goods makers, retailers as well as other consumer-facing businesses such as restaurants and malls. She is deeply interested in what consumers across urban and rural India buy, wear and eat. Suneera holds a masters degree in English Literature from the University of Delhi.
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