WhatsApp users can now shop from JioMart on the instant messaging platform, Reliance Industries chairman Mukesh Ambani announced at the conglomerate’s annual general meeting.
Ambani said that the launch is a strategic partnership between Meta and Jio Platforms, and aims at expediting India’s digital transformation. He expressed optimism that the partnership will “revolutionize” the way businesses connect with their customers while keeping the experience simple.
The shopping experience will be available through the JioMart bot on WhatsApp. In a walk-through demonstrated by Reliance Retail head Isha Ambani, she showed how customers can access the complete JioMart catalog and features such as adding items to the shopping cart and making payments without exiting the instant messaging platform.
“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,” Meta founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg said in a Facebook post.
JioMart, a joint venture between Reliance Retail and Jio Platforms, was launched in 2020. The e-commerce platform, which competes with the likes of Walmart-backed Flipkart and Amazon, offers groceries, home and kitchen products, electronics, beauty items, and more. During FY22, Reliance retail has also crossed the Rs 2 lakh crore revenue milestone, delivering profits of over Rs 12,000 crores, announced Ambani.
India’s e-commerce market is forecast to hit $74.8 billion in size this year, posting a 21.5% growth. By 2030, it is expected to reach $350 billion. As of now, Flipkart and Amazon dominate the e-commerce space.
In 2020, Facebook became a stakeholder in Jio Platforms after investing $5.7 billion. The social networking giant owns a 9.99% stake in the Indian technology company. In the same year, Jio Platforms sold stakes to various global investors, including Google, Qualcomm, Silver Lake Partners, Mubadala, Abu Dhabi Investment Authority, and more. A partnership with Qualcomm was also announced at the meet for its 5G plans.
The Whatsapp-Jiomart pitch has been long in the offing, and while the current iteration seems the closest to what was promised in terms of ease of use and convenience, delivering on the ground will be the real test for the combination. With its omni-channel partnerships ranging from its own stores to thousands of smaller sellers, JioMart has not exactly been able to win the delivery battle with customers, despite the huge breadth of offers and offerings on the app so far. That is due to its dependence on its partners for order fulfillment. Investments in Dunzo have also followed, but that will remain just one of the many options for it to deliver.
While exact numbers are not available, we understand that failure rates on order delivery for Jiomart remain higher than for Amazon or Walmart-owned Flipkart, for that matter. So watch out for some key announcements to fix this challenge, we say.