Reliance's Online Grocery Service JioMart Expands Availability to over 200 Indian Cities

After starting JioMart services in the suburbs of Mumbai, Reliance Industries has now expanded the services of JioMart, an online grocery store, to cover over 200 towns across the country. The latest venture by Mukesh Ambani will offer grocery delivery at the doorstep amid the on-going coronavirus outbreak. JioMart will give tough competition to prominent grocery delivery services like Amazon, Flipkart and Big Basket in India.

Last month, Facebook Inc. bought a 9.99 % stake for $5.7 billion (Rs 43,574 crore) in Reliance Industries' digital unit, Jio Platforms, on April 24. That partnership helped Reliance roll out its service for India's grocers and small businesses by using India's 400 million strong user base for Facebook's WhatsApp messaging service.

Three days after the deal, JioMart made its service live online via WhatsApp. Reliance JioMart initially launched its services in Mumbai Suburbans as a small pilot project. The delivery was available only in three areas in and around Mumbai: Navi Mumbai, Thane, and Kalyan.

Through an online shopping portal, the entire service is now available in over 200 towns of India. JioMart, Reliance Jio’s shopping portal, is now open for orders in all metros and places such as Mysuru, Visakhapatnam, Coimbatore, Dehradun, and Bhatinda where consumers can place the order for the required grocery.

While details of the sellers have not been disclosed on the JioMart website, the company is targeting sales through local kiranas along with servicing orders via its Reliance Fresh and Smart stores and also via distribution centres in areas where orders through kiranas are not serviceable.

JioMart delivers a wide range of products including fruits, vegetables, groceries, bakery products, beverages, household products, packaged food, and more. The JioMart website is jiomart.com.

Reliance Retail operates through neighbourhood stores, supermarkets, hypermarkets, wholesale and online stores. The company integrated its registered customer database from Reliance Fresh and other retail businesses into JioMart.

JioMart said the following in a statement,
“We offer you the convenience of shopping everything that you need for your home – be it fresh fruits & vegetables, rice, dals, oil, packaged food, dairy item, frozen, pet food, household cleaning items & personal care products from a single virtual store.”

The chief executive of grocery retail at Reliance Retail, Damodar Mall tweeted, "Never waste a crisis, they say! Big town or small, JioMart delivers in over 200 towns. Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba (BABA) "flourished" during the 2003 SARS pandemic. We seek similar opportunities by fulfilling the needs during these tough times.”


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How can we use JioMart?

The JioMart app is not available on Apple or Google Play Store yet. JioMart is currently available as a mobile and desktop website. But, it is expected to become available soon via Facebook-owned instant messaging app WhatsApp, like it was for delivery in Mumbai’s suburbs in April.

To check if JioMart's service is open in your location or not, you need to enter your pin code in the ‘Delivering to’ field on the website. If you get a green signal, it means the service is there in your area. Otherwise, a message in red appears, “We are currently not available at this location. Stay tuned!”

The ‘search with list’ option is the handiest feature of this site. You can simply paste or write the entire product list in this section instead of searching one by one. The website will search for the products sequentially for you. You need to place your choice at the cart.

To place an order, one needs to log on to jiomart.com. If the order value is less than ₹750, a nominal delivery fee of ₹25 will be added. Above an order value of ₹750, JioMart offers free delivery. The customer can pay either online or offline.


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Payment and Delivery Options

Jio has integrated many payment options such as UPI, e-wallets on the website.  The company has incorporated almost all kinds of payment methods. Various e-wallets like Paytm, PhonePe, JioMoney, and MobiKwik are also supported. The website has a Net Banking option along with the Credit/Debit card provisions. If not online, one can also go for cash on delivery (COD).

One point users might find inconvenient is that JioMart does not offer same-day delivery. The orders are generally delivered within two days. Due to the lockdown and strict instructions imposed, the delivery time may get extended in some cases.

Some improvements are required like changes to the searching process. The problem is that a particular product might be named differently according to the local language which can hamper the search for that product. The search algorithm needs to detect such discrepancies. Otherwise, the website cannot cater to different customer requirements.

Reliance Online Grocery
Reliance Online Grocery

How will it affect Competitors?

JioMart, promoted as ‘Desh ki Nayi Dukan’, offers free express grocery delivery from neighbourhood grocery or kirana stores. JioMart’s launch comes as India is witnessing an increase in coronavirus cases. Officials have said that the product catalog on JioMart's website will be expanded once the lockdown restrictions are lifted. JioMart will then work on its full capacity.

JioMart is undoubtedly a tough competitor to other online grocery shops like BigBasket and Grofers. JioMart offers fresh food, pulses, packaged food, household cleaning items, pet food, and other categories of products on its website. It is all set to take on the big players such as BigBasket, Grofers, Amazon Fresh, and Pantry and Flipkart’s Supermart.

Amazon (AMZN) and Walmart-owned (WMT) Flipkart are the two dominant e-commerce platforms in India. Both companies operate in hundreds of cities across the country. They deliver goods such as smartphones, electronics, and clothing. Both companies also launched online grocery deliveries last year. JioMart's launch is a reason for worry for Amazon and Flipkart because they are not very strong in the grocery segment.

JioMart's expansion also comes as millions of Indians remain under lockdown because of the coronavirus pandemic. Amazon and Flipkart have also faced difficulty delivering orders across India during the Covid-19 pandemic. This is due to the restrictions imposed on traveling from one city to another. The lockdown required the company to accelerate expansion plans with increasing warehouse capacities.

Due to the lockdown imposed in India, Flipkart temporarily suspended services and Amazon had to limit orders as it responded to increased demand. Despite the various complexities and challenges of zonal restrictions and supply chain disruption, Flipkart and other e-commerce companies have worked to deliver essential goods while considering the safety of their employees. It will pose a formidable challenge to local rivals who are also betting big on groceries for their growth.

How will the Future of India be Shaped?

According to investment research firm Bernstein, grocery constitutes 70% of the Indian retail market. More than 90% of the market is unorganized and driven by kirana stores. The overall retail market is expected to double in size from $676 billion in 2018 to nearly $1.3 trillion by 2025, according to Bernstein.

According to Forrester, India's online grocery market is small by comparison and worth around $3 billion this year. But the firm says that the number is growing fast as the pandemic changes people's shopping habits. JioMart was launched in December last year with the goal of connecting 3 crore kiranas or grocery stores with local consumers online.


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Bernstein and Forrester's analysts say JioMart is well placed to disrupt the online grocery market because it can source supplies from Reliance's brick-and-mortar stores. Reliance is India's largest retail operator. If JioMart manages to get kiranas online and organized, it will also have a hyper-local supply and logistics chain that can be used to meet the demand.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I shop from JioMart?

Download the JioMart App & Register with your Mobile Number. Login - Select City, Enter Pin code. Select from a wide range of categories to choose from. Add items to cart, complete payment & check out.

How JioMart will work?

JioMart is essentially an aggregator between customers and nearby stores, in a similar way that other online delivery aggregators work. This saves JioMart from separately acquiring customers on its platform, which is a key barrier when a new app or a service is launched.

What is the minimum order for JioMart?

Initially, JioMart required a minimum order value of Rs 750 for free delivery. Existing players like Alibaba-backed Bigbasket, Amazon India, or Flipkart typically require upwards of Rs 600 order size for free delivery.

Is JioMart available in Vizag?

Reliance Jio's online shopping portal, JioMart, is now open for orders in 200 cities including all metros and places such as Mysuru, Visakhapatnam, Coimbatore, Dehradun, and Bhatinda.



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About Varad Kitey

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