Reliance Retail’s latest commerce business on the JioMart platform has gone live with its official WhatsApp number on April 25. This comes three days after Whatsapp-parent Facebook announced a $5.7Bn stake buying deal in Reliance owned Jio. One of the conditions in the deal was for Whatsapp to host Jio’s retail business expanding JioMart’s reach to 400 million WhatsApp users.
In December, last year, Reliance Industries Ltd(RIL), through its retail arm Reliance Retail Ltd, had launched its new commerce venture named JioMart. Calling itself “Desh Ki Nayi Dukaan", JioMart is currently catering to online shoppers in the suburban Mumbai.
Three days ago, the social media giant Facebook had announced to invest $5.7 billion which is Indian Rs 43,574 crore for 9.99% of Reliance Industries Limited’s(RIL) telecom business Reliance Jio. By partnering with Jio, Facebook planned to take advantage of its popular WhatsApp messenger to offer digital payment services to small grocers in India.
Three days after Reliance Retail signed a commercial agreement with Facebook's WhatsApp to expand the reach of its online venture JioMart. The retailer has now gone live on WhatsApp. As of now, JioMart is offering its services in the suburban Mumbai areas like Navi Mumbai, Thane and Kalyan.
Mukesh Ambani, Chairman and Managing Director, Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) said in a video message, " JioMart and Whatsapp will empower nearly 3 crore small Indian Kirana shops to digitally transact with every customer in their neighbourhood. `This means all of you can order and get faster delivery of day-to-day items, from nearby local shops."
How to place Orders using JioMart?
To order from JioMart, customers need to add JioMart's WhatsApp number 88500 08000 on their phones. JioMart sends a link to the customer's Whatsapp chat window. The link is valid for 30 minutes.
Clicking on the link directs the user to a new page. In this page, the user has to enter his name, his address and phone number. User can select the locality based on the pin code entered. After selecting the locality, detailed home address needs to be entered.
After entering all data, the catalogue of products is made available to order from. It shows the products nearby shops offering in the region. Products available include various brands along with Reliance Retail's own private labels such as products from Reliance Fresh.
Once the final order is placed, the order will be relayed to the local kirana store along with the details of the customer. On the other end, the customer receives a notification rather a message on the registered WhatsApp number including the order and the kirana/JioMart store.
At the same time, a pdf rather a bill is sent to the customer though it is mentioned that it's not a bill. The pdf includes Grocery shop details and the order details with all the products ordered along with Order Total.
The customer will also receive an alert once the grocery shop is ready with the order. Currently, the only payment option available is cash. The customer has to pickup his order from the store when the store bills the order.
How will Reliance benefit from this?
Through these grocery stores, RIL will also sell its own private labels under brand names such as Best Farms, Good Life, Masti Oye, Kaffe, Enzo, Mopz, Expelz and Home One.
Reliance Retail operates neighbourhood stores, supermarkets, hypermarkets, wholesale, specialty and online stores. It has partnered with merchants under the e-commerce platform. The merchants, in turn, will cater to the demand. This will help the company save costs and enter areas currently outside the traditional services of e-commerce companies.
Through this RIL is offering local merchants offering an O2O (online-to-offline) marketplace. This business model pioneered by the Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. Under the O2O model, a consumer searches for the product or services online but buys it through an offline channel.
At present, JioMart is only available in the suburban Mumbai areas of Navi Mumbai, Thane and Kalyan. However, through the kiryana stores, Reliance is planning to expand the facility to all over India. Soon other cities will also be able to use the service.
JioMart has been around as a standalone entity for a few months now. Though Reliance had done a soft launch of the platform back, there were no marketing/public announcements. But now the platform is all set to receive a major boost as soon as the Facebook-Jio deal materialised. JioMart is expected to get good response from customers.