Reliance will conduct pilot run in several states and its expansion will be greatly aided by the instant messaging app.
Coronavirus pandemic: Amid the lockdown for coronavirus, Reliance has started the testing of JioMart, its WhatsApp India-based e-shopping platform. The development comes merely days after Facebook announced its decision to invest over Rs 43,500 crores in the digital assets of the company. According to a Bloomberg report, Reliance Retail’s e-commerce venture has started the initial testing phase by serving three neighbourhoods in Mumbai via the JioMartLite app.
The app uses Facebook-owned WhatsApp as the base platform, which helps Reliance access the instant messaging app’s 40 crore users.
According to Bloomberg, this platform would help Mukesh Ambani get closer to his goal of having a platform which can compete with giants Amazon and Flipkart in the market for e-commerce, which is estimated to grow to Rs 15.22 lakh crore by the 2027.
Meanwhile, Facebook’s hope from this venture with Reliance is that it would lead to small businesses using WhatsApp to communicate with the customers, thus increasing the user base and the scope of the instant messaging platform, the report stated.
The Bloomberg report further quotes Finnoviti Consulting’s Senior Consulting Partner Vikraman PN said that the roll out of the platform is happening in a difficult time, if the constraints of the supply chain are considered. However, he added, Reliance will conduct pilot run in several states and its expansion will be greatly aided by the instant messaging app.
How does JioMart work?
The Bloomberg report stated that if customers add JioMart’s WhatsApp number , they would get a link for JioMart using which the customers can place their order. This order would then be given to a local grocer, after which the customer would get a WhatsApp message informing them the time and the place from where they can pick up their order, Bloomberg said, quoting JioMartLite’s website.
The report further stated that JioMart aimed to use local kirana stores as the points of delivery.