Reliance Retail Ltd has expressed the wish to embed its e-commerce app JioMart into WhatsApp within six months, allowing the 400 million users of India’s most popular messaging service order products without having to leave the app.
The integration will allow JioMart to catapult its reach across India, allowing Reliance Retail to pose a serious challenge to Flipkart and Amazon’s domination in India’s fast-growing online retail market. Ambani is trying to wrest a bigger share of India’s retail market, estimated to reach $1.3 trillion by 2025. Reliance is already India’s biggest offline retailer.
JioMart was launched in May across 200 cities and towns, a month after Reliance Retail signed a pact with WhatsApp to boost the reach of the online shopping website. In April, Facebook Inc. bought a 9.9% stake in Reliance Industries’ digital unit Jio Platforms for $5.7 billion.
According to a WhatsApp spokesperson, “Through our investment with Jio, we’re going to bring millions of small businesses and the customers they serve into the digital economy. This will make it easier for businesses to connect with customers and close sales.”
Reliance Retail is also on-boarding local kirana stores on its platform. So, when a customer orders using the JioMart app, the app maps the user to a nearby kirana store. The delivery is either done by the kirana shop or by RIL’s logistics arm Grab, which it acquired in 2019 for $14 million. The kirana store gets a commission on the sales.
Reliance not only helps kiranas procure items but, through its point of sale (PoS) machine, offers the kiranas financing, inventory management and tax return filing services, among others.