Reliance industries’ latest venture to expand into the retail market, JioMart, has gone live with its official WhatsApp number. This comes days after Whatsapp-parent Facebook announced a $5.7Bn stake buying deal in Reliance-owned Jio. One of the conditions agreed to in that deal, was for Whatsapp to host Jio’s retail business, expanding JioMart’s reach to 400 million WhatsApp users.
To place orders through JioMart, users need to send a text to its new official WhatsApp number 88500 08000 . JioMart would then send a link in return, which when opened would prompt customers to enter their details, such as name and address. After filling out the necessary information, JioMart would show the customer a catalogue of all the available items. “Products available include sundry brands along with Reliance Retail’s own private labels,” according to LiveMint. The said link would remain active for 30 minutes.
Once placed, the order will be relayed to the local kirana store (mon and pop store), along with the details of the customer. The customer on the other end, would receive the name of the kirana store to which the order has been dispatched, receiving the notification with the order and the kirana/JioMart store details on his number. Another prompt will be sent to the customer once the store bills the purchase. As of now, the only available mode of payment is cash, and the customers have to go to the stores themselves to pick their order up.
At present, JioMart is only available in the suburban Mumbai areas of Navi Mumbai, Thane and Kalyan. However, through the kiryana stores, Reliance is also planning to sell its own private labels under brand names such as Best Farms, Good Life, Masti Oye, Kaffe, Enzo, Mopz, Expelz and Home One.
To the customers, this provides ease of access and a one stop shop for all their needs. To the store owner, JioMart offers an outreach, an opportunity to expand business through online to offline distribution.
JioMart has been around as a standalone entity for a few months now. Reliance had done a soft launch of the platform back on last year’s New Year Eve, but there were no marketing/public announcements. The platform however, was set to receive a major boost as soon as the Facebook-Jio deal materialised. And it seems to be happening now.