Months after entering the e-commerce business with the launch of JioMart, Reliance Retail is about to take things up a notch, and is planning to integrate the app JioMart into WhatsApp within six months, according to a report by LiveMint.
Last year, Facebook partnered up with Reliance Jio by acquiring a 9.99% stake in the Mukesh Ambani led platform for $5.7 billion. After this, many speculated that the two companies will launch a massive endeavor together. Moreover during an earnings call with his analysts, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg had said that partnering with Reliance Jio was a huge opportunity to “get thousands of small businesses across India on-boarded onto WhatsApp, to do commerce there”.
However, things have been quite for a while now, and nothing major has been announced. With this new report, it looks like things are finally in motion, as JioMart plans to bring its services to the 400 million users of WhatsApp in India.
The Facebook-owned messaging platform has already launched WhatsApp Pay to enable small businesses and individuals in the country to buy and sell things through the app. Therefore, the integration of both WhatsApp and JioMart will allow the users of India’s most popular messaging service to order products without having to leave the app.
“It is essentially marrying the strengths of both companies. The JioMart integration is essentially adding a retail layer for WhatsApp chats. With payments now available on WhatsApp, it makes all the more sense. Now your chats, retail and payments will all be integrated within the same interface,” said Jayanth Kolla, founder and partner, Convergence Catalyst, a research firm.
Even though no direct statement has been released by Reliance or Facebook, a WhatsApp spokesperson said to LiveMint ,“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.”