JioMart starts grocery ordering thru WhatsApp. Would be an interesting watch.

The move was widely anticipated after Facebook had invested $6 bn into Jio’s platform unit early last year.

Key points to note –

  • Ordering is through “tap and chat” option.
  • Delivery is free and there’s no minimum order value. Payment can be made either via JioMart or cash on delivery.
  • Aim is to utilise the popularity and familiarity of WhatsApp (WA) to get aggressive in the online grocery business. WA no doubt is one of the most popular platforms and should ideally have a short learning curve for both customers and the suppliers. WhatsApp has about 53 crore users in India i.e., about 40% of total Indian population.

On the face of it, the proposition looks strong and should definitely see immediate acceptance. However, for me the online retailing is never as easy as it seems. Customer experience remains the key and that would be dependent upon ordering process, product quality, time to delivery, return and refunds, pricing and much more.

Lot of this would need much more than tying up with a popular chatting platform. Personally, I have not seen many people using WA business to transact – a similar proposition targeted at small businesses across segments.

Grocery, given the low ticket size may be further harder to execute. Besides, likes of Grofers, Swiggy, Amazon, Big Basket, Flipkart, Dunzo etc are becoming more and more aggressive in this segment. This may further keep JioMart on the toes.

This is not to say that JioMart can not make it work. Reliance will surely have many aces up it’s sleeve !

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