JioMart gets a WhatsApp number, goes live

Three days after Reliance Retail signed a commercial pact with Facebook’s WhatsApp to further the reach of its online venture JioMart, the retailer went live in the suburban Mumbai areas of Navi Mumbai, Thane and Kalyan.

Reliance’s tie up with WhatsApp means it gets direct access to WhatsApp’s user base of over 400 million.

To order from JioMart, customers need to add JioMart’s WhatsApp number 88500 08000 on their phones. JioMart sends a link to the customer’s Whatsapp chat window. The link is valid for 30 minutes. Clicking on the link directs the user to a new page wherein he has to fill his address and phone number, after which the catalogue of products is made available to order from. Products available inlcude sundry brands along with Reliance Retail’s own private labels.

Once the final order is placed, it is shared with the local kirana store on WhatsApp. The customer receives a notification iwth the order and the kirana/JioMart store details on his number. The customer will also receive an alert once the kirana bills the order.

Currently, the only payment option available is cash and the customer has to pickup his order from the store.

Reliance Retail Ltd, the retail arm of Reliance Industries Ltd, had last December soft launched its new commerce venture named JioMart. Calling itself “Desh Ki Nayi Dukaan”, JioMart is currently catering to online shoppers in the suburban Mumbai areas of Navi Mumbai, Thane and Kalyan.

Last July Mint had reported that Reliance Retail is hiring distributors to sell private-label brands through neighborhood stores.

Through these kirana stores, RIL will sell its own private labels under brand names such as Best Farms, Good Life, Masti Oye, Kaffe, Enzo, Mopz, Expelz and Home One.

Reliance Retail operates neighbourhood stores, supermarkets, hypermarkets, wholesale, specialty and online stores. It has consolidated merchants under the e-commerce platform. The merchants, in turn, will cater to the demand. This will help the company save costs and enter areas currently outside the traditional purview of e-commerce companies.

Through this RIL is offering local merchants offering an O2O (online-to-offline) marketplace, a business model pioneered by the Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. Under the O2O model, a consumer searches for the product or services online but buys it through an offline channel.

(Above content has been sourced from a news feed)

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