Mark Zuckerberg’s Meta, in collaboration with Indian e-commerce company JioMart, launched grocery shopping experience on WhatsApp in India. With the service, people can buy JioMart grocery products right within their WhatsApp chat. To start shopping on JioMart, consumers can simply knock with a ‘Hi’ to their official business number (+917977079770).
JioMart started its journey as a joint venture of Jio Platforms and Reliance Retail. It initially focused on online groceries sales and later expanded to fashion, home essentials, and lifestyle products.
The development comes as Reliance Industries, India’s largest telecom operator announced an Rs. 2 lakh crore investment to launch 5G connectivity in cities including Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, and Kolkata. It targets to reach the entire South Asian market by December 2023. Chairman and MD of Reliance Industries Mukesh Ambani confirmed it at the 45th Annual General Meeting.
The initiative indicates a strategic partnership between Meta and Jio Platforms which was announced in 2020. This is the first global end-to-end shopping feature on WhatsApp. Two years ago, Meta and JioMart tested the integration with selected users. Whatsapp doesn’t generate revenue from app ads, so the potential commerce engine could be a massive source of revenue for the platform. The feature of JioMart will be like an e-commerce site itself. Customers can explore the grocery catalogue and add items to a cart on Whatsapp. They will be able to pay via local payments rail UPI, so they are not required to exit the platform to browse any other site. India is WhatsApp’s largest market with 487.5 million users. The monthly user count of WhatsApp in India is about half a billion.
“Business messaging is an area with real momentum and chat-based experiences like this will be the go-to way people and businesses communicate in the years to come,” Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Meta, said in a Facebook post.
Indian telecommunications company Jio is a concern of its parent Jio Platforms. With over 421 million subscribers, it is the largest telecom service company in India. Meta is the largest minority investor of the Jio Platforms. The tech giant invested US$5.7 billion in the firm for a 9.99% stake in April 2020.
Zuckerberg and Ambani have a common vision to ease Indians’ daily lives by creating online appearances for more businesses. The JioMart Grocery initiative will make Indians’ shopping experiences more accessible and convenient.