JioMart comes into action; get a WhatsApp number

After a commercial pact between Facebook’s WhatsApp and Reliance Retail 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 has 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 include sundry brands along with Reliance Retail’s own private labels.

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

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

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.