A month after Reliance Retail’s new commerce venture JioMart began taking WhatsApp orders in Mumbai, Navi Mumbai, Thane, and Kalyan, the company expanded its operations to several cities across the country on Saturday.
The development was confirmed by Damodar Mall, chief executive officer of Reliance Retail’s grocery retail business. In a tweet, he said the website had gone live and that consumers could place orders on it.
The launch comes close on the heels of Reliance Retail tying up with Facebook’s WhatsApp to boost JioMart’s reach. WhatsApp’s user base of around 400 million in India will help accelerate the adoption of JioMart, analysts tracking the company said. The development comes as Amazon and Walmart-backed Flipkart ramp up their grocery services.
The JioMart website shows that it has a complete list of products spanning categories such as fruits, vegetables, dairy, bakery, personal care, home care and baby care, among others.
Reliance has integrated its customer database from Reliance Fresh and Reliance Smart into JioMart. The site currently offers payments only through net-banking and credit or debit cards. More options will be added later, officials said. A delivery fee of Rs 25 will be levied if the order value is less than Rs 750, the officials said.
Reliance also plans to sign up corner shops and kirana stores onto its platform, which would allow customers to order online and have groceries delivered from these stores.
The company is looking to merge its 11,784 offline stores with the platform. The strategy is to make its network truly “omni-channel” by giving consumers access to inventory from anywhere, either online or offline, company executives said.
Reliance will also set up hyperlocal ‘Reliance Smart Points’ so that shopping is made convenient and easy. Consumers can therefore buy online and pick up shopping basket from the nearest store if needed.