JioMart is controlled by the billionaire Mukesh Ambani, and went live in several select neighborhoods in and around Mumbai recently after a deal that gives it control of 400 million Indian WhatsApp users currently on coronavirus-induced lockdown.
Facebook is hoping the partnership with WhatsApp will boost its status in the area and make it the primary way to connect with customers in India.
Ambani said the new partnership would make it easier for residents to digitally pay millions of mom-and-pop stores in India. During the pandemic, in which people take drastic measures to avoid contact with others that could transmit the virus, this could help.
Ambani said the measure would allow for better and faster delivery from the local shops.
Ambani, Asia’s richest man, is now a bit closer to his goal of establishing an eCommerce platform to rival Amazon or Walmart’s FlipKart in India’s ripe market for that field. KPMG said India’s appetite for eCommerce is set to grow by $200 billion from now until 2027.
To use the program, users will have to enter the JioMart WhatsApp number, 8850008000, on their app. Then, they’ll be directed to place an order, which will be shared via WhatsApp. Then the customer will get notifications on the status of their order.
Vikraman P.N., founder of Finnoviti Consulting, said the rollout was happening under the unfortunate circumstances of the virus pandemic, but that the pilot would be spread as planned, and WhatsApp would continue to be a pivotal part of the expansion.
In a blog post, Facebook chief revenue officer David Fischer and Ajit Mohan, vice president and managing director for India, said the collaboration would show the support Facebook has for India and for the dramatic moves JioMart is making in the region.