Meta and an e-commerce venture between India’s Reliance Retail and Jio Platforms are bringing JioMart messages to WhatsApp in what they believe was the global first end-to-end shopping experience of its kind on the popular instant messaging platform. The launch follows Meta and JioMart who began testing an integration with select users two years ago.
Customers in India can browse JioMart’s entire supermarket catalog on WhatsApp, add items to cart and make payments via local payment UPI, without ever leaving the instant messaging service, the companies said.
“Excited to launch our partnership with JioMart in India. This is our first ever end-to-end shopping experience on WhatsApp – people can now buy groceries from JioMart directly in a chat. Business messaging is an area of real momentum and chat-based experiences like this will be the way people and businesses communicate for years to come,” said Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Meta, in a statement.
His company is a major minority investor in Jio Platforms, the country’s largest telecom subscriber with more than 421 million subscribers. On Monday, Jio announced it will spend $25 billion to roll out 5G services in the country by October this year and aims to reach “every city” in the South Asian market by the end of next year.
JioMart is a bid by the $221 billion Indian conglomerate to acquire Amazon and Flipkart in India. Ambani’s Reliance Retail is the largest retail chain in the country, but currently has a limited e-commerce offering.
In a speech years ago, Ambani, an ally of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, called on Mahatma Gandhi and said, like Gandhi, who led a movement against the political colonization of India, “We must collectively launch a new movement against data colonization. For India to succeed in this data-driven revolution, we will have to migrate control and ownership of Indian data back to India, in other words, Indian wealth back to every Indian.”
Speaking at the company’s general meeting, Ambani said Zuckerberg shares his vision to bring more people and businesses online and “create truly innovative solutions that will make every Indian’s everyday life easier”.
“An example of an innovative customer experience that we are proud to develop is the first-ever end-to-end shopping experience with JioMart on WhatsApp. The JioMart on WhatsApp experience furthers our commitment to enable millions of Indians a simple and convenient way to shop online.”