Last week, the US tech giant Facebook reached a $ 5.7 billion trade deal with Reliance Industries and took a 9.99% stake in its Jio platforms. Now JioMart, its e-commerce website, has started testing in collaboration with WhatsApp to make grocery shopping easier.
JioMart is currently available in parts of Maharashtra, namely Navi Mumbai, Thane and Kalyan and is expected to be rolled out across India in the near future. The company has launched a specific WhatsApp number through which its registered customers can order the items available on its website.
Steps to order on the JioMart website:
* The professional contact number of JioMart on WhatsApp is +91 88 500 08000.
* Customers must save this number on their phone.
* Then launch WhatsApp, select the contact and send a ‘Hi' message.
* JioMart will respond with a welcome message and a link to order items.
* Opening the link will bring customers to the items listed on JioMart.
* Before ordering items, customers must provide certain details such as name, address, etc.
* The link if not used will expire in 30 minutes. A new link can be generated by sending another “Hi” message.
Currently, only basic groceries are available. Orders placed daily before 5 p.m. are most likely available to be picked up at the nearest JioMart Kirana partner store within the next 48 hours. Customers who have placed orders will receive a message on WhatsApp when the partner stores are ready with the orders. There is no home delivery and online payment service at this time. Thus, customers will have to go to stores, make payment and collect their orders.
Two days required for grocery shopping
Taking advantage of WhatsApp for e-commerce sales and not having to install another e-commerce application certainly makes the process clever for mobile phones. But 48 hours because the probable period for orders to be prepared stretches the process too much.
If a customer needs something today, it should be ordered 2 to 3 days in advance. This can work to some extent during the lockout period, since everyone is at home, but can easily become exhaustive and irrelevant as life begins again.
No online payment or delivery option
An online business model without an online payment method already in place makes no sense. Most e-commerce platforms have enabled online payment and the integration of a payment gateway has been simplified so much. Why a company like JioMart doesn't have one is incomprehensible.
Most importantly, customers who have to go to the nearest Kirana partner store to pick up orders during lockdown are absurd. This comes at a time when Swiggy, a food delivery partner, has linked up with grocery stores and delivers orders to home customers.
It could be that once Whatsapp Pay has received the required approval from New Delhi, online payments will be easily possible.