Reliance has finally launched JioMart, an e-commerce venture that aims to assist online grocery shopping. This business model is aimed to compete with prominent market players like Amazon and Flipkart and rival the established Indian online grocery services like Grofers and Big Basket.
Reliance Jio’s online shopping portal, JioMart, is now open for orders in 200 cities including all metros and places such as Mysuru, Visakhapatnam, Coimbatore, Dehradun and Bhatinda.
The launch comes after the company began testing its home delivery service in Navi Mumbai, Thane and Kalyan in late April, soon after Facebook announced it was investing $5.7 billion in Reliance Jio.
“Reliance launches JioMart service across cities,” tweeted Damodar Mall, the chief executive of Grocery Retail at Reliance Retail. “Big town or small, Jio-Mart delivers in over 200 towns.” JioMart lists fresh food, pulses, packaged food, household cleaning items and pet food among a few other categories of products on its website currently, going up squarely against players such as BigBasket, Grofers, Amazon Fresh and Pantry, and Flipkart’s Supermart.
Mumbai-headquartered Reliance has not announced JioMart’s launch at a time it is selling $7 billion (roughly Rs. 53,000 crores) in new shares.
WhatsApp’s huge user base of about 400 million users, is expected to significantly accelerate the adoption of the JioMart.
JioMart site currently offers payments only through Netbanking and credit/debit cards. More payment options may be added later.
On order value, less than ₹750, a delivery fee of ₹25 will be levied.
Reliance Retail operates neighborhood stores, supermarkets, hypermarkets, wholesale and online stores. JioMart will facilitate deliveries Reliance Retail’s network of 11784 retail outlets.
That partnership will help Reliance roll out service for India’s grocers and small businesses by capitalising on India’s 400 million-strong user base for Facebook’s WhatsApp messaging service.
JioMart, the e-commerce venture of Reliance’s retail arm, offers free express grocery delivery from neighbourhood mom-and-pop stores. It will pose a formidable challenge to local rivals, which are also betting big on groceries for their growth.
The launch comes as India is witnessing a surge in coronavirus cases. A person familiar with the matter told Reuters the product catalogue on JioMart’s website will be expanded after lockdown restrictions aimed to curb the spread of the new coronavirus are eased.
While details of the sellers have not been disclosed on the JioMart website, the company is targeting sales through local kiranas along with servicing orders via its Reliance Fresh and Smart stores, and also distribution centres in areas where orders through kiranas are not serviceable.