Meta and Reliance forge alliances to take on B2C e-commerce giants in India

Meta and Reliance forge alliances to take on B2C e-commerce giants in India

Meta and Reliance forge alliances to take on B2C e-commerce giants in India

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The Indian e-commerce industry has been experiencing a rapid growth trajectory over the last three to four years. After a sudden increase in digital adoption during the global pandemic outbreak, India continued to experience a massive rise in real-time online transactions in 2021. Consumers in Tier II and Tier III cities have transacted online more than ever, and a large proportion of the rural population entered the online shopping industry.

From the presence of several players and the emergence of innovative business models such as social commerce, there have been many factors responsible for driving exponential growth in the Indian e-commerce industry. There are more than 4,000 active e-commerce startups in India, which are also playing a significant role in driving industry growth. Impressively, the Indian e-commerce sector growth story, along with the massive potential of the industry, has attracted interest from big conglomerates. For instance,

  • In August 2022, Reliance Industries, which operates JioMart through Reliance Retail, announced that it is launching JioMart on WhatsApp, the instant messaging app owned by Meta Platforms. The launch follows JioMart and Meta Platforms testing the integration of the service with select users in India two years ago.
  • The rollout of JioMart on WhatsApp will enable users to browse through the grocery catalog and add items to the cart. Users can also make the payment through the WhatsApp Pay integrated feature, thereby allowing them to complete the transaction without ever leaving the platform.

This strategic collaboration is important from a number of different perspectives. For one, the commerce engine can result in a major revenue driver for both JioMart and WhatsApp. This is all the more important for WhatsApp, which has largely avoided serving ads to its users. Additionally, the end-to-end shopping experience will also accelerate the digital transformation while providing consumers and businesses – of all sizes – opportunities to connect in new ways, such as conversational commerce. Moreover, the JioMart and WhatsApp experience is expected to revolutionize the way consumers shop online in India by offering unparallel simplicity and convenience.

This integrated shopping network created by JioMart and WhatsApp is projected to take on e-commerce behemoths like Flipkart and Amazon, two of the leading marketplaces in the country.

The strategic alliance with Meta Platforms means that Reliance Retail gets access to more than 487 million WhatsApp users in India. This is significant from the viewpoint that the total number of annualized active e-commerce users is only 200 million. It means that JioMart will have access to more than double the number of consumers compared to all e-commerce platforms combined, including Amazon and Flipkart.

Moreover, given the fact that WhatsApp is something that Indians are comfortable with and grocery is related to high-frequency purchases, the two firms are projected to gain significant traction and market share from the short-term perspective.

The integrated shopping experience created by JioMart and WhatsApp is also a threat to many innovative startups in the online grocery space. Notably, access to millions of consumers through WhatsApp means that JioMart is far ahead of the many startups, including Zepto, Blinkit, and Swiggy Instamart, operating in the space. While Blinkit, which is owned by Zomato, and Swiggy Instamart might find themselves in a competitive position, players like Zepto and Dunzo might struggle due to the alliance between JioMart and WhatsApp.

Over the next three to four years, the integrated, conversational commerce experience launched by JioMart and WhatsApp is expected to onboard many first-time online shoppers in India. Consequently, further assisting the growth of the booming e-commerce sector in the country from the short to medium-term perspective.

To know more and gain a deeper understanding of the B2C E-commerce in India, click here.

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