WhatsApp users in India can now use the app to make online grocery orders amid a new partnership with JioMart.
Last week Facebook announced a $5.7 billion (£4.6 billion) investment in Jio Platforms, owned by India’s most valued firm Reliance Industries, making it the largest minority shareholder and solidifying its foothold in the rapidly growing market.
The pair’s first collaborative initiative is to test an “ordering system” in three sub-urban areas of Mumbai, by which users of the Facebook-owned WhatsApp messaging app can order groceries.
By texting “Hi” to +91-8850008000, a mini-store will be opened in the browser allowing customers to choose from a range of essential items.
When an order has been placed, JioMart will assign on of 1200 local stores to fulfil and deliver the order.
Customers will also be sent an invoice through WhatsApp as there is currently no option to pay online.
There are currently 400 million WhatsApp users in India, and the online grocery market is expected to grow $870 a year to $14.5 billion by the end of 2023.
The wider Indian online retail market is set to be worth $72 billion by the end of 2022.
Its not the first time WhatsApp has introduced such an initiative. In June Walmart Mexico launched a programme allowing customers to send their shopping lists to shop workers via WhatsApp and have their orders fulfilled for 39 pesos (£1.59).