After disrupting the telecom industry in India, Reliance Jio is now set to launch an ecommerce platform, leveraging its penetration and millions of subscribers. As per the reports by ET the company is working with kirana stores and consumer brands to let people buy locally using coupons via Jio Money platform or even text messages.
The project is currently ongoing in Mumbai, Chennai and Ahmedabad, the report said.
Having witnessed the huge success of Jio and the fact that it touched a 132 million+ subscribers base in about a year, now its entry in the e-commerce segment could be a very bad news for digital wallet and e-commerce players like Paytm and Flipkart.
Although having investors like Softbank behind their back, this head-on battle will be interesting to watch.
The online-to-offline business model is strategic for a new entrant like Jio, as of India’s $650-billion retail industry, only 3-4% is ecommerce and another 8% is controlled by organised retailers such as Shoppers Stop and Big Bazaar. The remaining 88-89% of the market rests with smaller entities such as corner stores.
Jio’s e-commerce business has not yet been finalised yet and may incorporate several changes based on inputs from its pilot programme, said a Jio executive, for which it has roped in ITC, Wipro, Dabur, Tata Beverages, Godrej Consumer Products and Amul,
“In total, 15-20 brands have been enrolled for the pilot project,” the executive said.
The Business Plan
Under its current plan, Jio will be offering digital coupons for a particular brand’s product and its users can use those coupons at their neighbouring stores or kiranas availing the offer. The stores will also be equipped with software on their mobile to accept these coupons.
“There will be seamless connectivity between manufacturers and retailers, allowing for better and timely offers for scaling up product sale,” said the Jio executive.
“Geo-tagging can also be done and sales in leftover stocks can be pushed for a given geographical area,” he said.
Reliance Jio will be charging the brands to use its platform for ‘below the line marketing’- a money saving advertising option for companies. Jio will not spend any of its own money for offering discounts on products, said the persons aware of the company’s e-commerce plans.
Jio Money platform is already hosting e-commerce brands but with this broader move, it will rope in products brands that are used daily.