Tech

Whatsapp, super app? In-app grocery purchases now available in India

What happened now? Meta announced the launch of the first ever end-to-end shopping experience on WhatsApp, reaffirming its ambitions to build super apps for the messaging platform. WhatsApp is adding the ability to make in-app purchases in India, where users will be able to shop online directly via chat.

The new in-app shopping experience is the result of a collaboration between Meta and Indian e-commerce platform JioMart. WhatsApp users in India will now be able to access JioMart via WhatsApp chat.

Meta founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg spoke about the partnership and integration of JioMart into facebook post earlier today: “Excited to launch our partnership with JioMart in India. This is our first ever all-in-one WhatsApp shopping experience.”

By chatting with a JioMart business account on WhatsApp, users can initiate purchases and view the JioMart catalog, add items to their shopping carts, and make payments, all within WhatsApp. Zuckerberg believes that such chat interaction will be a growth driver in the future. He said that “Business messaging is an area with real momentum and chat rooms like this will be the main way people and companies communicate in the coming years.”

The collaboration between Meta and JioMart began over two years ago when Meta (then Facebook) acquired a 9.99% stake in Jio Platforms, a subsidiary of Indian tech company Reliance Industries. Meta and Jio Platforms have established a strategic partnership to digitally transform and revolutionize the way businesses interact with consumers in India. The JioMart integration was also announced at the 45th Annual General Meeting of Reliance Industries (AGM) earlier this week.

The news points to WhatsApp’s ambition to become a super app in India, following in the footsteps of Chinese giant WeChat. With over 1.2 billion users, WeChat is an integral part of everyday life in China. It offers a comprehensive list of features ranging from e-commerce to transportation and asset management.

India is WhatsApp’s largest market with over 400 million users, and if this new in-app purchase service is successful, we may see similar integrations in other countries. WhatsApp Business is also seeing significant user growth. Can WhatsApp become the all-encompassing super app in the Western world? Time will tell.


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