Why WhatsApp’s In-App Grocery Cart Chart Will Skyrocket in SEA

WhatsApp’s parent company, Meta, launched its first-ever shopping experience on the platform in partnership with Jio in India. The new feature will allow consumers to shop on JioMart within the WhatsApp ecosystem.

The new feature will allow users to browse JioMart’s grocery catalog, add items to cart and make payment to complete the purchase without leaving the WhatsApp chat.

Mark Zuckerberg, Founder and CEO of Meta, said in a Facebook post, “Delighted to launch our partnership with JioMart in India. This is our first-ever end-to-end shopping experience on WhatsApp – people can now buy groceries from JioMart directly in a chat. Business messaging is an area with real momentum, and chat-based experiences like this will be the go-to medium for people and businesses to communicate for years to come.

Closer to home in Southeast Asia, Meta has also recently invested in Take App, a Singaporean startup that aims to bridge the gap for small business owners and find an easy way for them to create a simple website. to facilitate online orders, shopping cart filling, payments and a direct connection to WhatsApp. According to TechCrunch, while the app primarily focuses on restaurants, it also works with bakeries, grocery stores, and beauty salons, among others.

A recent study by Meta and Boston Consulting Group (BCG) also showed that in Asia-Pacific, the adoption of business email is growing. According to the study, more than 40% of respondents said they messaged a business more frequently than compared to pre-pandemic times, with one in three consumers chatting with businesses at least once a week.

The study found that messaging is an integral communication channel for businesses and consumers, with 90% of businesses acknowledging that messaging apps are important for success, and 80% of consumers plan to continue using messaging to interact with businesses. More than half of businesses say they use business email for after-sales services, and currently an average of 50% of businesses in the region say they use email to process orders and transactions.

In a conversation with INTERACTIVE-MARKETINGRanganathan Somanathan, who co-founded consultancy RSquared Global Ventures, shared that people across the region are already using chat to trade their wares in their local communities.

“The WhatsApp Business Account has been enabling businesses, both SMEs and large organisations, for some time now to manage the supply chain, enabling merchants to restock empty shelves with demand and supply data. flowing both upstream and downstream in the value chain. So in terms of behavior, the Jio-Meta chat-to-cart partnership is ready to take off,” he shared.

For business and personal data privacy, messages continue to be end-to-end encrypted, meaning only senders and recipients can see the information. Somanathan shared that it is up to the company to establish data management practices and comply with local laws.

“In my opinion, people in our Southeast Asian region are comfortable trading their shopping information, implicitly or explicitly, for convenience and value. As such, the vast majority of consumers will adopt this solution, like a duck taking to water,” he explained.

Meanwhile, Roshat Adnani, director of growth at M&C Saatchi Performance, said it was “a very strategic move” by Meta, the seeds of which were laid in 2020 with its $5.7 investment. billion in Reliance Jio Platforms. WhatsApp has deep roots in India and is currently the unofficial channel for many exchanges through the unorganized retail sector, he said.

Adnani thinks it will be a win-win situation for both parties where Jio gets a stronger hold on e-commerce and fast trading. “For Meta, it will help enable higher engagement and collect more data points from their users. If successful, it can become the ‘WeChat’ of India,” he added.

Sandeep Joseph, CEO of Ampersand Advisory, added: “When two of the richest men in the world work together, they have the power to create world firsts. Such is the case of transparent purchases based on a chat application for JioMart in Whatsapp.

Meta, the owner of WhatsApp, is a minority investor in Jio, and now that its digital payment process is approved, it makes perfect sense to create a shopping experience in a chat app used by a major marketplace like Apple. ‘India.

Joseph added that Facebook, globally, has had “limited success driving commerce” through its social networking platform, operating more as a traffic-generating route to e-commerce on sites like Shopee. and Flipkart, rather than a source of completed transactions. “With the launch of this new service for Jio Mart, which was first trialled two years ago, it looks like the chat app might finally be able to monetize its sticky, addicted users,” explained Joseph.

“So far, WhatsApp hasn’t really pushed an ad-supported model aggressively, properly avoiding clutter in its user experience. C-Commerce (chat-commerce) could be a game-changer,” a- he shared.

While Facebook was part of the TOFU (top of the funnel) and MOFU (middle of the funnel) for e-commerce customers, WhatsApp’s new offering could cannibalize Facebook. “But since it’s slowly declining, it makes sense to move its audience to a Meta-owned platform anyway,” he said.

He added that launching such a feature in SEA would be valuable for the platform. “Meta wouldn’t want to miss 600 million Southeast Asians, who are also addicted to chatting. It’s only a matter of time, before it’s launched.

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