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Reliance Retail may use 5k Jio points for e-commerce connect, Technology News, ETtech


Mukesh Ambani has an ambitious plan to utilise it’s over 5,100-plus smaller Jio Point stores in more than 5,000 cities and towns as the last mile connection point for its e-commerce venture to reach consumers without internet access or who have never shopped online, two senior executives said.

Reliance Retail will undertake assisted sales of sugar, pulses, soaps and biscuits to apparel and shoes from the Jio Point stores to be delivered to door steps using the existing Jio distribution network which already reaches these stores to supply simcards, mobile handsets and accessories.

The company would set up e-commerce kiosks in Jio Point stores from where store executives will help consumers place orders. “Potentially, they can sell anything using this network which has a shelf life and doesn’t require installation service. The customer can pick up the product from the Jio Point or store executives can deliver to them,” an executive said.

Reliance Retail is already undertaking similar sales for televisions, refrigerators and washing machines from Jio Point stores that account for 10% of its overall consumer electronics sales. It now plans to extend the same model to grocery, personal care, apparel and shoes, the executives said.

Reliance Retail may use 5k Jio points for e-commerce connect

“The Jio Points will play a critical role for extending reach of Reliance Retail’s ecommerce venture. This is likely to take off by April next year,” said one of the executives.

Another executive said Reliance Retail wants to reach out to 95% of India’s population directly which will only be possible through e-commerce and the Jio Point stores.

“The company wants to have a retail presence through e-commerce in towns with population over 10,000, which would mean a presence across 95-98% of India’s consumer base,” he said.

An email sent to Reliance Retail remained unanswered till Wednesday press time.

Reliance has plans to open 50,000 Jio Point stores in neighbourhood locations in big cities and in smaller towns and rural India which will operate as customer sales and service touch points for Reliance Jio and create distribution network in the catchment area. The company adds over 500 new Jio Points every quarter.

Amazon and Walmart-owned Flipkart too is trying to increase online shopping penetration in rural towns and smaller cities with multiple initiatives. Amazon, for instance, runs Project Udaan, where it has reached out to more than 12,000 mom-andpop stores and local entrepreneurs in small towns from where consumers can place orders and take the product.

According EY India’s latest report, the rural market for e-commerce in India is likely to be a $10-12 billion opportunity in the next four years.

This is attributed to rising household income leading to an increase in consumption expenditure, diversified income sources from non-agricultural activities, positive agricultural outlook, increase in internet penetration, high propensity to spend and rising number of nuclear families in rural India, the report said. It estimates total e-commerce sales in India are likely to grow at 32% CAGR from 2017 to 2021.



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