October 18, 2021

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Reliance Jio Platforms’ Haptik launches app for MSMEs to manage sales, customer interactions on WhatsApp

Reliance Industries had raised $5.7 billion in exchange for a 10 per cent stake sale in its digital business Jio Platforms to Mark Zuckerberg’s Facebook in April last year. (Representative image)

Technology for MSMEs: Reliance Jio Platforms-owned Haptik, which develops chatbots to solve customer queries, on Tuesday announced the full roll-out of its app Interakt to help MSMEs manage customer interactions and sales on WhatsApp. Interakt is the API solution provider for WhatsApp Business, launched to help convert product enquiries on WhatsApp into paying customers, take orders on WhatsApp, help recover abandoned carts into sales, send order details and updates to customers and engage with them through multi-agent support.

The app, which has over 5,000 Android installs, is Haptik’s first product created for MSMEs and provides a dedicated WhatsApp Business number that they can use to communicate with their customers. It acts as an all-in-one CRM, campaign management, marketing automation tool, and a sales channel.

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The launch comes amid the growth of Direct To Consumer (D2C) brands on the internet that look to leverage personalised interactions with customers through chat platforms such as WhatsApp. Facebook-owned messaging app WhatsApp already offers small businesses the platform to connect with customers and sell directly to them through the WhatsApp Business app that has over 50 million users globally, of which more than 15 million are in India. Interakt is targeting these 15 million MSMEs.

“We are currently targeting over 15 million tech-enabled SMEs in India who use WhatsApp Business app every month. We offer integrations with almost all the leading e-commerce platforms. We also have a native Shopify app that enables Shopify merchants to seamlessly connect their store with their WhatsApp Business number and in a few clicks set up automated WhatsApp notifications on various events like cart recovery, cash-on-delivery confirmation, order updates, etc.,” Aakrit Vaish, Co-founder and CEO, Haptik told Financial Express Online. Jio had acquired the majority stake in Haptik in April 2019 for around Rs 700 crores. 

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Interakt will soon launch a catalogue feature to enable merchants to showcase their product offerings and let customers discover and complete their purchases without leaving WhatsApp. The app was launched for early access a few months back for businesses to test it. Before its official launch, Haptik said it already has over 500 MSMEs using it, including prominent D2C brands such as The Pillow Company, Bare Anatomy, Superbottoms, Flo Mattress, Sleepy Owl, Priyaasi, etc. 

Interakt wants to scale the customer base by 10X in six to 12 months. The app can integrate with online stores, CRMs, and platforms such as Magento, WebEngage, ZOHO, Facebook Ads, Google Sheets, HubSpot, etc., apart from Shopify.

“WhatsApp currently boasts approximately 2 billion monthly active users, making it the preferred channel of communication for businesses trying to reach and convert customers. Currently, the focus is on D2C and e-commerce businesses, but we have customers from sectors including fintech, edtech, food tech, automobile, banking, hospitality, and FMCG as well,” added Vaish.

Reliance Industries had raised $5.7 billion in exchange for a 10 per cent stake sale in its digital business Jio Platforms to Mark Zuckerberg’s Facebook in April last year to develop technology capabilities for India’s vast MSME sector and tap into the opportunity of digitising such enterprises. In March this year, Reliance Jio had launched an integrated technology solution JioBusiness focusing on 50 million MSMEs. The offering included enterprise-grade fiber connectivity to offer voice and data services, digital solutions to help MSMEs manage and grow their business, and devices to enable digital solutions for such enterprises, the company had said.

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