Paytm Mall Makes Space for more Off­line Sellers, Brands

The Economic Times - - Disruption: Startups & Tech - Payal.Gan­guly@ times­group.com

Ben­galuru: On­line shop­ping app Paytm Mall is bring­ing more off­line sellers and brands on its plat­form, even as the bat­tle lines are drawn be­tween lead­ing etail­ers Flip­kart and Ama­zon In­dia ahead of the ma­jor sale sea­son.

The com­pany, which counts fash­ion, elec­tron­ics and fast-mov­ing con­sumer goods among its top-sell­ing cat­e­gories, has stepped up its ef­forts to en­rol busi­nesses and brands, with a vi­sion for grow­ing the share of on­line-to-off­line (O2O) shop­ping where or­ders will be ful­filled by the re­tail­ers and brands di­rectly.

“I be­lieve in the long term this will be about how we helped In­dian re­tail­ers win against large mono­lithic on­line re­tail­ers,” said Amit Sinha, chief op­er­at­ing of­fi­cer at Paytm Mall. The plat­form is not chas­ing GMV (gross mer­chan­dise value) fig­ures, he said. Paytm Mall aims to cor­ner 5-10% of the gross sales of its part­ner sellers and brands. “A large num­ber of or­gan­ised and un­or­gan­ised re­tail­ers have also setup their stores on our plat­form. We will con­tinue to ex­pand our dom­i­nance across mo­biles and ac­ces­sories, elec­tron­ics, ap­pli­ances and fash­ion,” said Sinha.

Multi-chan­nel re­tail as a strat­egy has been a dom­i­nant theme among vertical on­line re­tail­ers in­clud­ing Myn­tra as well as stand­alone brands such as Zi­vame and Ur­ban Lad­der. “Ecom­merce play­ers are ex­plor­ing multi-chan­nel as a key strat­egy. Apart from cre­at­ing off­line pres­ence, other strate­gies in­clude on­line-to-off­line order ful­fil­ment and bring­ing hy­per­local busi­nesses on the plat­form. Trust and speed are the key fac­tors help­ing in con­sis­tent cus­tomer ex­pe­ri­ence,” said Sreed­har Prasad, part­ner-ecom­merce at KPMG In­dia.

As part of house­keep­ing, the plat­form re­cently delisted 85,000 sellers and six lo­gis­tics part­ners to stream­line busi­ness and avoid fraud­u­lent sellers. “Ev­ery part of our busi­ness is built on trust and we won’t spare bad and fraud­u­lent cus­tomers as well. The early fig­ures sug­gest that we have con­tin­ued to reg­is­ter con­sis­tent growth fig­ures de­spite the delist­ing,” said Sinha.

Paytm Mall’s O2O model, which is live in more than 30 cities in­clud­ing tier-II and tier-III towns such as Shil­long, Al­la­habad, Varanasi and Lud­hi­ana, will be a first for In­dia’s ecom­merce sec­tor, although par­al­lels can be drawn with in­vestor Alibaba’s Taobao plat­form in China. “O2O strat­egy through a brand store on the plat­form trans­fers the cus­tomer di­rectly to the brand, which closes the loop of in­stal­la­tion and de­liv­ery af­ter the order is placed,” said Prasad. “Also, the width of the se­lec­tion pro­vided by the brand is much higher than what sellers on the plat­form may have on stock. Hy­per­local mod­els, where you bring in busi­nesses from the vicin­ity on the plat­form, re­duce the cost of re­turn and de­liv­ery tremen­dously and also in­creases the speed of de­liv­ery.”

He said that the strat­egy par­tic­u­larly works well for re­tail­ers in ur­ban In­dia and tier-II plus cities, where there is a lack of ad­e­quate choice for con­sumers.

AMIT SINHA COO, Paytm Mall A large num­ber of or­gan­ised and un­or­gan­ised re­tail­ers have also setup their stores on our plat­form

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