Paytm Mall Makes Space for more Offline Sellers, Brands
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