Paytm Mall readies for first festive sales war
To differentiate from the competition, Paytm Mall is making its sales live both online and offline in its coming ‘mega sale’ during the festive season
In a first, it would be giving the same discounts and deals to its customers in partner stores, which it would name on its portal. Taking its online to offline (O2O) strategy to the next level, the company has decided to make its sales relevant for the vast number of offline merchants.
“For the festive season, we have planned a number of special offers for our shopkeepers and retailers. Brands hate it when online offers discounts and offline stores suffer. We want to make the experience same, online and offline, as our customer and sellers are in both worlds,” said Amit Sinha, chief operating officer.
At the Paytm Mall app, he said, customers would have the option of ordering online or taking the item from the nearest partner store.
The company has started with an Independence Day sale but has kept under wraps the timeline for the offlineonline combined sale.
This is the first major season for Paytm Mall after it was formed, being hived off from the mobile wallet this February. “Paytm Mall will offer a unique combination of the Mall and Bazaar concepts to Indian consumers. Only trusted sellers passing strict quality guidelines and qualification criteria will be allowed on the ‘Mall’. All products listed on it will also go through Paytmcertified warehouse and shipping channels, ensuring guaranteed consumer trust,” the company had said at the time.
The Bazaar is the unstructured shopping channel on Paytm and will also be featured on a new app. It will aim at providing consumers a wide domestic and international assortment. The company has at least 17 fulfilment centres across India.
Parent company One97 Communications is backed by Alibaba, the Chinese e-commerce giant which has one of the largest collection of sellers in the world. Sinha says the company is taking a different strategy and would be relying mostly on local retailers and sellers.
On being asked if the company would be bringing sellers from Southeast Asia and affiliate marketplaces of Alibaba such as Lazada, he said they were technology partners to local shopkeepers. “When you buy a product on our platform, you are actually shopping from a neighbourhood store and enriching the local retail eco-system,” he said.
The company has been working on refining its e-commerce platform. Among the first order of business after taking over, Sinha has delisted 85,000 sellers and drastically reduced the number of logistical partners.
In addition to the revised measures, Paytm Mall will enable brands and shopkeepers to set the return, exchange and refund policies for their products being sold on the platform. The platform will offer complete logistic support to brands and shops through its network of logistic partners.