Paytm Mall ramps up operations ahead of festive season, targets $4 billion sales
New Delhi: Paytm Mall, operated by Paytm E-commerce Pvt. Ltd, is ramping up the online commerce operations ahead of the festive season as the company targets $4 billion in annualized gross merchandise value by December, chief operating officer Amit Sinha said.
Launched in April, Paytm Mall did not see the desired traction as the mobile app had certain technical issues, the company said.
Paytm has improved the app to feature 1,000 brand stores and 15,000 brand-authorized retailers.
“We have a fundamentally different model as compared to most online shopping platforms. Our model is to become technology partners of offline retailers and equip them with technology, marketing and the know-how to fight the onslaught from large monolithic online retailers,” Sinha said.
The upgrade also features a new home screen and virtual stores form top brands, where the catalogue, pricing, promotional offers and the experience is directly controlled by the brand itself.
“We have been constantly innovating on several disciplines including our business model and product design. During this period (since launch in April), we have forged partnerships with thousands of brands and local shopkeepers,” Sinha said.
Paytm Mall is firming up its effort to take on the e-commerce market at a time when incumbents Flipkart and Amazon India have taken over bulk of online sales due to their first movers’ advantage.
In the run-up to the Diwali season, a period characterized by major discounting by brands and retailers and where e-commerce firms reap their highest monthly sales, Paytm Mall is banking on categories such as electronics, fashion and daily essentials to drive up sales.
The task looks steep as Paytm Mall is up against rivals sitting on a cash war-chest. Flipkart recently raised a mammoth $2.5 billion round from Softbank Corp., while Amazon Inc. has committed to spend $5 billion on India operations, one-third of which has already been invested.
Paytm E-Commerce, the separate entity carved out of parent One97 Communications Ltd, raised $200 million from Alibaba Group Holdings and SAIF Partners in April.
The investment had put to rest the rumors of Alibaba’s stand-alone entry into Indian e-commerce.
It is widely anticipated that Alibaba, the biggest e-commerce firm in China, will aid Paytm Mall in acquiring market share from its years of learnings from China, a market considered to be similar to India. The Jack Ma-promoted company recently appointed three top executives Joseph Tsai, J. Michael Evans and Daniel Yong Zhang to the board of Paytm E-Commerce, according to filings with the registrar of companies.