Paytm taps online-to-offline to get users for e-commerce biz

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BENGALURU: Riding on the fresh funding from Alibaba for its e-commerce business, Paytm is tapping the online-to-offline (O2O) model to on-board regulars at brick-and-mortar stores on to its platform. An O2O channel is used to get consumers who may not be making purchases at various online platforms. The company is also pushing Quick Response (QR) codes on its recently launched Paytm Mall.

To start with, the Noida-based company has partnered with Samsung to enable shopkeepers to sell the brand’s smartphones by offering them a commission of 3-20% based on the price of the product. Paytm is also in talks with several other brands to forge similar partnerships in categories such as fashion and electronic, among others, said an executive from the company’s e-commerce team.

 Amit Bagaria, VP, Paytm Mall, said, “We aim to create an offline network as a platform for brands to reach out to millions of consumers, thereby optimising the supply chain and marketing expenses on their behalf.This platform will also be beneficial for the partner merchants, enabling them to grow their business and garner more revenue. It will bring additional footfall at outlets into the brand dis tribution network without keeping the inventory

Paytm’s parent One97 Communications recently separated its payments and commerce businesses. Paytm E-commerce, which now runs the recently launched Paytm Mall, has received a funding of $200 million led by Alibaba, where the Chinese internet group put $177 million in the firm.

Paytm Mall is based largely on Alibaba’s B2C e-commerce entity, Tmall. “More than 99% of all shopping in India happens offline. We strongly believe this model will allow us to drive online traffic from offline retailers. We expect this to transform traditional businesses,” added Bagaria. The company had announced in February that it plans to invest Rs 600 crore in its QR code programme this year.

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