Published: Thu, March 02, 2017
Economy | By Melissa Porter

Paytm launches separate smartphone app, website for e-marketplace business

As Alibaba prepares to kickstart its India ecommerce play with Paytm Mall on Monday, the Noida-based company has reassigned top management roles to up the ante in the highly competitive online retail market.Paytm recently spun off its commerce business where Alibaba would own more than 40% stake, paving the way for the Chinese internet conglomerate's direct entry into the local online retail market. The new service, called Paytm Mall is now only accessible via a standalone Android app with an iOS version on its way. It also lays a major focus on electronics, fashion, FMCG products and supporting SMEs.

Paytm's focus on the e-commerce segment comes in the middle of its plans to roll out its Payments bank.

Though Paytm's marketplace business already had an annualized gross merchandise value (GMV) of almost $1 billion, this new avatar and identity will enable it to further its growth. It has partnered with about 140,000 sellers and also set up 17 fulfillment centres with them.

Paytm Mall is expected to give tough competition to existing e-commerce giants such as Flipkart, Amazon and Snapdeal.

There is a strict quality guidelines and qualification criteria which sellers have to pass to use the platform.

Paytm Mall is available on Android smartphones, and lists over 68 million products sold by 1.4 lakh sellers spread over 1000 cities and towns across the country. Paytm Mall will not have the cash on delivery (COD) option.

Also, the products listed on the mall will go through Paytm certified warehouse and shipping channels to ensure guaranteed consumer trust. Two prominent Vice Presidents, Amit Bagaria and Saurabh Vashishtha, have now been assigned the responsibility of the e-commerce business, whereas Sudhanshu Gupta, the head of its erstwhile e-commerce business has now joined the digital payments operations at the company.

Paytm Bazaar, the unstructured shopping channel on Paytm, will provide consumers a wide range of domestic and global assortments and both concepts will use debit/credit cards, net banking, Paytm and UPI as modes of payment.

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