Paytm Mall to invest $35 mn to strengthen logistics network
Photo Credit: Ankit Kumar/VCCircle

Paytm Mall is planning to invest $35 million on its technology and logistics infrastructure, besides adding more product offerings to further strengthen its position in the market.

The Alibaba-backed Paytm Ecommerce Pvt. Ltd said it also plans to cut down on its delivery timelines for partner merchants. “Paytm Mall is now expanding its logistics support by servicing demand with local supply to service same-day and next-day deliveries,” the company said in a statement.

In the first phase, the company will limit the shorter delivery timelines to electronic goods and appliances across 25 cities. Then, it plans to expand the services to 100 cities and add other categories of merchandise as well.

“We aim to build a trusted and highly-efficient logistics network to help local shopkeepers offer more convenient shopping experience to customers and enable brands to save up to 50% on logistics, as they will be able to bypass inter-city logistics costs. In the coming months, we will rapidly increase the number of items and pin codes,” said Amit Sinha, chief operating officer, Paytm Mall.

The move comes barely a month after Paytm Mall delisted six of its 14 logistic partners and 30 courier aggregation centres as part of its efforts to consolidate its business operations and enhance customer experience.

Paytm Mall is currently working with three courier partners, including Delivery, Bluedart and Xpressbees, to ship products across 17,000 pin codes. It has also partnered with specialised local couriers such as Shadowfax and Book a Wheel to drive its next phase of expansion.

The e-commerce firm had recently revamped the seller on-boarding process to enhance the trust of its consumer base. Partner merchants are now required to furnish brand authorisation letters, besides running strict quality and service audits. They will also have to submit their registration numbers, shop location and photos, and goods and services tax identification number in order to list their products on the platform.

The company had also said that it will enable brands and shopkeepers to set the return, exchange and refund policies for their products, and offer complete support through its network of logistics partners.

The e-commerce platform is scaling up its partner network with 3,000 new agents as it seeks to go deeper into smaller cities. It is also digitising catalogues of neighbourhood shopkeepers and brand-authorised stores, and is looking to maximise footfalls at partner outlets with an offline-to-online strategy.

Last year, the Noida-based parent, One97 Communications Ltd, had separated its e-commerce and payments businesses under Paytm E-Commerce Pvt. Ltd and Paytm Payments Bank Ltd, respectively. In June, Paytm E-Commerce had received $200-million in funding from Alibaba and venture capital firm SAIF Partners. Through this transaction, the stakes of Alibaba and its affiliate Ant Financial in Paytm E-Commerce had risen from 40% to 62%.

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