By Shalini Pandey
Ahead of the festive season, Paytm Mall is planning to splurge over Rs 1000 crore for marketing strategy and brand promotions, namely cash-backs and discount offers to woo customers. The company owned by Paytm E-commerce recently refreshed its app featuring 1,000 brand stores and 15,000 brand- authorised retailers selling over 65 million products. It plans to add 5,000 large brands and shops ahead of Diwali.
The great Indian discounts race
Paytm had earlier de-merged its e-commerce business into a separate entity by the name of Paytm Mall to address India’s large online retail opportunity. This new entity, which started off with the same shareholding as the parent company of Paytm, One97 Communications Limited, has raised US $200 million from SAIF Partners and Alibaba Group Holding.
To start off its first festive year, Paytm Mall’s marketing budget is over three times more than what its competitors Amazon India, Snapdeal and Flipkart spent last year, according to numbers available with research firm Forrester.
According to Satish Meena, senior forecast analyst, Forrester Research, Amazon India, Snapdeal and Flipkart spent Rs 250-300 crore last year in promoting these (festive) sales. Paytm anticipates similar spending this year, with Amazon and Flipkart expected to fill the gap created by Snapdeal in terms of spending.
Enriching consumer experience
Paytm, the most popular digital wallet of the country is leaving no stone unturned for an enriching customer experience. In a conversation with Moneycontrol, Amit Sinha, COO, Paytm Mall said, “All our merchants are planning a QR code led marketing program with us for Diwali. They are putting our QR code and ‘buy on Paytm Mall’ messages as a part of their campaign. Our promise is to offer customers the best and biggest offers from trusted retailers and make our platform the de facto first choice for online shopping“.
So far, the merchants did not know the exact impact of a print advertisement once it was published. QR codes will allow them to know how many readers or buyers came by seeing a respective print advertisement. A lot of merchants are creating dedicated Paytm desks in their shops where the customer can come and open up their particular store on Paytm’s platform, do the shopping online and then pick up the order and go back home. During this season, cash-backs and promotions will be offered on products, including fashion (led by ethnic wear), gifts and sweets, electronics and appliances, consumer durables and home furnishings.
Paytm on competitors
Emphasising that Amazon and Flipkart are not their competitors, the COO says, “None of these players is our competitors. If you look at it, we are totally against the tide that everybody tries to follow. Our model is totally different. We are busy in building technology and empowering the sellers. Whereas here there are people who actually need large warehouses to store inventory. We instead have partner run fulfilment centre sellers can keep products. Our target is to have the greatest selection of products. We are trying to build a trusted ecosystem which will push the economy forward, contribute to new jobs and allow for shared value creation”.
This festive season Paytm wants to work with local retailers instead of taking away their business. They aim to work with them and bring special offers for consumers to shop from nearby markets. Products ranging from Apple to Lenovo, from Puma to Vero Moda, from JBL to Sony will be exclusively available on the platform and in the mall with promotional discounts and cash back offers. The company is onboarding shopkeepers and brand authorised stores across the country to offer a trusted buying experience and faster deliveries to consumers, an official press release by Paytm said.
Attractive cash backs and offers are sure to lure away customers from other players to Paytm Mall, what remains to be seen is what the major players, Flipkart and Amazon have in store for this festive season.
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