Paytm Mall takes the fight offline, plans to invest $30 mn in 2018

Taking the offline route to take on e-commerce biggies such as Flipkart and Amazon, Paytm Mall, which completed a year in April, is planning to invest $30 million over the year. It will develop and roll-out connected Point of Sale (PoS) solutions across 100,000 retail stores. 

The PoS is a software-based system, which can be used on any smartphone or tablet. Shopkeepers can also take a PoS machine that Paytm Mall would provide for rent.

The idea is to bring smaller shopkeepers and sellers online, providing them an inventory management, billing and assistance system. “We have kept aside $30 million for PoS solutions this financial year. Most of the money would be spent on training and building the solution,” Amit Sinha, chief operating officer, Paytm Mall said.

The devices would help shopkeepers sell offline as well as online. The company is planning to make the service subscription-based. The company believes the new system would help in increasing its gross sales by 25 per cent to 30 per cent across categories in a year.

The company has also introduced an offline ‘Digital Experience Zone’ in Asus stores and partnered retail stores, providing a whole range of product catalogues available of the respective brand. Consumers also get it delivered to their doorstep 
by the local delivery mechanism.

Taking its expansion plan in the fast lane after infusion of Rs 29 billion from SoftBank, Paytm Mall, the e-commerce company of Vijay Shekhar Sharma-led One97 Communications, is eyeing $9 billion in gross merchandise value (GMV) by the end of this year.

The company plans to double the number of products on the platform and increase the number of sellers. “The idea is to double down on the plan that we had in terms of the online to offline strategy. We have an aggressive expansion plan for this year. As far as the seller base is concerned, we plan to increase it from 75,000 to 300,000 by the end of this year. We will cover the whole spectrum of sellers from fashion, appliances, electronics and mobile phones, as well as fast-moving consumer goods,” Sinha said.

The company, which generated $3 billion in GMV last year, plans to triple it by the end of this year. “Last year, we hit a peak of $3 billion. This time, we want to hit three times of that, around $9 billion,” Sinha added.

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