Paytm Mall, Paytm’s e-commerce business backed by Alibaba Group, has been making huge changes in its operations as it has been losing steam faster than most experts predicted. It has already begun shutting down fulfillment centers and is no longer giving consumers any cash backs. It has even been scaling down its B2C offerings in an effort to save money. While Paytm Mall used to receive traffics along the likes of 45 million hits in October, their popularity dropped by 88%, with the brand receiving only 5 million users in traffic in January of this year.
The brand held several board meetings in October during which it was decided that they need to scale down the B2C business and switch to B2B with an online to offline model. In order to do so, the brand acquired Nearby and Little.
Unfortunately, this move has hit vendors quite hard. With the sudden scaling down of Paytm Mall, most vendors stuck with endless inventory. According to an FMCG seller from Mumbai, the brand has been entirely unfair to the vendors. He said “They (Paytm) asked us to stock a month’s inventory for December last year and now asking us to take back the inventory. They have shut the fulfillment centers at several places. We can’t return these unsold inventories back to the manufacturers now.”
Another seller elaborated on the same problem by saying “Paytm stopped giving cash back and this has resulted in heavy losses for us as consumers have stopped buying. I was doing business worth ₹10 crore a month, but now it has come down to ₹10 lakh. They stopped cash backs without even informing us,”
A Delhi based vendor also commented on the same issue by saying “This is the last of the leftover stocks parked at the fulfillment centers and no seller has sent any inventory in the last two months. The unsold inventory now becomes our responsibility.”
While all of this is going on, Vijay Shekar Sharma, the founder of Paytm, is adamantly denying these allegations of Paytm mall shutting down. He said “I have mentioned earlier also that we (Paytm Mall) will have a majority business by O2O category. Grocery from our store is becoming bigger and bigger,”
There is intense competition in the e-commerce space and Paytm is a new player when compared to Flipkart and Amazon. This is probably why this brand is not seeing the success that it had hoped to see.
Source – thehindubusinessline