Leading m-commerce firm Paytm has borrowed a leaf from Alibaba, and is planning a new approach to improve its fortunes. According to Vijay Shekhar Sharma, founder of Paytm, this method will help the company break even in as early as 2017.
The company also plans to hike its GMV in 2016. Sharma explains, “With a focus on O2O and our other businesses including wallets and recharges, we expect to do GMV of $10 billion by end of 2016.”
How does online to offline work?
In O2O, shoppers look up products online, but purchase them from local stores. Paytm is planning to involve local stores for this exercise. This would be of mutual benefit. Those sellers who do not want to go online can take advantage of an online customer base through Paytm.
This model was introduced by Chinese ecommerce giant Alibaba. The company owns nearly 25% share in Paytm.
“Every other marketplace is trying to find its niche. We are optimistic that O2O will drive our business very fast. We are also identifying other categories that we can trade through O2O model. Cars and bikes is a big opportunity and we are exploring that,” says Sharma.
Offering for sellers
Paytm plans to build warehouses this year to attract more sellers. The company has about 1,500 sellers in major cities. This year, it plans to add 15,000 more by June in 50 cities. Online sellers, are you listening?