Paytm is working on separating its businesses and focusing better on online retail. The etailer wants to double its seller numbers too and has introduced a few initiatives to encourage more sellers to get onboard. Some of Paytm’s efforts to encourage sales include:
Unfortunately in the attempt to achieve its new goals, Paytm has forgotten its existing online sellers especially those with smaller contributions. Online seller Sugam Jain informed Indian Online Seller (IOS) about his Paytm account suspension for the past 2 months and the marketplace’s lack of support regarding the same.
Why is Paytm suspending seller accounts?
Sugam is all for seller account suspension, provided it’s done for the right reasons! He says his Paytm seller account was suspended due to errors on both sides – the marketplace’s and his. He has availed of the Paytm SEED program, which is equivalent to Amazon Easyship and Snapdeal Oneship.
As beneficial as this program is, it has an overseen issue. SEED only works for products up to a certain weight. Bulky products are not picked up by the marketplace logistics partner because they are not equipped to ship and deliver large heavy products, Sugam notes from experience. If the marketplace logistics doesn’t pick up the product, the seller appears to have breached the service level agreement. This in turn calls for seller account suspension.
Do other marketplaces have this issue?
At the time of opting for this service sellers are not informed of the maximum product weight (dimensions) permitted. But is this the case with every fulfilment service provider?
“Only Amazon is transparent about its Easyship service and mentions clearly in its ‘Help’ section about maximum dimensions allowed. Others like Snapdeal Oneship and Paytm SEED, for example, are not so transparent about this information. And only after many issues we figured if we make product weight above 5500gms in the Paytm catalogue, it won’t be assigned to SEED and will go to Surface mode (transport for bulky and heavy items via road or rail), which currently no fulfilment service provides,” says Sugam.
There is no way out!
If Paytm is causing online sellers so much grief why not go back to being a regular seller on Paytm?
“There is no procedure described as such to back out of the SEED program, but Paytm does offer an alternative. The alternative is Non Last Mile Delivery (NLMD) mode where the seller has to handle all the logistics themselves. So either they will handle 100% their way or seller has to handle 100% which seems fair. However, it’s difficult because logistics is very tough to manage for an online seller,” Sugam explains.
He further adds, “With no written specifications available it is very difficult to unavail of this service on Paytm and even Snapdeal.”
Lack of support real problem!
Account suspension and unclear rules are not the main problem with Paytm, claims ecommerce entrepreneur, Sugam. Lack of seller support from the online marketplace is what causes online sellers trouble.
“Part of the problem is lack of handholding and support from the seller management team. It’s understandable that it’s not possible to support thousands of sellers but recognizing the potential of good seller accounts might prove beneficial to their volumes,” he states plainly.
Sugam listed the following points which could be causing seller support deficiency:
- Paytm could be solely concentrating on the sellers who rake in the big money because they have a greater capacity to do more.
- It is impossible to assign an individual account manager to each and every seller. So one account manger could possibly be dealing with a hundred sellers. This makes it easy for them to lose track of sellers and their troubles with the marketplace.
- Lack of guidance for small scale sellers to excel also defines limited seller support. The marketplace should be helping small and medium online sellers learn simple basics like listing more can help you sell more.
How should suspended SEED sellers move forward?
Sugam recommends the online sellers to:
- Get their account reactivated
- Update product catalogues
- Enter the correct weights and dimensions in the catalogue
Also the marketplace needs to be aware of these kinds of seller issues. They must solve the problem by cooperating with the sellers instead of penalizing them through account suspension or blocking their accounts.
Are you ready to accept this fact about marketplaces and work your way around it?