Offline stores play an important role in the country’s retail ecosystem as it caters to the livelihood of small retailers and leads to new employment opportunities. Indian consumers prefer to shop from their neighbourhood shops owing to the trust and convenience associated with the process. However, with the advent of technology in retail, there has been an increasing trend of online retailers clashing with offline ones for market share.
Paytm Mall, owned by Paytm Ecommerce Pvt Ltd, is on a mission to become the technology partner of retailers and brands, enabling them to set up stores online. This technology is allowing shopkeepers to leverage the power of mobile and generate additional sales through the Paytm Mall platform to increase their business. It is also playing a critical role in the lives of these retail partners, helping them to enhance their retail potential.
In its interactions with shopkeepers, Paytm Mall learnt the challenges of offline retailers in competing against the onslaught from large online retail platforms. Based on their feedback, Paytm Mall has introduced a Retailer Inclusion Programme with the vision to support and empower these shopkeepers to challenge large monolithic online retailers.
Under this programme, the company will invest $5 million and has set up a dedicated team of 500 personnel to address the unique needs of these retailers. This team acts as a direct link between the company and its partner retailers, who meet them on a regular basis to receive their feedback, understand their challenges and offer necessary support for their growth. They are also conducting ‘choupal’ and acting as an active partner in their development as the company onboards more retailers and expands its footprint to every nook and corner of the country.
Commenting on the development, Amit Sinha, Chief Operating Officer – Paytm Mall said, “India does not need one large e-retailer, it needs millions of e-retailers. We stand in support of these retailers and our purpose is to support their growth. We invite shopkeepers and brands looking to build technology-integrated businesses to partner with us. We will continue engaging with our partnered retailers to build our inclusion programme and enhance their businesses. This will create new jobs and further support our nation.”
Paytm Mall will continue equipping these shopkeepers with technology by digitizing their catalogues, opening their store on its mall and making their shops QR Code-enabled. It has also extended logistics support and GST training to equip these retailers for the current business landscape. The company would also facilitate access to working capital loans, a major pain-point for every small retailer and play a critical role in their growth plans. These factors will contribute to enhancing their income and eventually lead to creating new jobs for our nation’s progress.