Paytm Mall, a unit of Paytm that provides eCommerce services to retailers in India, is considering an entrance into the B2B eCommerce market, according to reports.
Times of India said on Wednesday (April 18) that Paytm Mall is eyeing the B2B space as it looks for new ways to compete with Amazon and Flipkart. The company is said to be exploring eCommerce sales to both consumers and small businesses of bulk products, unnamed sources told the publication.
The company is working on its proof of concept for the business model that would address the sales of offline buyers, which aims to enable small stores to procure inventory from large suppliers and manufacturers via Paytm Mall. Reports said the firm is also considering new features for Paytm Payments Bank to be able to extend trade financing to companies on its platform.
“If Paytm Mall’s new business model comes through, it will get an upper hand over Flipkart and Amazon, which only do B2C business,” said one senior industry executive at Paytm, according to the publication. “Other than selling to end consumers, Paytm Mall will be able to process bulk orders from small businesses that are not even online. It will multiply the company’s gross merchandise value.”
Last year, Amazon launched its B2B service, Amazon Business, in India to similarly target small- and medium-sized businesses. Further, the company said it is collaborating with local financial service providers to provide business credit cards to some small business customers using its platform to procure goods. According to the publication, Paytm could gain a competitive advantage over Amazon and Flipkart because its rivals do not operate financing services in India, forcing their sellers to turn to third parties for loans.
Despite Amazon Business’ presence in India, it appears Paytm Mall may be looking to focus on suppliers on its platform to compete against its top rival, offering vendors financing options and enabling offline vendors to participate in the eCommerce space and reach online business buyers.
The company is looking to triple its gross merchandise value to $10 billion during this fiscal year, reports said. Paytm Mall is now the market’s third-largest eCommerce platform, behind Flipkart and Amazon, yet surpassing Snapdeal.
Earlier this year, Paytm Mall landed $445 million in funding from SoftBank Group and Alibaba; Alibaba also invests in Paytm. At the time, Paytm Mall said it would use the funds to enhance its underlying technology and logistics services.