April 11, 2015
There are currently close to 100 million smartphone users in India alone, and an increasingly large number of them have acquired the habit of doing their shopping online. Couple this with the dramatically rising power of e-commerce, and you will understand why giants of the online shopping segment are battling over who gets to acquire the best mobile platforms.
India’s base of over 230 million mobile internet users is expected to outrank desktop internet users this year. Out of the existing 200 million Indian Internet users, only about 10 million shop online, and mobile commerce is winning more and more ground before Internet-based transactions.
Paytm – a Delhi based company launched their app last year for mobile shopping that allows users to bargain while shopping! Though new on the market, it already processes 320,000 orders per day, and its aim is to hit 1 million orders per day by 2016, before all other competitors get a chance to. Aside from its mobile shopping solutions, Paytm offers additional features that include a messenger service for mobile phones, as well as a digital wallet. The messenger service is called Plustxt, and Paytm acquired it in February 2013 for $1 million. The service allows users (i.e., potential shoppers) to exchange messages with merchants in seven Indian languages, in real time, to negotiate prices.
The digital wallet, called Payzippy, was developed in August 2014. Paytm acquired a license from the Reserve Bank of India for its mobile wallet, which seems to have been a good move since the wallet has already been downloaded by 1.5 million users. Paytm’s ultimate goal is to turn its mobile app users into mobile shoppers, and being able to offer a complete shopping solution goes a long way.
Currently offering around 100,000 products in the categories of home furnishing and fashion from 250 merchants, Paytm hopes to reach 1 million items in a couple of years. Furthermore, it looks into new ways of extending its services, for instance by using geotargeting that will match customers with the nearest sellers. This way, products can reach clients in a matter of hours.
Though it was officially launched in February last year, Paytm’s founder has been working on some of the app’s features for some years now. In the past, Paytm received $10 million worth of funding. Initially, Paytm was nothing more than a marketplace for digital goods, like mobile recharge, but has received a dramatic increase in mobile traffic that helped it transform into an all-round online shopping platform. By the end of 2014, more than 9 million downloads have been carried out through the app, thus proving its growing popularity.
The only thing that may interfere with Paytm's success is Freecharge, the company's main competitor. The competing company has a customer base of more than 20 million mobile users and has received a lot of attention lately, due to advanced talks of it being taken over by Snapdeal, a giant e-commerce platform that is reportedly willing to pay over $400 million to seal the deal.
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