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Paytm Adds Social Commerce Feature: Should Meesho & Others Be Worried?

Paytm Adds Social Commerce Feature: Should Meesho & Others Be Worried?

Paytm has launched MyStore on the Paytm for Business application

Products from categories such as fashion, jewellery, cookware, etc., are listed on MyShop

In November 2019, Paytm had raised $1 Bn to drive growth in small cities and towns

In a bid to tap the burgeoning social commerce segment in India, payments giant Paytm has now launched MyStore on the merchant focussed mobile application — Paytm for Business.

Using MyStore, merchants can not only upload and sell their own products on the platform but also can become resellers on the online platform. Any user registered on the Paytm for Business application can share any product, which is listed on MyStore through social media platforms such as WhatsApp.

If individuals buy products from the links shared by Paytm for Business users then these users can earn reseller commissions. Moreover, buyers can also negotiate with resellers on social media platforms to buy the product at suitable prices. Resellers can also place orders on the platform on behalf of their customers.

As of now, products from categories such as fashion, jewellery, cookware and bedsheets are listed on MyShop. Although the social commerce platform is available on the Paytm for Business application, the logistics and returns policies of MyShop are currently supported by Paytm Mall.

While MyStore has only launched for merchants right now, it is expected that Paytm will launch the platform for all users which is the core proposition of the social commerce model.

In November 2019, Paytm had raised $1 Bn in a financing round led by T Rowe Price. At that time, Paytm’s founder Vijay Shekhar Sharma had said that the company will invest the funds to acquire more customers and merchants in smaller towns. As the concept of social commerce is gaining more popularity in Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities, Paytm’s decision to launch MyShop aligns with their plan to gain more users in these cities.

While Paytm is a new entrant in this space, Bengaluru-based Meesho has already leveraged the concept of social commerce space pretty well.

In August 2019, Meesho had announced the closing of a $125 Mn funding round led by Naspers, with participation from Facebook and existing investors SAIF, Sequoia, Shunwei Capital, RPS and Venture Highway. The startup claims that it already has more than 1 Mn resellers on the platform.

Other players in the social commerce space are Shop101, Dealshare, and WMall. With social commerce becoming a trend in India, a few startups have also introduced a new version of social commerce — ‘video commerce’. Some of the video commerce startups operating in India are Bulbul and SimSim.

Moreover, Social video platform TikTok, which touched 1.5 Bn downloads worldwide recently, is also experimenting with social commerce on the platform. TikTok now allows some users to add links to ecommerce sites to their profile biography. The platform also offers them the ability to easily send their viewers to shopping websites. The company said the move is part of its experimentation to improve the app experience for users.