An exhaustive dictionary for e-commerce and marketplace terms
The additional products or services that a seller offers to his customers with his product are called add-on products.
Add-on products can be offered in across categories like Electronics, Home & Kitchen, Apparel, Sports & Fitness. However, the decision to sell add-on products lies solely with the seller.
For example, a seller selling a fully automatic washing machine in the Electronics category may offer the washing machine’s cover as an add-on product. Similarly, another seller selling in mobiles may offer a selfie stick as an add-on product to customers.
A banner is a long, broad strip that has image, graphics, text, buttons and links to give out important information, news or updates to the viewers, who could be users, sellers and/or customers.
Banners are put on the Seller Panel, paytm.com and paytmgobig.com paytmmall.com or any other company property to give out latest details on the marketplace. Sellers get notified for loan opportunities, branded packaging materials, upcoming promotions like the weekend bazaar among others via these banners.
These colorful, gif and text banners on various Paytm properties help promote and sell online products to buyers, offers on ticket booking, sales like the Mahabazaar, Cashback on products, bill recharge details are also shared through these banners.
For a seller, the best price is the maximum price of the product that he asks for his product from buyers as he intends to make the maximum profit on the sales made.
For a buyer, the best price is the minimum price in which he can purchase a product from the seller.
Ideally, a seller should target more sales by offering competitive pricing to his customers [link competitive pricing]
A brand is the name, term, logo, or symbol, that distinguishes one firm’s product from those of others. A parent brand can have one or more sub-brands. For example – the Allen Solly brand has sub-brands like Solly Sport and Solly Jeans Co in Men’s section.
A seller is only authorized to sell a particular brand if he owns the valid brand authorization certificate.
Marketplace is committed to sales of genuine brands that are sold by authorized sellers. For this practice, a seller must submit the brand authorization certificate or the trademark document for the brand whose products are sold by him. Without brand authorization, the system restricts the user to upload the brand’s products.
The brand authorization/trademark certification can be uploaded/submitted via the support tab on the Seller Panel.
Uniform Resource Locator [URL] is the link that takes a user to a fixed website or an internet page.
For example, the link, also known as the URL is the unique address for Samsung brand on Paytm Mall. Samsung brand store on Paytm can only be accessed via this link. It is vital to access Samsung products and information and hence plays a great role in the online industry.
URLs also help to promote product information, videos and news on social media like Twitter and Facebook.
It is the most crucial tool that plays an important role in the online sales of a product. It acts as an interface between a buyer and a seller by allowing customers to view, select, add and make a purchase of online merchandise.
A customer will see a product in his cart until the time he has not made the payment for the selected items or until he deletes the item from his cart. Post payment, the cart becomes empty until new products are added to it.
An incentive program that offers some amount of Cashback to the user during a transaction. Cashback is earned by a user on a purchase from the website, online shopping, utility payments, air tickets, hotel booking, recharge, bill payments, money transfer, metro card recharge.
Cashback is added/given to a user’s Paytm Wallet and details for wallet transaction are communicated to the user by SMS on his registered mobile number.
The earned wallet cashback can be redeemed for future online shopping and of course bill and utility payments among other possible transactions on Paytm.
Classification of certain types fo products in particular clusters makes a category. For example, Electronics, Fashion, Stationery, Automotive etc. In any particular category, hundreds of products are listed making it a marketplace catalogue. However, a single category may further be categorized into sub categories. For example, Women’s Fashion is categorized into:
- The Wedding Store
- Western Wear
- Designer Wear
- Lingerie & Sleepwear
- Beauty and Personal Care
Category helps optimize products making it easy for buyers to select and buy products. Right category should be selected when new products are added to a catalogue via the Seller Panel. For instance, if Dell XPS 13 Laptop as to be added to the catalogue then category and sub-category selection should be: Laptops >> Laptop & Computers>>Electronics.
New products should be uploaded on the marketplace as mentioned in category templates.
Competitive Analysis is the assessment by which a company stays updated about its competitor and market dynamics. It is a marketing plan that helps drive the company to grow further by keeping a watch on its other competitor’s products and services. This analysis helps any company to improve its own market niche. The complete process includes several steps to understand the competitor’s background, financial standing, products and services offered, marketing efforts, facilities, personnel, corporate/marketing strategies and also discounts and offers rolled out.
A consumer is the end user or a purchaser of any product or service. A consumer can be of any gender in an age group and of course, without consumers, there would be no transaction or sales in any business.
The current trends show that Indian consumers are now more open to making an online purchase. The increase in purchasing power of the Indian consumer and the influence of the internet are some reasons for this rapid growth.
A counterfeit is a copy, duplicate or a fake product of the original item. Selling counterfeit item is an unethical way of doing business and adversely affects an individual’s and marketplace reputation. Any item’s imitation for example in Apparel, Footwear, Jewellery, Smartphone, Watch or Handbags category is labelled as a counterfeit if it is a copy of the original item and such products are always of poor quality.
Indulging in a business of selling counterfeit calls upon severe action as it could lead to patent infringement or trademark infringement.
There are rules and regulations laid by the Indian Government to curb selling of counterfeit products in the nation. A marketplace also exercises its own policies in order to offer best services and products to its customers.
Coupons are discount vouchers that allow users to avail a certain percentage of a price reduction or Cashback on a certain product or a service. Post coupon use, the discount is credited in the form of Cashback, which is added to an e-wallet.
Coupons validity is generally fixed for a certain time and may not work after its validity expires. All coupons have different codes that have to be punched in by the user while transacting in order to avail coupon benefits.
Coupon Code is the value that has to be used at the time of encashing/availing a coupon.
A coupon has a code that is a mix of letters and alphabets. It can be used for a limited period and gives Cashback benefits to the user on a product or a service when used.
For example, a user can use a coupon code XXXYYZZ for a movie ticket booking. This special code can be availed by a user for a fixed number of times and entitles him to some amount of Cashback. The Cashback for used coupon code is credited to the user’s Paytm Wallet.
Creating Promotional Content (Images, Videos, Product Details)
Creating awareness on products, services, brands and offers via various content in the form of images, videos and presentations refer to ‘Creating Promotional Content.’
It is a promotional marketing strategy that connects customers to the marketplace.
The promotion content is mainly the written content and images that can be circulated in the physical form of the pamphlets and in newspapers.
The traditional media helps reach promotion content to consumers via hoardings and traditional electronic media such as radio and television.
Digital media is the modern and most effective medium in the development of promotional media and uses the Internet, social media to connect with buyers; covers text, images and videos for great impact.
The way a customer interacts and connects with a company, brand or a marketplace is called customer engagement.
Internet has deeply penetrated in customer engagement processes as customers stay connected 24×7 for the latest information.
Social media like platforms like Facebook can be a turning point for customer engagement. Information on this medium can be utilized to discover trends in a business or services and add-ons that consumers wish for.
A customer is the most pivotal part in any business. Without the customer, there exists no business model.
A customer is also called a client, purchaser or a buyer and buys services, products, plans, offers from a seller or marketplace during a transaction.
Great customer service, customer delight and quality goods and services play an important role in retaining customers in any business.
Data are details and the information that is stored in a special way. It could be qualitative and quantitative. For e-commerce marketplace sellers the blank spaces, punctuation marks, product title, images, details, videos, and other related information is all data. Without this valuable data, no products and orders can be processed.
The stock or products that remain unsold on the marketplace are termed as deadstock. Deadstock products can be put on sale at a low price at any point of time. Most of the dead stock is brand new, intact with all original tags and packaging.
The dead stock gives rise to unsold inventory and may be a result of products that were accumulated by in-transit damage, customer returns or unsold goods. Liquidation services help overcome dead stock with cash recovery options.
Deal is a promotional offer in an e-commerce business model where an online product or service is advertised to the customers with some benefits like Cashback or a discount offer in a certain period of time. Customers purchase the deal for free or at a very low price to get some percentage of discount or Cashback on the product or the service offered in the deal.
A deal can be offered for free or there may be a nominal price attached to it, depending on the marketing strategy.
Deals are offered for shopping online and even across categories like Travel, Recharge, Utility Bill Payments, Food & Beverage, Entertainment, to name a few.
Top deals are those deals that are offered for various products across different categories and are grabbed by users immediately.
It is the process when the dispatched shipped goods reach their destination. Fast, safe and efficient delivery helps improve seller feedback on a platform.
Timely delivery is enjoyed by customers and increases the probability of more orders with the seller from the same customer.
A seller has a choice to use end to end Paytm logistic services also known as Paytm Courier Partner Enabled seller. Another choice is an opting for a self-ship logistics. Self-Ship sellers have an option to choose the pin codes they want to serve and hence can save on delivery charges.
Digital economy is an economy where everyday’s production, distribution, business, goods and services are offered by making use of digital technology. With the digital economy, more and more people use the Internet to carry out routine tasks or in other words use the digital route for day-to-day transactions.
Digital economy helps build nation’s inter-connectivity, open up job channels, make tasks easier and reduce transaction costs. A typical digitally economy nation will have an online conference in place of traditional conference saving on people’s time and money. Another case of the digital economy is a scenario where people go cashless and opt for digital payments.
Digital products have no physical form and exist in digital form.
All forms of videos, seminars, e-books, online radio, learning tutorials, music, graphics and gifts are digital products. These can be distributed, shared or downloaded online in digital form. While certain digital products have copyrights, no digital product should be distributed or copied without a proper license or permission.
Some of the digital products in e-commerce market are product images, videos, catalogue, newsletters and mailers.
It is the period when advanced technology replaces the traditional mechanical and analogue technology by digital technology. The present time is the digital revolution.
Online marketplace, GPS, Google Maps, Seller App have been possible because of this digital revolution and of course made online selling, making payments easy and hassle free.
Discount is reduced pricing for a product or service, offered to sellers as well as customers on a marketplace.
Customers avail discounts in many forms including deals and coupons. And also in the form of various product offerings like movie tickets, flight or train tickets and many other products on the marketplace as a promotion offer to buyers.
A marketplace looks to offer discounts that benefit both sellers and buyers. Promotion of seller’s online business is done by running bazaars and promotions. Also, loans offered to sellers to expand their business and reach to gain maximum advantage.
ePayment [Electronic Payment] is the newest and modern forms of payment. In this payment mode, a product or a service is paid electronically and there exists no physical transaction of cash between the buyer and the seller.
ePayments can be done by various modes like the debit card, credit card, ewallets- Paytm Wallet, wire transfer and phone transfer. Current ePayments systems’ have removed the hurdles of carrying cash. They are robust and fully secure.
E-commerce is a kind of business where goods and services are sold and purchased online or in other words, digitally. Common everyday operations and transactions that take place online could include listing products, adding product details, taking them live, processing orders, shipping, delivery and transactions for physical or digital goods.
The different models of ecommerce are B2B, B2C, C2B and C2C. Current Paytm Marketplace follows the B2C business model and sells via the website, mobile website and its mobile apps.
Ecommerce in India is set to bloom with the rising digital economy.
E-tailer is the vendor that sells his products or services online to consumers over the Internet. With the increasing online shopping options for customers, e-tailing business is expanding rapidly.
In recent years, e-tailer Paytm has become an immensely popular e-tailing company and offers a platform for the seller to sell their goods and services. Consumers on this site can shop products online across categories, make payments, book tickets for movies, flights, or make hotel bookings in addition to paying utility bills conveniently.
Exchange refers to the replacement of a purchased product with another product. Online exchange generally takes place when the order is incomplete, defective, damaged, incorrect, has sizing issues or not liked by the customer.
Currently, if a customer is not satisfied with the order, a request for replacement is feasible.
No or a minimum number of exchange helps a seller attain customer trust and high seller rating on the marketplace.
Fulfillment Center, also known as an FC offers sellers state-of-the-art warehousing solutions. An FC is a place or a hub where sellers can keep their products to make their order processing simpler.
After an order is received, a seller transfers his stock to a nearby FC, considering the service has been opted for. The next steps of order processing, which is packing and shipping is then taken care by an FC partner. A Fulfillment Center partner then ships the order to the end customer on the seller’s behalf.
All orders at an FC undergo a rigorous quality check and hence help reduce return rates with the possibility of shipping out an incorrect, defective, non-functional or partial product.
Feedback is the term that refers to an opinion a user shares for a product, service or a seller. Social media, email and contact number are some of the mediums that can be used to gather feedback.
A customer on Paytm can leave feedback on how the product was described, packaged, handled, delivered or any other concerns/comments. Good or positive feedback helps in achieving a higher rating.
Feedback from customers helps in improving services offered to customers by merchants and Paytm for greater customer satisfaction.
The feature of filter search helps select the desired product or service from a marketplace of a website. It gives a user the freedom to view products or services in a particular way, per their choice. For example, a customer can view items only in the Home and Kitchen or Electronics category. This is because of the filter search feature.
Filter search also enables a potential buyer to browse and shop a particular item. For instance, a user with a budget of 500-1000 can opt to view apparels in the set price range, colour and gender.
Is the permission, authorization or formal agreement granted by the Government or a company that allows a 3rd party to sell its products and services.
A franchisor is a company or the institution that grants the rights to this 3rd party. The franchise is the body that buys the rights to sell products or services.
A franchise model has certain franchise fee involved and is paid by the franchisee to the franchisor.
Any deliberate action of deceiving Paytm or its partners to secure unfair or unlawful gain which may hamper customer experience directly or indirectly as well as may cause damages (financial, brand image, false representation, loss of business) to Paytm, its resources or its partners is termed as a fraud.
Selling fake products or replicas of branded products and non-authorized branded products, creating several seller IDs are examples of e-commerce fraud.
A person who tries to cheat on the marketplace to gain benefits is termed as a fraudulent buyer. A ’seller’ posing as a buyer can be a fraudulent buyer. As one sells online it becomes important to keep a vigil on any bulk purchase or for multiple orders that are placed for a product by the same customer.
Customers make bulk purchases on sales items, earn cashback and stock the items for future resale. This is a common example of how a fraudulent buyer goes about the unethical practice.
The entire cycle on an ecommerce platform that starts from processing an order till the order reaches its destination is termed as fulfillment.
The processes and activities that are part of fulfillment are: Receiving a customer’s order, order acknowledgement, packaging, shipping and delivery.
For seamless fulfillment, processing of orders should take minimum time, online inventory should be accurately updated and return rate should be low.
An original or authentic product procured from the brand is called a genuine product or a non-counterfeit product, is branded and of high quality.
To prove a product is genuine, a seller must provide the warranty, performance assurance, validity and expiry wherever it is applicable and TIN number/CST registration number with the invoice.
As a commitment to customers, a marketplace must adhere to sell only genuine items that are directly sourced from branded companies.
Gift cards are a smart way of presenting gifts to your loved ones. A gift card can be redeemed online and in many cases at an offline store too.
You can use gift cards to send money via the Paytm Wallet to your friends and relatives on special occasions like birthday, anniversary and wedding, to name a few.
Sending gift cards is instant, convenient, fun and gives the receiver the freedom to buy a gift that he/she really likes to buy.
Goods are the physical products that are sold by sellers or retailers to consumers. The Internet has made the selling of goods easy and convenient for potential customers to choose from a large variety and order per their specific requirement.
Now, small and big sellers can offer their goods via the online platform as Paytm and Paytm Mall caters to customers and merchants across the country. All variety and category of goods, perishable, non-perishable are made available for consumers 24X7.
Handling Cart Abandonment
Cart abandonment is the stage when an online customer likes a product, adds it to the cart on the marketplace but does not make the final purchase by making a payment for it.
Products added to a cart remain in the cart until they turn into an ‘Order’ or are removed/deleted by the customer himself.
Make sure that you follow the basic rules of online selling for your online customers as greatly helps to lower the cart abandonment.
The first or the initial page of a website is termed as the home page. It is also known as the start page or web page. The e-commerce Home Page has the latest information, lists new offers and products, and may also have a search functionality that takes visitors to other pages of the website.
The website PaytmGoBig.com presents the latest updates, selling information and also complete blog posts while the homepage links to important information like processes and policies, training guides and seller services that come in handy when one sells online on Paytm and Paytm Mall.
Imaging & Cataloguing
Catalogue is the way you showcase your product to buyers and potential buyers. Cataloguing includes a detailed description of the product, specifications along with images, videos and more. Cataloguing services help manage your online catalogue which makes it easy for customers to find your products in search results, thereby increasing sales due to high relevancy and optimized product information and description.
Imaging is the process of having sharp and clean product images. Imaging helps get buyer’s attention to your products and can increase your e-commerce conversion rate by as much as 30%. Poor quality images may turn away potential buyers and result in increased Return Orders.
‘In stock’ is the stage when a seller has a certain quantity of merchandise in his inventory to sell on Paytm and Paytm Mall. When there are products ‘In stock,’ they are visible on the website and the app for potential buyers to make the required purchase.
Having enough products ‘In stock’ helps sell more and earn more. As a best practice, while selling online, you should always have a good number of stock, especially if you are participating in promotions. Ensure that customers do not face the issue ‘out of stock’ or orders are not cancelled due to insufficient stock since this greatly affects seller reputation.
It is the stage when an order has been processed and shipped to the customer and is en route to reaching the customer.
In other words, it is the state when a product is on the journey to reach its destination, its purchaser. An order can be tracked by both the seller and the buyer as it is in transit. The tracking feature helps get the location of the item. Once the product completes its journey, the status, ‘In transit’ changes to ‘order delivered.’
Integration with Other Online Channels (website, Blog, Social Media Profiles)
Integrating is the process of syncing messaging and communication for a product across different channels like the blog, social channels like Facebook, along with the website and app with a marketplace product to give accurate details and promote products and services to users.
A product can be integrated on the marketplace. It may lack visibility due to its SEO or other factors. Integration with a blog and social media help increase product reach and benefit overall sales and business.
Consistent efforts should be made to promote the item via marketing and promotional strategies across channels at the same time. This helps create customer interest at the same level on all mediums while promoting and popularizing it at the same time.
Inventory refers to the products that you have in your catalogue. Huge inventory helps your products to get noticed by more potential buyers and hence drives your online business.
Inventory should be updated regularly by adding new products and especially when there is a price change or in case you run out of certain items from it.
SKU (Stock Keeping Unit) helps in managing inventory effectively.
An item is the product that is listed on Paytm Mall or Paytm for sale, with or without and offer. An item belongs to a certain category when it is sold online. For example, on a marketplace, an item – Kurta & Kurtis is listed as Kurta & Kurtis > Ethnic Wear > women kurti> Women’s Fashion and Sony Playstation is listed in Playstation >Game Consoles> Gaming>Electronics.
A product/item has several attributes that help buyers get more information about it and are also offered several offers via cashback offers, promo codes or bundles with certain items.
Logistics is the management of picking, shipping and delivering of goods to the customer who’s placed an order on Paytm or Paytm Mall. Ideally, an e-commerce company would have several logistic partners that help its online seller sell across the nation.
A reliable and dependable logistic system helps in the fast and safe delivery of all orders and are considered the backbone of an e-commerce company as all its items are fulfilled via a logistic partner.
Certain logistic companies also offer warehousing solutions, which solves the problem of space that is required to store products until the time they are sold.
For picking, shipping and delivering of all marketplace goods, a logistic system depends on a rock solid logistics network. Customers prefer and leave positive feedback for the orders that they receive on time and in perfect state. This is made possible if the logistic network works in tandem and ensures shipping and delivery inaccurate time.
With a dynamic and evolving e-commerce business, logistic networks have an important role to play by ensuring secure and timely distribution of goods.
A log is a system file that is created when you access the Seller Panel or a website. This has all the data that contains the user name, the time the user accessed a page, how long the user was logged in and the IP address of the system.
Log files are automatically created when someone accesses a website or Seller Panel and helps in not letting others misuse your data and also helps to monitor and report errors on the website for a user. Logs do not store your password.
mCommerce or mobile commerce refers to the business model when goods and services are sold, purchased and transactions happen via wireless technology on mobiles, tablets and laptops.
Everyday processes that take place on mCommerce are searching, buying and selling of products and services on mobile devices.
Promotions, marketing, shipping and delivery of products play a crucial role in a successful mCommerce platform.
mCommerce gives multiple options to a buyer to buy a product from thousands of selections. It is easy, hassle-free and a smart way of shopping and selling.
Mailers refer to email communication that is sent to targeted groups to convey a particular message or offer. In e-Commerce, mailers are an important medium that through which important updates are conveyed, for example, upcoming bazaar promotions, change in a policy, packaging guidelines, seller performance, tips on what products customers would be most interested in and what motivates them. All the information in a mailer helps to sell more efficiently to customers.
A mailer has text and could have graphics, videos, links to important webpages to help equip sellers with the latest information. Mailers reduce the operational costs and are a great way to help and convey updates and information to a seller on his account, marketplace and orders.
Making Product Discoverable
Product discoverability is the ability with which a potential buyer can find a seller’s product easily on Paytm or Paytm Mall. This can be understood by knowing what leads a buyer to discover products across the various categories since search patterns may differ.
A product ‘Milton’ thermos has great sales and hence its search engine results page (SERP) will also be high in search results. When a customer will search for the thermos, the keyword ‘thermos’ ranks high, making it more likely to be clicked and purchased. This continues for each user’s search results and the product’s discoverability becomes stronger.
Product optimization is a key factor that leads to increased traffic, which in turn helps buyers discover your products, thereby leading to an increase in your sales.
Managing Account Reputation
Account reputation is nothing but seller’s standing in the marketplace, Paytm Mall or Paytm. Customers share their opinions for products and services that a seller offers and rates him on certain marketplace parameters.
In order to manage their account reputation, a seller should work to offer genuine products, adhere to timely shipping, give accurate product description among other things. This could result in customers leaving a good review for the service or product.
Higher this number of positive review for a seller, better the seller reputation is what the assumption is.
A manifest is a list or a document that acts as a proof of shipment. A manifest list is a required document that aids in the transport of the shipment to the buyer and has details of the waybill/AWB that facilitate the shipment.
The manifest list is downloaded from the Seller Panel when a shipment is handed over to the courier from ‘Scan and Move to Manifest’. This process ensures accurate data entry at all points of the shipping package.
Marketplace is an online market or an online store which enables people to buy or sell products/services online.
A marketplace has multiple online sellers and online customers who transact online for sale and purchase of listed items.
It works on digital technology and makes it easy for customers to discover new products, deals and services. The common practices that take place in the marketplace are managing catalogues, selling a product, advertising, buying products, shipping and making bill payments.
Maximum Retail Price is abbreviated as MRP and is the manufacturer’s price for a product that is fixed when it is listed for and online or offline purchase. MRP is decided by the product owner and is the maximum price that a seller can take from the buyer.
A seller should adhere to MRP rules and regulations, can offer a product to his customers at a lower price but never more than the MRP since this will help a seller build credibility (as products will be sold at a genuine price) for a long run and also get repeat customers.
Newsletter is a regular electronically distributed e-document or email that gives details about the latest information on Paytm Mall, Paytm or any of its other properties. It could be circulated at different periodic intervals like fortnightly, monthly or quarterly depending on the objective or communication that needs to be disseminated.
It is a comprehensive document that lists facts and data about what’s new, upcoming, updated in processes and policies and new loan offers.
It reaches all big and small sellers listed with Paytm in order to enable them to stay competitive with latest online selling trends and tools, industry insights, marketplace news, selling tips, guides and more.
An e-commerce feature that offers its customers some benefits in the form of Cashback, deals or coupons on online shopping, flight tickets, hotel bookings, movie tickets etc. For example a flat Rs.100 Cashback on a movie ticket booking and Big Bazaar offer of Rs.50 Cashback on making payments with Paytm Wallet are offered that are irresistible and garner massive traction.
Offers are a great marketing tool that gets a user to buy products in order to avail offers and enhance sales on a marketplace.
Online Branding Through Website
Online branding is a method through which products and services are positioned in a particular fashion via online channels and digital marketing. Search & display marketing, social media channels like Twitter, Facebook and YouTube are great tools that are used for online branding.
Ensure that you use great infographics, videos, and tutorial to promote and give complete information of your brand. Update the website and other online brand promoting mediums regularly and keep users informed.
Complete details on products, services, delivery and return policies is a must. This will convey your brand’s message effectively to all your customers and potential customers.
Online PR & Publicity
Online Public Relations (Online PR) & publicity is an activity to popularize information about a company, person, business, service or a product online amongst your target group, through various marketing techniques. The information is dispersed via press releases, press notes, interview quotes, images, videos, news sharing websites, updates on social mediums etc.
This creates awareness among people about the brand, products, website and the services offered. It quickly helps generate online user feedback. This feedback is used to work on and improve services and work towards releasing new products or improving features in the existing products. Great content, online social campaigns and videos are the effective and handy tools for online PR and publicity. It engages users to learn and know about a brand in an interesting way.
Small businesses have great potential to grow by just a small investment in online PR & publicity activities. Example: a video showing an experience of ease of using the Paytm Wallet is a simple and effective create the Paytm brand. It gets users to know how and where they can use the e-commerce platform in their day to day lives by creating brand awareness.
A person who sells products or goods on a website is termed as an online seller. An online seller makes use of digital technology and the Internet to run his online selling business.
He can sell products in various categories listed on the marketplace and to probably reach a wider customer base and of course, earn a profit on it. An online seller can have his own website to sell products or he can be a seller on a marketplace. To sell on any marketplace, a business owner needs to register himself on the e-commerce platform like Paytm.com or PaytmMall.com. Post seller registration, document verification and other formalities, the seller can start listing his products in the relevant categories on the marketplace.
Promotions, Bazaars and festive offers pave way for online sellers to participate and promote their online products aggressively, across India.
Online selling is the process where an online seller runs his business of selling products online. With the rise in Internet use and a 24*7 online presence of potential customers, online selling is the new way to reach them.
Now technology and connectivity have enabled more and more people to join online marketplaces to sell and buy products online.
Online selling, allows any number of sellers to register for free and begin to sell their products or services online. This could be the only way they do their business or online selling could be an extension of their offline store. It is simple, convenient and allows sellers to carry on their business with a comparatively lower capital and minimum running costs. It bears high margins and also a chance for a positive cash flow in a very short span of time.
The process when people buy various products like apparel, footwear, furniture, home & kitchen products from a website or a marketplace is online shopping. Online shopping has picked up recently with Internet penetration and increase in use of digital technology. Online buying is picking up to be a convenient way of shopping as compared to the old traditional way of shopping at physical stores, for some people even more convenient.
Online buyers prefer buying from a marketplace or from sellers who offer easy return of orders, faster shipments, and overall a great customer service experience. This makes online shopping an enjoyable experience for the customer since he or she has the freedom to buy without worrying about size, quality of the product, or any other possible issue per say.
Timely shipping, best quality, genuine products and competitive pricing are basic factors that help drive online buyers to shop more and more products online.
An online transaction refers to the electronic payment made using the Internet on a website; brand, marketplace, service provider etc.
Paytm Wallet, debit and credit cards are some popular ways that make online transactions easy for users for online shopping, booking train or flight tickets, hotel booking or paying utility bills.
Orders refer to the marketplace product or service that has been purchased online by a buyer. An online seller processes this purchase and hands it over to the logistics partner. The packet is then shipped by the logistic partner in order to be delivered to the customer who’s purchased it.
An order contains:
1. The product that has been purchased online
2. An invoice
3. Combo or bundles, if any
4. Warranty documents
All Marketplace orders have a unique Order ID, which is used to track the item while on its way to the customer. The customer must quote this Order ID if any query on refund and return for that particular order.
An order needs to pack very carefully to ensure there is no breakage or damage as it is in shipment.
An order is shipped to the buyer once it is purchased on the marketplace or the online store.
The order tracking feature is of great help here as the unique order ID or the Waybill number, which is mentioned in the order is used to track the shipment packet.
Order tracking helps both the buyer and seller know about the location of the package. The buyer is also prepared as he knows when he will be receiving his product.
Out Of Stock
When there are no products in a seller’s online inventory. Out of Stock stage situation could leave customers unhappy and the best way to overcome this situation is to have enough stock of your products, especially when participating in special promotions like the Bazaar or festive promotions. This is because during an offer or promotion period, product visibility is at its highest and higher sale numbers are expected.
PAN India is the acronym for Presence Across the Nation. If there is a business that sells its products or offers its services in all cities across India, then it is said to be a PAN India company.
An e-commerce platform selling products online should have a robust logistic system to deliver these products across India. This enables customers from any state or any city to buy from the e-commerce platform and also pay for these products conveniently.
When shipments move from one state to another the logistic company needs to show certain pre-declared forms for a smooth interstate entry. Attachment of State Forms is mandatory for any seller if his product has to be shipped from one state to the other.
The mode of rendering money for purchased goods or services. The traditional way of making payments for products or services is by making a cash payment or with paying via cheques. Cash payments are commonly known as COD (Cash on Delivery) in the e-commerce world. The modern, convenient and quick ways of payment methods now widely used are popular mobile wallets like Paytm Wallet, debit or credit card, phone banking and bank transfers. These methods have enhanced security, are hassle-free and give the user great peace of mind.
Pricing refers to the set price of a service or a product. Setting the price of the product is an important task in any business and as a rule, the product price on marketplace should never exceed the MRP. The assigned price should be such that is profitable to the business and at the same time, it should not be too high as that would not attract enough buyers for the product and would adversely impact sales. It’s a good idea to keep an eye and participate in promotions and deals and also be open to raise or lower the pricing to keep a balance in sales and profit.
Process & Policies
Process and policies refer to the rules and regulations that help a system function in order. In e-commerce, there are certain fixed processes and policies for both, the buyer and the seller. A marketplace system functions smoothly, between the two parties due to adherence to these regulations.
Some of these processes and policies that are essential on an e-commerce platform are related (but not limited) to Returns, Payments, Order Cancellation and Refunds. All these could be considered a framework on which a marketplace functions every day.
Product code is a unique name that identifies a product from other products on a marketplace. It is a part of the product description, has characters and numbers and is visible on the product page. The characters in the code are generally related to the product name or the brand name that help easily identify it with the displayed item.
No two items on the marketplace can have similar product codes. Any product that is live can be easily searched via its product code.
For example, a product Microsoft Lumia 535 (Green) can be found on the marketplace by searching for MOBMICROSOFT-LUBHAG370851C15672A
A webpage on the Paytm Mall marketplace that lists a particular product is defined as a product page, which gives an accurate description and details of the displayed product. A well-defined product page will have a clear product image, product details, pricing and shipping information. This page also has seller details and seller ratings that help buyers make an informed decision while choosing the right product by the right seller. A high seller rating conveys a good seller reputation and plays an important role when buyers have to make a choice for their purchase. A product is added to the cart from the buy button on the product page.
The product name on the product page is referred to as the product title. It is the first thing that gets people to see and buy a product. All products on the Paytm Mall marketplace have a unique title that cannot be duplicated. It is also used in optimizing the product page with an SEO perspective and helps bring customers from search engines to the marketplace.
An ideal way to write a good product title is to use small, catchy but descriptive words that convey basic details of the product while avoiding adjectives like ‘great’ or ‘new’.
Product URL (Uniform Resource Locator) or product link is a web address where a product is located on the marketplace or a website. It is seen on the top of the webpage in the address bar and displays the product page when clicked on. All products on the marketplace have a unique URL.
You can share a product or product details and information by posting product a specific URL on social websites. This helps market products effectively thereby enhancing sales.
Paytm Mall or Paytm marketplace provides great offers for its buyers via special and unique promo codes. When a promo code is applied during a purchase, it entitles a buyer for a certain amount of Cashback or some other form of redemption on the total purchase.
Promo codes help promote products and impact sales in a positive manner. For example, a promo code ‘WEEK30’ can be applied to get X% Cashback on a product on the marketplace website. However, cashback associated with a promo code cashback is not available on a COD (cash on delivery) order. The Cashback of a promo code is always credited to a user’s Paytm Wallet.
Promotion Though Emailers
Mass mailers are sent to customers to give information or share an update on promotions and offers. These are used to give details for upcoming bazaar promotions or special offers on products listed on the website. The click rate, open rate and conversions are metrics that are tracked through these emailers. Emailers have text but could also have graphics, videos, and links to offers or promotions that are being communicated.
Promotions are special offers that are run on products and services listed on the marketplace website and are planned with an intention to make buyers aware of buying their favourite products. Promotions could be planned across all products or could be category specific. These planned promotions help sellers showcase and highlight the discounts and contests being offered through various marketing activities to help reach a maximum number of customers. For optimum benefits, keep your inventory updated, have competitive pricing and ensure timely shipping for all orders to reap the best from marketplace promotions.
Quality check or QC is the procedure to certain that any product sold to a customer meets defined standards and regulations. This ensures quality items are delivered to the customer and hence also helps reduce customer returns as only after a thorough check are products shipped to the customer.
The QC process additionally helps to avoid potential refund scenarios and reduces chances of counterfeit products being sold online. Overall, a good quality check builds customer trust in buyers and the marketplace.
Redeem is the exchange of a promocode, a voucher or a gift card on the marketplace against a product/service purchase. Sometimes the user is redirected to a new website to redeem the offer or the service and has to make use of the Paytm Wallet to transact and avail the offer.
Hotel booking, food ordering and taxi booking are the common categories that have the redeeming feature but limited to these categories.
The repayment to a customer for returned product bought by him/her is as a refund. Online shopping refunds take place due to return orders of issues related to sizing, delivery of a wrong product or non-functional product delivery.
All marketplace refunds are processed per the company’s refund policy. This policy has details related to the number of days in which a customer can return a purchased product after receiving it and other guidelines as well.
A retailer or a seller is someone who sells products directly to his/her consumers, via different distribution channels to earn a profit.
A retailer can sell products like food, durable items – furniture and cars, products such as apparels and footwear, books, musical instruments, gift items & more.
The medium for selling retail products can be a physical store, online platform, kiosks, event shows, exhibitions & more.
A transaction between a seller and a buyer for an exchange of a product or a service is termed a sale. Whereas, sales is an activity when goods are promoted with offers to customers. Sales are planned to benefit the buyer and the seller by giving discounts, freebies and Cashback to customers. On the merchant side, it helps achieve brisk business.
Sufficient stock, updated inventory, adherence to SLAs are paramount factors that help achieve good sales on the platform.
Making use of a medium to sell and market products or services to consumers is known as a sales channel. An online marketplace like Paytm, social mediums as Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, are examples of sales channels used by businesses to grow and expand their reach.
Several factors should be considered and researched before using one particular channel or while creating a multi-channel sales strategy. You should be aware of how your competitors are marketing selling their products.
SEED or Speedy Efficient Effective Delivery is Paytm’s logistics framework that helps deliver seller’s goods to the customers who’s purchased it. Once an order is placed, the seller needs to keep the order ready for the shipment, which is then collected by a SEED centre executive who visits and brings it to the nearest SEED Hub. The shipments are sorted as part of the efficient delivery mechanism and then sent to customers via courier partners. SEED centres are ideal for all online items except volumetric/heavy shipments.
An e-commerce order that is placed by a seller himself for a purchase of his own goods is termed as a self-order. Self-ordering is considered unethical and calls for a penalty if a seller buys more than 5 of his own products in a period of 6 months. This practice is common when sellers look forward to getting benefits such as Cashback and wants to depict high sales for his products listed on the marketplace. Ordering on behalf of family members, friends or relatives is considered as “self-ordering” and a fraudulent practice on Paytm.
Seller Account (MID)
When a business owner registers as a seller to sell online, the account created is called a ‘Seller Account.’ This account is identified by a unique code that is termed as a MID [Merchant Identification]. The seller MID is a combination of numbers and can be accessed by a seller from here on the Paytm Seller Panel – Settings tab ->Profile sub-tab ->Merchant ID (MID).
Every MID is unique and is associated with only 1 seller on a platform. All seller information like the name, address, business details, sales and products of the seller are associated with this unique MID.
Seller rating is the assessment of services that a seller offers to its customers for the purchase of his products listed on the marketplace website. It is broadly based on three factors: (1) The product description (2) Packaging & handling of the product (3) Timely delivery of the order placed. A seller rating is the depiction of the service offered for the purchase made. This assessment is scored on a scale of 5 and is displayed along with seller details on the product page.
A high seller rating can be easily achieved by:
• Genuine and true product description
• Proper packaging & handling
• Timely delivery
• Shipping quality items
Seller Sign Up
Seller sign up is the procedure of creating a Seller Account on Paytm Mall. This sign up process on the website enables the registered user to sell goods and services to customers visiting the website. The sign up procedure is simple, as follows:
• Visit the seller website seller.Paytm.com
• Enter your email and contact number
• Click on the sign up button and get started
Post this, a verification mail is sent to the email address shared at the time of signing up. After verifying of this email, the seller starts the process of submitting the required business documents such as VAT and company information. Following this, the business documents are verified and the seller account is made live, which essentially means that he or she can go ahead and list their products on the website and reach out to the millions of potential customers visiting Paytm.com and/or PaytmMall.com.
Seller strategies are the tips and tricks that sellers can make use of to enhance their product portfolio and sell better, give a pleasing experience to customers and improve their respective rating on the marketplace.
The Seller Blog and Training Modules have ample seller strategies that can be leveraged for the same. Additionally, fresh content is regularly updated that sellers can make use for carrying out their online business with ease for utmost profit and credibility.
Seller survey is a mechanism to collect pivotal information from sellers in the form of a simple Q&A that helps with details related to seller opinion, suggestions and feedback.
This is sent to the existing Paytm Sellers, which can be filled in an easy manner online. Seller surveys are a great way to reach out to sellers as it helps to assess how things are going, challenges if any and their overall experience with selling on the marketplace online. The gathered survey results are then utilized to offer solutions for areas of improvement.
Services refer to the tasks that are offered by a company or an individual. It makes it easier for an online seller to sell products as the service provider manages the catalogue, conducts photoshoots and provides quality content.
Selling online can keep sellers on their toes, especially during promotions and festive offer periods, and it may become unmanageable to process orders and update inventory at the same time. At these moments, seller services offered by Paytm Mall make the seller’s jobs easy by offering product details, image processing etc. as he could then concentrate on promotions, order processing and overall product portfolio listed on the marketplace.
A shipment is an order that has been shipped by the seller and is on its way to the buyer for delivery. It is important that a shipment reaches its destination safe and intact. This is achieved by following correct packaging guidelines.
A seller must be careful if the shipment has to be shipped pass from one state to another as state forms are mandatory to be declared in such cases. In the absence of these forms, the shipment is returned to the seller.
Both the buyer and the seller can use the AWB number to track a shipment.
A shopping cart is one of the most vital tools on an e-commerce platform and works as the medium that allows customers to buy products online. It gives details of the product(s) that have been selected by the customer along with the quantity and depicts the total order value. All promo codes and offers are applied at a checkout of the shopping cart. If the user transaction remains incomplete, the added products remain in the shopping cart until they are removed by the user.
An SKU or Stock Keeping Unit is an identification code that helps to track a product in an online inventory. It helps categorize products easily by creating a more organized and accessible inventory.
A seller has to create a unique individual SKU for all items in his inventory. This can be a combination of the product name type, model ID, size, color and brand name.
Example: An SKU for Parx Slim Fit Red Shirt – 40 can be set as Parx-SRT-SF-40-BL. In this SKU, Parx is the brand name, SRT stands for shirt, SF is slim fit, 40 is the size and BL is the colour.
An SLA or service level agreement is the commitment to process Marketplace orders within a fixed timeline. It is the time in which an order placed by a customer should be delivered to the customer. Any delay in SLA calls for a marketplace penalty.
Sellers should ensure target processing of all order before the cut off times. It means that the order should be carefully packed and ready to be shipped.
Also, there should be enough packing material as at times to avoid any delay in processing orders within the required frame of time.
When a seller fails to adhere to the SLA and has to cancel an order, it is termed as an SLA breach. In this scenario, an order could not be delivered to the buyer due to an issue at the logistics end, or at the seller’s end like packaging not available or the product was out of stock.
This SLA breach could lead to a penalty on the seller.
Social Media Promotion
Social channels such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and LinkedIn are great marketing tools to showcase products and services that an online seller sells on the marketplace. The products are seen and shared by users and help increase sales on social mediums. The investment varies at is the seller’s prerogative to assign a budget for social media promotions.
Some of the ways to have social media promotions for an online item or service are:
• Ensure that the content related to the product is error free and gives complete details of the product
• The content is supported with an image or a 360-degree video
• Share it with appropriate pages and target groups
Soft goods also known as softline, are products that are made out of cloth, fabric etc. If one sells in any of the below-mentioned categories, then he/she is selling soft goods:
- Backpacks & Luggage
- Personal Care
- Home & Kitchen: Bedding, Linens, Table Cloths
To target high sales in soft goods, one needs to update their online inventory regularly to offer the latest products to the customer.
Sort By- Price ( High To Low) and (Low To High)
The listed products on the marketplace website appear in a random order by default. ‘Sort By’ gives the customer an option to refine the search by price.
Sort By- Price (High to Low): The products displayed will be from high to low price. For example ₹800, ₹650, ₹400 and so on.
Sort By- Price (Low to High): The products displayed will be from low to high price. For example ₹200, ₹400, ₹200, ₹100 and so on.
The ‘Sort By’ feature helps potential buyers select and buy products with a specific budget, as he/she can limit his search results to a specific price range. It is convenient and time-saving.
An online marketplace lists special categories or services as well. Women’s Apparel, Home & Kitchen, Electronics are specialty stores that list products of hundreds of sellers for customers.
A specialty store offers a range of products for its customers. For example, Office Supplies is a specialty store on Paytm and has specialized items in subcategories of Office Machines, Office Accessories and Presentation Supplies.
An online place or a website where customers browse, select, buy or pay for a product or a service is termed as an online store. Customers have options to browse through various categories and products to buy items and avail offers or discounts.
Great design, graphics and content play an important role to enhance sales in a store. Common processes that are essential to run a store include promotions, interest building, seller ratings, shipping and order processing.
There are many brand stores on the marketplace as well. These are independent online stores where a brand owns the rights to control the sellers offering the brand, products, pricing and the inventory.
The process to help upgrade an online store is termed as store optimization. Store design, content and improving basic functions are re-worked to optimize a store. For optimization, elements such as keywords, SEO, product titles, store page response are worked on which helps to bring in customers when they search the marketplace or browse online while searching for their desired product.
The activity results in increased online traffic and benefits sales.
Store URL is the link or the URL (Uniform Resource Locator) that directs a user to a store on the marketplace. For example, the link for Apple brand store on Paytm is www.paytm.com/@apple. Once clicked, the user gets access to browse and shop products exclusively at the Apple Store on Paytm.
Subcategories are important to categorize and arrange products for online buyers. Category and sub-categories make product upload and search easily on the marketplace.
For example, if one is selling items that fall in of the main categories like Men’s Fashion, then the product listing will be in sub categories of “Clothing,” “Footwear,” “Watches,” “Accessories” and so on.
• Sub-categories enable customers a quick overview of the products and services
• Reduce clutter on marketplace and search time to find relevant products
• Makes product selection and purchase hassle-free as it takes fewer clicks to buy an item. This enables a better shopping experience to the customer
• Sub-categories are defined by the main category’s drop-down menus
For example, A seller with Bracelets will list the product as follows: Home/Women’s Fashion/Jewellery/Imitation Jewellery/Bangles, Bracelets & Armlets
Support is a special service offered by Paytm Mall to its sellers. The feature lets sellers raise concerns and get solutions to the queries related to but not limted to onboarding, online selling, payments, account updation.
Support offers resolutions to issues like sign in, pending payments, catalogue, return, refund, packaging and shipping.
The seller concerns are taken up instantly by the Support Team and a solution is provided on priority.
The popular options to contact Seller Support are:
1. Submitting a Ticket
2. Select the ‘Call Me‘ option
Coordination of two or more procedures, tasks or devices to give the same information at any point of time is termed as synchronization. You can synchronize:
- Your email accounts
- Two or more phone numbers
- Information or data
- Two systems
Synchronization results in ordered data, allows a user to efficiently handle tasks, helps identify requirements and also prioritize them, lowers processing time.
Trending refers to the currently popular and liked products on the marketplace. These are high selling items, in great demand by customers.
Periodic promotions and festive offers give sellers a chance to push their high selling products in the ‘trending’ section, where there is great visibility and pull more customer traffic. This also leads to increased product views and leads to more sales.
Traffic or website traffic refers to the number of users visiting a website at a particular time in a day. Web traffic reports are generated that helps list details of visitors, pages they have landed on and the time they spent on each web page among other stats and metrics. These reports can be auto-generated and are widely used to improve traffic.
Promotions, advertising, keywords, rich content and SEO have a great impact on increasing site traffic. It is important for any business website to have steady, high and above all relevant traffic. Social channels can also be used to discover new sources of traffic. Tasks such as opinion sharing, image sharing bring customers to comment and like products. This leads to increase in traffic online, thereby providing a boost to business.
Products that are in vogue and get immense public attention are termed as trending items. Product trends keep changing, are dynamic in nature as and when they get noticed by customers.
The services that help users pay for electricity, gas, water bill, data card, metro card recharge are termed as utilities. All these utilities are accessible to users on Paytm and they can have several options to make a payment for these services with their Paytm Wallet, credit/debit, Internet banking etc.
Hassle-free payments for these services make life easy as payment can be made from anywhere and at anytime.
Warehouse is a physical store that stocks products, which are shipped to customers when a marketplace order is received. An online seller can choose to store his merchandise in his own warehouse or can opt for a marketplace warehouse, Paytm Mall Fulfillment Services.
Sellers with their own warehouse have to manage the inventory and take care of all packaging tasks. They either self ship the order or dispatch it via the Paytm Courier Partner Enabled services to the customer.
Wishlist is a special feature in the marketplace that allows a customer to add products to his / her wishlist. The product in the wishlist are not immediately purchased by the user but are kept there for future purchase. An existence of products in a wishlist shows that the user has an interest in that product and plans to buy it later.
Customers also share wishlists with friends and family so that they could pick and choose items from his wishlist.
Wishlist is a great feature and lets users compare the products with great ease. The items in the wishlist are easy to add to cart as the buyer does not have to spend time browsing it again.
It’s simple to join India’s largest mobile payments and commerce platform, Paytm Mall.
You can start selling online by registering yourself as a Paytm Seller in a few quick and easy steps. On the sign-up page, share some by basic details like:
- Email that you frequently use
- Your name
- Your phone number
- Set a password
Click on ‘’Sell on Paytm’’ sign up button.
Post this, a verification mail is sent to the registered email ID. Once you click the link and complete the verification process, you’re all set to activate your seller account on Paytm Mall.
Seller Account Verification
Post sign up on the Paytm Seller Panel, log on to the panel with your registered Email ID and follow these steps:
Step 1: Verify your registered Mobile number
Step 2: Complete Store and Warehouse details
Step 3: Confirm agreeing to the Market Place Terms & Conditions Agreement. At this step, the seller gets access to the Paytm Seller Panel to start the process of selling online.
Document Upload and Verification
In this section, certain requisite documents’ details need to be entered along and also upload scanned copies of these documents.
You can submit these documents under the ‘Settings’ tab on the Seller Panel. Below listed are the required documents:
- PAN Number details
- Bank Details: Share bank name, Account Number, IFSC Code etc.
- VAT/TIN details
- Address proof: (Any one from the following):
- Electricity bill
- Bank statement
- Aadhar card
- Passport copy
- Certificate of incorporation
- Rental agreement
Once the documents are verified by Paytm’s eCommerce experts, you are ready to sell on Paytm Mall.
Building a Catalogue (Adding Products)
Click ‘’Add Products’’ in the Catalogue Tab on the left side of the Seller Panel in order to add products to your catalogue.
The added products undergo quality check before they go live and appear in customer’s search on Paytm Mall after
- The document verification is complete
- Products pass the quality check
Catalogue templates are freely available and can be downloaded to add new products to the marketplace.
Products purchased by a customer have to be processed from the “Orders Tab.” A seller has to acknowledge and ship the product per Paytm packaging and shipping guidelines. The delivery can be tracked from the Seller Panel.
Payment for a sold item is processed and released after the successful delivery of the order to the customer.
An arrangement that takes place on marketplace to ensure that a seller’s accounts are settled for all appropriate transactions. In a reconciliation exercise, a seller’s account is tracked for any payments that may have been missed payments or pending payments for return orders.
For any seller’s query on payment, the seller is notified with the relevant details like payments date, order ID etc.
Features of a live product on the marketplace for example color, components, style and weight are defined as a product’s attributes.
Attributes help convey detailed characteristics and functions of a product. More attributes help in better product display and lead to high sales.
Let’s look at the product attributes in some cases:
Case 1: Attributes for a seller selling electric kettle on marketplace
- Width- 160 mm Height -222 mm
- Depth -244 mm
- Heating element -Concealed
- Operating mode -Corded Cordless
- Body Material -Metal
- Package Contents>> Main Unit , User Manual, Warranty Card
- Heating element Concealed
- Operating mode -Corded Cordless
- Body Material -Metal Case 2: Attributes for a seller selling Women’s Ethnic Apparels
- Brand – XXX
- Product Code -AABB
- Wash Care -Hand Wash
- Color -Orange
- Size – L
- Material -Cambric Cotton
- Sleeve 3/4th Sleeves
- Neck Type -Round Neck
- Gender -Women
B2B e-commerce (Business to Business e-commerce) is the marketplace model where goods or services are sold between two or more businesses online using a website. In this model a business orders merchandise from another business, to sell to its customers.
A typical case of B2B is: A company or a seller sells car accessories like head and neck support, car trash can, car flag, steering cover, multi charger pin and USB cables. For procurement and selling, a company procures the parts from other companies. This is a B2B e-commerce company’s business model.
B2C e-commerce (Business to Consumer eCommerce) is the business model where goods or services are sold directly to an online customer on a marketplace or a website.
A typical case of B2C is: A company or a seller sells Apparels/Electronics or any other category product to its customers on Paytm. The buyer selects from products listed online, adds to cart and then transacts for the same, for which product delivery is then made. This kind of a business model is termed as a B2C e-commerce model
Set of tips and techniques that help achieve the desired result. There are best practices that target selling online, payments, product shoots, describing a product and participation in promotions. Following the listed best practices help in smooth operations and lowers the chances of return and penalty cases on the marketplace.
A seller could achieve good and fair sales by adhering to the best practices in order to produce great results with optimized efforts.
Paytm allows only an authorized brand seller to carry out business and sell the particular brand’s products on its marketplace.
For example, a seller selling products for a brand like Nike or Philips should have a brand authorization letter from the parent company to sell their items. To sell the brand item, it is mandatory for him to submit the brand authorization certificate or the trademark certification before uploading any of their products on the marketplace from his account on Paytm Seller Panel.
The sellers get rights to sell a brand’s products once its authorization document is submitted.
Brand Authorization document can be uploaded on the Seller Panel. A seller can also get help from the seller support team in this area.
C2C or Consumer to Consumer e-commerce is the marketplace model where goods or services are sold and purchased directly between two people, namely consumers on a website. Hence, a user can act both as a buyer and a seller in this business model. The transaction happens on the online platform.
Cancellation is the process where a marketplace order needs to be recalled. An order could be cancelled due to specific reasons, such as the ones listed below.
- SLA, out of stock, manifest not shared, poor packaging
- Non serviceable area, tech or catalogue issue, fraudulent order, incorrect price
- In a case where the product is damaged or was not picked up by the courier
In in the above-listed scenarios, the customer is refunded the full amount of the order. A penalty is imposed on the seller if an order gets cancelled due to an error at his/her end. Sticking to guidelines and conducting an honest business helps reduce order-cancellation.
As a good business practice, avoid cancellations as it affects seller ratings and of course the number of orders and online sales.
Products are organized into categories before they are listed on the marketplace. These lists have product details like description, size, quantity and price details. This electronic product database is defined as a catalogue. A descriptive and well-defined catalogue helps in orderly management of products and in identifying products easily.
A catalogue can be edited if a price, quantity and other details change for a product(s). This can be done for a single product or bulk products.
The process of creating and managing a marketplace catalogue is termed as cataloguing. Cataloguing helps generate a user’s interest in the product with a good description and informative images. It is an important element to achieve the target of providing complete product information to the customer.
Cataloguing services are a great help as these offers:
- Images as per guidelines
- Content formatting, grammar and spell checks
- Product attributes
- Salient features on top of product page
- Product’s detailed description
Enhanced cataloguing could increase product sales by 30% – 50%.
Selling more than one product as a single unit is defined as combo selling. The combo could be the same product or a mix of two or more items. For example A combo of ‘2 polo round neck T-shirts’ or a combo of 2 to 3 children’s activity books.
Combos attract customers and help sell online goods faster.
The Combo MRP is the price that is the total sum of the individual products in the combo. In a case, if the MRP of the combo of 2 T-shirts is Rs. 1,000, then the MRP of each t-shirt is Rs. 500.
- The combo items need to be shipped as one order and combined price needs to be labelled as the MRP of the combo
- Apparel, Accessories, Stationery and Gift Items are some of the categories in which products are promoted in a combo
Commissions are small charges that are billed to a seller. Marketplace commissions can be
- Marketplace Commission: Fee charged for listing products on the Paytm platform
- Overriding Commission: is the updated or the new version of the commission sent by Paytm when there are any changes to the earlier commission.
A commission invoice that includes all commissions and fees is generated and shared with sellers on a monthly basis.
Competitive pricing is to set a price of a product in competition to what other sellers are offering to customers.
This pricing strategy works for sellers who are selling similar products and catering to a similar target group.
In competitive pricing, one should consider offering a less and unique price for a product or a service that is not offered by any other seller. This strategy could result in lower profits but long term gains as it ensures high sales.
Consumer-to-Business (C2B) is the newest form of business. In this business model, a customer sells his goods and services to other businesses over the Internet.
Many marketplaces follow the C2B model. Some examples of what customers offer are services like, writing reviews, content writing, content creation to companies. These customers are then paid by the companies who hire their services.
The rate at which online visitors turn into customers and a make purchase are called conversion rate. Various marketing strategies are used to improve the conversion rate of a website since it’s an imperative metric to track the performance of campaigns and overall success indicator of product/service/website. Some factors that improve conversion rate are:
- Marketplace layout
- Product display and content service
- Seller rating and trust
- Customer service
CSV (Comma Separated Values) file is the tabular file used for storing data. It is similar to a .txt file and is easy to export.
A file can be saved as CSV file by saving it with a ‘.CSV extension.’ All data for a catalogue is stored in the form of a CSV file.
A CSV file is also used to upload commissions and to download payment details.
This refers to when a customer cancels his own order on the marketplace. An order may be cancelled by a user due to the following reasons:
- The customer ordered the product in excitement and realizes it is not further required
- He has got the same product in a better deal on other website or physical store • He simply changes his mind and cancels the order
- The shipment is taking long and the customer is not willing to wait further
- The customer is unable to receive the order (For example A customer has travel plans and is not available to receive it)
- The customer moves out to a new address
- Same product available on marketplace with additional discount or better offer
High cancellations affect seller ratings and can lead to low sales.
Customer Life Cycle
The different stages of a customer on an e-commerce platform beginning from customer acquisition, encouraging them to make a purchase and carrying out successful transactions, retaining them and making efforts so that customers continue to make their future purchases.
Offering new and latest products, offering discounts and freebies are great ways to retain and to help continue the customer life cycle.
An online product that is broken does not function or is defective is termed as a damaged item. An item may get damaged due to various reasons such as:
- Improper packaging
- The product (for ex. electronics) got dropped during shipment
- Insufficient cushioning
- Damage during transit
Damaged products are the main reason for customer returns. Ensure that a complete functioning item is shipped, per packaging guidelines to a customer to reduce the risk of damaged items.
Removing products or users from a list is termed as delisting.
- A seller may delist his own products from a catalogue if he plans to discontinue selling it on the marketplace.
- A seller may be delisted from the marketplace if found guilty for selling fake items, indulging in fraud activities, self-ordering or found involved in any other malpractice.
In the above scenarios, the seller account and product catalogue may be delisted, and in this scenario, the seller may not be able to access his seller account or log on the Seller Panel.
Digital tools are used to manage e-commerce campaigns and help achieve campaign objectives through multi-channel solutions. Primarily used to identify customer behaviour and optimize campaigns to enhance customer experience, increase sales, plan and execute overall digital strategy and campaign objective.
Another example is a customer engaging app that manages every detail of online selling.
It’s important to use these tools optimally since you want to bring quality traffic, optimize store and website, increase product/service visibility, give a 360 view of displayed items, feature best customers reviews and much more. Smart selling is about making use of the right tools and right marketing strategies to have a seamless selling experience.
Do it yourself (DIY) is a feature that allows a user to carry out a given process on his own. For example, seller registration on Paytm is a DIY feature. DIY is also made use for quick upload of documents and creating a catalogue.
A seller could also use DIY tools to add new products to the catalogue. In Social Share, the DIY feature lets a seller share his Paytm Mall catalogue on multiple social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Pinterest.
As of now, the DIY catalogue is available for sellers listing their products in categories like:
- Beauty & Personal Care
- Home & Kitchen
The DIY feature gives sellers the freedom to create their own catalogue in a minimal time.
E-commerce Market Trends
E-commerce market trends are the developments or changes that are expected in the e-commerce world.
Some of the e-commerce market trends that we can expect in the near future are:
- More & more customers turning to online shopping
- Minimal use of COD and cash transactions
- Product customization to predict customer’s next purchase accurately
- Fast shipping and same/next day delivery services
- Newer categories like delivering milk and water to lead on marketplace
- More brick and motor companies to start selling online
- Rural areas to benefit from online commerce websites
- Increase in e-wallet payments
The total retails sales of your products on e-commerce or online platforms. High sales help achieve high profit, while factors that drive sales are:
- Great inventory
- More customers
- Good seller rating
- SLA adherence
- Competitive pricing
An offer period or sale period is also the time frame when on a marketplace, products are promoted with the help of effective marketing and advertising. In addition, discounts, Cashback or other benefits are given to customers.
Sales on Marketplace happen when sellers take part in promotions and display their products with deals or bazaars.
E-commerce Success Stories
Inspiring real life stories of sellers and buyers who are a part of the Ecommerce platform. A seller’s success story inspires and motivates other sellers who wish to evolve their business on India’s largest m-commerce platform. These stories help new and aspiring sellers become successful as one gets a chance to learn tips from individuals who have already made it big in the space.
Èxchange is the feature/service in which a customer can replace and order a new item for the received order on the marketplace. Currently, instead of returning a product, customers can exchange their purchased product in the Electronics Category like Mobiles, Laptops and Tablets.
Possible reasons for a buyer to request an Exchange could be receiving a:
- Damaged or defective product
- Incorrect product
Exchanges can be minimized by
- Shipping a functional and quality product
- Careful packaging
Festive discounts is the time when products on the marketplace are sold at a special or lower price during a festival. During this period, products carry some amount of Cashback or a percentage of discount on the listed products. Sales peak during these seasons and sellers tend to earn good profit. Some promotions that sellers make use of are to sell their products are Big Day Sale, Maha Bazaar sales and Diwali Bazaar. Unbelievable deals and discounts are given out across categories. The popular categories are Fashion, Electronics and Large appliances.
Customers look forward to shop items during this period as festive discounts offer:
- Massive discounts or special price on products
- Cashback offers
- Chance to win mobile products like smart phones, flight tickets, movie tickets or even cash prizes
Free shipping is the delivery of an online order where a customer is not charged any fee for the delivery of the package at his doorstep. Currently, a Paytm customer has to pay a small amount as shipping charge for his order on the marketplace.
The rules, principles, regulations that are laid down for carrying out a true sale and purchase on the marketplace, are termed as guidelines. Fair business is possible if both the buyer and the seller sticks and executes daily tasks on the basis of these guidelines.
Guidelines help in
- Fair business and transactions
- Help process huge number of orders without any penalty
- Business expansion
Guidelines are mandatory for genuine and honest online business.
Impact of Consumer Feedback
A customer’s feedback for an online purchase is recorded on the basis of the following:
- Product Description
- Packaging and handling
- Timely delivery
The above mentioned seller cumulative ratings speak about a customer’s feedback for the seller. The higher is the rating, the better is the customer’s feedback. Good consumer feedback leads to
- Customer’s trust
- Customer retention
- Increase in sales
- Better customer satisfaction
- High reputation of the seller
- Motivates seller to expand his/her business
If a customer orders a product and discovers that one or more of its parts are missing, then it is said to be an incomplete order. An incomplete order is also known as a partial product. Some cases of incomplete orders are:
- Missing accessories -For example, Earphones for a mobile phone order
- Missing cufflinks in a combo order that has watch with free necktie and cufflinks
- Missing wristband in a combo of an analogue wrist watch
- Missing container from a set of 12 kitchen jars
- No warranty document
- No user instruction manual when an order is of the Electronics Category
Inventory is the complete list of products and services that a seller has to offer to his customers.
Continuous flow of sales can be achieved by effective Inventory Management. To achieve this:
- Ensure that situations like ‘Out of stock’ and ‘Sold Out’ do not arise and you have sufficient stock to target good sales
- Keeping a check on regular procurement from suppliers
- Advance planning of a promotional activity
Make use of the single SKU and bulk SKU updation features when you have to add new stock to the inventory.
Key Metrics In E-commerce Business & Their Meaning
Quantifiable measures that help track and assess a business process as well as sales with valuable insights are defined as key metrics. These are used to keep a track of business activity and progress across all spheres. Some key metrics are:
- Order value: Is the value of a product that a customer buys at a point of time. To increase order value, upselling, combos or mix and match of product, offerings or add on products/services could be implemented • Customer retention and repetitive customers: Return customers is a positive business outcome and to achieve this, the best of services should be offered against your products
- High conversion rate: Making visitors become customers. This could be achieved by a great catalogue with high-quality images, competitive pricing, easy return policy and timely delivery
- Managing cart abandonment: Reducing or waving off shipping charges can reduce the number of buyers who leave marketplace without making a purchase [checking out product from the cart]
Marketplace Management Tools
While selling online, one could take the help of available multi-channel tools, which help in managing your online presence on different marketplaces effectively. These can help to quickly adapt to the changing pace and dynamic nature of the marketplace ecosystem.
There are several marketplace management tools available that are easily accessible to assist you in your product portfolio online. These tools are inexpensive, cut down repetitive tasks and also offer support to grow a business. Some of the tasks that one can make use of through these tools are- Assistance in printing shipping labels, invoices, competitive pricing, inventory management etc.
Listing products is the process of adding a single or multiple items into an online catalogue for sales.
Products can be listed via the Paytm Seller Panel or the Paytm Seller App.
Following details are required to list a single/bulk product(s):
- Enter the price and the quantity
- Update/add product image
- Update the status button for availability of the item
- Add/Edit product title and attributes like size and colour
- Select the payment mode • Enter details for Return Policy
- In the inventory section, make changes for the available quantity
Paytm Courier Partner Enabled (Earlier LMD)
Paytm Courier Partner Enabled previously known as LMD (Last Mile Delivery) is the logistics service offered by Paytm to its sellers.
In this service, Paytm assigns a courier partner for seller’s shipments and the designated courier partner collects shipments from seller’s pick up centers/warehouses.
Benefits of Paytm Courier Partner Enabled logistics services are:
- Low flat courier charges for PAN India services
- Sell to more customers as the service covers wide network of pin codes
- No worry tracking the shipment as the Paytm System takes care of it
- Timely payouts
Logistic Partners are third parties logistic services or companies that help Paytm and its sellers deliver shipments to destinations.
Paytm has a robust and reliable partnership with a large pool of logistics service providers offering services in the nation. Some of these service providers that help deliver shipments safely to Paytm customers are:
- Blue Dart
- Ecom Express
- EMS Speed Post
- EMS SPEED POSHyn
- Gati_Surface Frcnh
- Red Express
- WOW Express
Unfair practices to promote sales, seller ratings or to get benefits on the marketplace.
This may include:
- Improper use of privilege rights of other users like the logo, product images, news
- Declares misleading and confusing product information
- Selling of fake products
- Multiple seller accounts
- Use of store name or copyrighted powers of other users
In any case above case of a malpractice, Paytm reserves the rights to impose a penalty on the seller.
Managing Drop-ship & Sor Models
Drop-ship is an E-commerce model where a seller takes orders from customers and sends its request to the manufacturer. The manufacturer or the retailer then processes the order, packs it and ships it to the customer. To manage drop-ship, ensure not to oversell products. A customer may end up cancelling an order if there is a delay in logistics at the manufacturer end, which will lead to a bad seller rating on the Paytm Marketplace. You could go for an automation software if you’re flooded with customer orders. Handling orders manually take up time and may delay a shipment.
In SOR model, products are supplied to retailers for selling. If these supplied goods remain unsold then they can be returned to get a refund. The products are refunded on the retail price.
Managing Refunds (COD & Prepaid)
Seller refund is the amount paid back to the seller for a returned purchase.
Cases, when a refund takes place, are:
- If an online product gets damaged while return from the customer, seller gets a refund for the product
- If a customer’s returned product does not reach the seller in 45 days, then the product amount is refunded to the seller
- If a seller receives an empty box from the customer, the case is investigated and the seller is refunded accordingly
Paytm Seller Assurance is a solution to manage returns and refund.
If a customer decides to return or cancel an order then this order is termed as Returns. A return could be an RTO or a DTO.
Packaging issues, partial product, size issue, quality issue, wrong product delivery could lead a customer to return an order. Marketplace returns are classified as:
- Returns After Delivery
- Returns Before Delivery
Some effective ways to manage marketplace returns are:
- Complete and correct product description
- Shipping the genuine and the right product
- Timely shipment
- Adhering to packaging guidelines for safe delivery
- Providing a size chart for Apparel and Footwear category products
- Keeping the stock updated
The production process of goods and merchandise is termed as manufacture. These manufactured goods are later sold by wholesalers and retailers to the end users/customers.
Products and brands are promoted via digital technology and marketing strategies by retailers and wholesalers to reach out to customers for increased sales.
An activity that involves promoting business products or services via various mediums and channels to increase sales, showcasing new products is defined as marketing.
Marketing uses content, videos, pamphlets, graphics across various channels like websites, social mediums, seminars, TV, radio etc. to promote and advertise a business and its offerings. Effective marketing of your E-commerce store promotes and helps drive online sales. This can be achieved by
- Staying active on social media, sharing products on Facebook via the Social Share feature
- Participation in great deals and promotions to increase products visibility
- Paid campaigns across channels (online & offline)
Images give life to the products and are the main factor to boost purchase and conversion rate of products. No customer would buy a product if its image is missing from the product listing on the website. Live model shoots and images let customers relate to the product and enhance product saleability. Model product photo shoot is used across product categories, however, is common for Apparels, Footwear and Accessories. The power of models to showcase a product cannot be ignored and therefore the better the product display, the more it helps to achieve great sales.
A state when a product is in the catalogue but not visible to the customers is called a non-live product.
A customer is not able to make a purchase of a non-live product as it is not visible and hence cannot be added to the cart while shopping on Paytm Mall or Paytm.
A product can be made non-live in below scenarios:
- Out of stock
- Product is in stock but does not meet sales standards
Self-Ship (Earlier Known As Non-LMD)
Marketplace sellers who do not use Paytm logistics service and fulfill logistics related requirements on their own are called Self-Ship sellers. These self-ship sellers can decide and choose to serve the pincodes on their own.
Online Consumer Behaviour (including User Search Behaviour)
The trend that helps to know what consumers want when they shop online from an online seller, what products or services are users looking for and what products are in demand.
A majority of marketplace traffic comes in by the search feature on the website. As a seller, it is important to know what a consumer searches for. Keep a track and stay updated on your consumer’s behavior online, to know what a user is searching to buy for increased visibility and incremental sales. Follow the below tips once you identify any trends or user patterns:
- Target those areas where you find non-ordering customers. Offer discounts or wave-off the shipping price to acquire new customers
- Learn about how much a customer is willing to spend on a single purchase and plan selling price and/or combo offer accordingly
- Offer periodic deals on products customers are searching for
- Know if the shipping cost is a concern to a buyer and adjust the product price accordingly
Online Fraud & Internet Security (including Phishing)
Marketplace theft, stealing off information, misleading buyers, portraying data or details are misleading business practices are termed as an online fraud.
Phishing is another fraud where a fraudster sends an e-mail similar to legitimate-looking email, to get personal and financial transaction details of the recipient. Phishing e-mails are sent from trustworthy websites and ask for sensitive details like password, debit/credit card, OTP or bank account numbers. If these mail links are clicked, the user’s system
- May get malware/virus
- Email account could get hacked. Making use of Internet security features like anti-virus, keeping an eye on phishing emails and carefully clicking on links helps keep a check on all kind of fraud and malpractices on a platform
Online Store Management
Effective store management is important to run your business smoothly and to also give superior customer experience. To manage an online store, all that needs to be taken care is:
- Inventory management
- Order confirmation and safe packaging
- Timely shipping as per SLA
- Timely delivery
- Adding new stock
- Inventory updation
- Managing returns
- Aiming for good seller/store reputation
Following the above leads to an overall smooth and profit giving online store.
The procedure and activities to pack an online order for ship/dispatch to reach its destination securely are termed as packaging. Good and proper packaging protects the item, gives information on the inside product, and makes it easy for logistics to deliver it intact to the customer.
All marketplace categories like Electronics, Apparel, Footwear have their own set of guidelines for packaging an item.
Packaging material consists of strong, waterproof envelopes, bubble wrap, cardboard boxes, BOPP tap and quilt films.
All packaging must be sealed carefully with an invoice aka a packing slip on top of the package.
Packaging plays an utmost important role in an order’s fulfillment. Order fulfillment is the cycle from customer placing an order, order processing on the marketplace, packaging, shipping and handover to the customer. For successful order fulfillment ensure:
- Item is packed per packaging guidelines (each category has specific guidelines)
- Ensure use of cushioning material if the item is delicate and fragile
- Good packaging leaves a good impression on the customer
Packaging guidelines are rules and regulations that need to be followed while packing an order to keep it ready for the shipment.
These guidelines are:
- Packing carefully
- Keeping it lightweight
- Outer box protection
- Using correct size of packing/packaging material
- Using ‘Fragile’ labels and markings for delicate products
- Proper cushioning of delicate and fragile products
- Using Paytm’s branded packaging material
- Ensures damage free delivery
- Provides protection against environmental damages like temperature variation and rain
- Helps create good impression on customer
- A marketplace order that contains an incomplete item is termed as a partial product.
- For example, an order placed for a laptop should have the laptop, battery, AC adapter and a user guide. If any of its components is missing, then the order is termed as a partial product. Such incomplete order will be returned by the customer.
Consequences of shipping a partial product:
- Affects seller ratings
- Results in product returns
- Penalty is imposed
Payment Gateway Commission
An amount or fee paid for the transfer of money via the Paytm payments gateway. Payment gateway (PG) commission is 2.7% of the selling price of the product. This is a deduction in the payout before releasing payments for the sale of products in a certain period.
The final payments made after deductions in commissions and fee for product sales on Paytm or Paytm Mall for a period of time is defined as a payout.
Payouts could be scheduled for specific days and a date wise break-up of payments can be tracked on Seller Panel’s Payment Dashboard.
Penalty is an activity to discipline a seller in order to ensure he does fair business at all times on marketplace.
Following actions are taken in a case when a seller is penalized:
- Seller is made to pay a certain amount as penalty
- Possible delisting from platform
- Suspension for a certain period of time
Various factors define whether the seller has to be penalized or not. Guidelines on penalties are a way to advice sellers to do honest and genuine sales to achieve good stature with complete transparency. Penalties can be avoided by:
- Saying no to fraud and malpractices
- Not selling spurious/fake/duplicate products
- Selling products not more than MRP
- Ensuring delivery within SLA
- Not indulging in self-ordering and bulk purchase
- Making sure not to ship a damaged or a used item
- Dispatching all freebies that come with the product
- Keeping a check and not shipping
- Partial or a damaged product
- Incomplete order / product
- Empty box
- Wrong product or incorrect size of the item
Collection of the shipment that has to be delivered to the customer by a logistic/courier company is called a pick up.
An order should be processed and carefully packed before it is ready for the pick up. Post pick up, ensure to keep a track of the order to help deliver it on time to the customer.
Describing a product to give information about the product is termed as product description. Attributes like Brand, Product, Model ID, Wash Care, Color, Size, Material, Gender, Type, Capacity and Screen Size help convey detailed information about the product.
Product description is a decisive factor for the sale of the product and for making a transaction happen. Product description varies for products across categories. For example, product description for a refrigerator and a backpack will have different attributes. Some of the attributes that remain same while describing a product are Product name, Shipping details and Payment options.
Making use of promotional elements to promote products and services listed on the marketplace. This includes, promotional gifts or items and are given to help position the company in a certain manner but above all, increase sales.
The promotional merchandise has inscribed or printed information related to the company and its activities. This information can be the business name, logo and may bear the advertising partners who have been a part of the promotional campaign.
Selling on Marketplaces
There are boundless advantages when one sells on a Marketplace.
Some of the advantages of selling on a marketplace are:
- Easy setup at no extra cost
- Sales is 24*7
- National and international reach
- More customers
- Work flexibility
- Ratings and customer trust helps expand reach
- Timely payout cycle
Presence of online selling is becoming stronger by the day as more and more people are turning away from the traditional brick and mortar shops to sell online on marketplaces. Marketplace guidelines provide safe and genuine transactions and help in building more trust of customers.
Selling on a marketplace also opens up several selling channels for sellers and a chance to sell to a huge customer base across India.
QC or Quality Check
Process where a product is vetted for selling online. If a new product is added, then it undergoes a QC check for clearance. If it passes the check, it goes live to appear in search results and can be purchased by customers. However, alternatively, if the QC for a newly added product fails, then it is rejected and cannot be sold on the marketplace.
- Quality check is also executed for customer returns.
- All products in RPC centre are shipped post QC.
- At a Return Processing Centre, each item undergoes QC to validate customer complaint.
- All customer returns come to an RPC hub for QC before it is dispatched to the seller.
In the QC process, a customer’s complaint is validated and then sent back to the seller. The product amount paid by the customer is debited from the seller’s account.
If the QC fails, and the item is not found okay, then it is not sent to the seller and no debit is marked to the seller’s account.
Recruiting and Managing Employees
Right skilled employees are an asset to every business and organization and it’s pivotal to recruit the right staff that fits the needs of organization as well as culture. Tips that need to be taken while recruitment are:
- Define the job truly in the job description
- You could advertise about the openings to hire the right candidate
- Shortlist candidates
- Interview and hire them
Once a person is hired, ensure appropriate induction, to explain all work related procedures.
Retaining good staff is as important as hiring the right candidate and for that, it’s important to:
- Provide periodic training that helps and give updates on latest tools, skills and technology for talent building
- Communicate effectively in a friendly way
- Motivate workforce
- Give good incentives for exceptional performances
- Remuneration is key and therefore, pay appropriately to retain good talent
Retail is an activity of selling goods and services to customers via different mediums, for example, using online and offline store to earn profit.
Some channels that help retail function its processes are supply chain, advertising, promotions and marketing.
Retailers with an online presence, or an retail business, or listings on a marketplace have an edge to reach out to a wide group of customers and gain more profit.
Guidelines for return of items by customers is defined as the return policy.
A seller is charged some percentage of amount, if the returned item was actually wrong or a faulty product.
RPC (Return Processing Centers), the physical hubs, are places where return orders are brought for a quality check.
Paytm Seller Panel is the interface that assists a seller to log into his seller account and carry out his/her everyday online business on Paytm and Paytm Mall.
Using the Seller Panel, a seller can
- Add products to online inventory
- Edit products
- Remove products
- View the top product for selected count
- Can check the geographical representation of cancellations
- Can view number of orders cancelled by buyers
- Get details on returned orders and refunds
- Can view orders that breached SLA
- Check payment details
- View out of stock products
- Get support on selling, payment or packaging issues
Expanding your online business requires extensive bandwidth to manage sales, inventory, products and various tasks of selling. Seller services offer tailor-made services for online sellers. These services are offered by reputable and experienced experts and companies that offer their assistance to sellers in their online businesses.
- Seller services‘ providers are professionals who bring their services that help in the easy and convenient management of product listings. Services include but not limited to – catalogue editing and enhancement, photoshoot, VAT/TIN and business service registration, GST migration, packaging and SEO. These benefit sellers for the easy and efficient management of their inventory and optimum selling on Paytm Mall. As you know,
- SEO services increase visibility and enhance sales
- Photoshoot services make images real, resulting in customers adding products to the cart
- Saves seller’s time
- Are reasonably priced
Post seller sign-up, all sellers are given the training to empower them with selling processes and Seller Panel operations. The training lets sellers manage online selling seamlessly and aim to:
- Assist sellers to learn all marketplace policies and processes
- Get them accustomed to operating Seller Panel and Seller App with ease
The training sessions are live and also include demos sessions. A seller can raise issues and ask questions during a training session. Seller training helps:
- Boost sales
- Gives information on promotions on Paytm Mall and Paytm
- Helps clear seller’s queries, if any
- Great source of information for latest updates
Seller Training Centre is a great source of learning the art of selling and tips on running online business. It covers detailed information on cataloguing, returns and also payments and be can access anytime.
Postal Index Number (PIN or Pincode) is an area code system used by India Post and logistics companies to deliver the shipment to the customer easily. All pin codes in India a carry six digit number, which acts as an identifier, For example, Noida sector 5 pincode is 201301. Here,
- The first digit of the pincode denotes the region – North
- The second represents state’s sub-region
- Third digit indicates the district
- The last three digits represent the post office number
Serviceable pincodes are the regions where a marketplace’s online orders can be shipped and delivered to customers.
For example, A customer trying to purchase a product from the Pincode: 793001, Meghalaya, may come across a message ‘’Non-Serviceable Pincode’’. This means the selected item cannot be shipped by a seller to this customer’s selected pincode.
Currently, Paytm’s serves to 39,000 Pincodes across the nation.
All products displayed online bear a certain shipping charge. It is the amount charged to a customer for the delivery of his or her order. Different zones, that is local, zonal, metro & national delivery have different shipping charges and these charges are calculated based on the weight of the product.
Shipping price should never exceed the product price.
For example: If a product is sold for ₹69, then ideal price should be: Product price ₹69 + Shipping Price lower than ₹69.
The seller can enter details for the shipping charges of a product on the Seller Panel from the Catalogue Tab.
As a good practice, a seller must enter true weight of the product. Incorrect weight changes and increasing shipping charge is considered as a malpractice.
Online Store Management
The expertise to handle an online business is an essential ingredient when one sells online. These skills are:
- Creating a business plan for sales
- Effective management of inventory
- Regular addition of new stock
- Promoting products by joining promotions and bazaars
- Sharing products on social medium to expand reach
- Processing orders as per SLA
- Strive for high seller ratings
- Should be well versed with the latest technology
- Follow guidelines to avoid getting penalized
- Indulging in fair business by adhering to marketplace rules and regulations
Refers to the position/condition/whereabouts of a product or a user. A ‘Live’ status means the seller is active on the platform and is selling his/her products, in other words carrying his online business regularly.
Status can be checked for products as well. A product status that is displayed on a platform is termed as ‘Live Product.’
Status can be tracked for payments, a catalogue, shipped items and returns.
The goods, merchandize or the products that a seller lists on the Paytm Marketplace is called ‘stock.’ A product listed on marketplace is termed ‘out of stock’ if it’s not available with the seller. In this case, the product cannot be purchased by a customer.
- As a best practice, an item should have enough stock if it has to be popularized in a special promotion like Sunday Bazaar or any other festive season sale
- Any single product in a stock or inventory can be quickly identified with a unique SKU number
Tagging is a smart way to add products on Paytm Marketplace. It is time-saving feature and helps add products quickly to your catalogue.
For example, if a seller wants to sell the A-B-C model of a mobile phone that is also being sold by some other seller on Paytm Marketplace, then tagging is used at this step to add the same product to the catalogue. The selller just needs to tag this A-B-C mobile phone to the existing product listing on Paytm. This would allow him to sell the tagged product instantly.
Template is the format in which a seller shares his new products for uploading on marketplace with the catalog team. The template contains all the details for the new product that a seller wants to add to his marketplace inventory and lists product details, specifications and images. The catalogue at Paytm team also helps in the upload of new product details from the shared sheet to make it live on Paytm. They also offer paid services in the same regard.
A category’s sub categories will always have different templates which essentially means that in the Electronics Category, a seller sharing new products in gaming, home appliances and laptop will share details in a different template for each of the sub-categories.
If new product details are not shared per template guidelines, then the shared template would be rejected and new products cannot be added to the inventory.
The graphic representation of company services and goods as a crest, emblem or logo is termed as a trademark. Trademark of a company is unique, does not resemble the trademark of any other business and nor can it be copied.
A business trademark helps
- Helps to get recognition by customers
- Increases credibility of goods & services
- Gives unique identity to a business
A business owner has to register his business trademark at the trademark registration office to get it copyrighted. Intellectual Property rights do not allow a copyrighted trademark to be copied and used by any other business.
A seller is a trusted seller if customers believe in his services and products. Such sellers manage phenomenal sales mostly on a daily basis and make good profit, in addition, a great conversion rate. Seller ratings help achieve customers trust in a seller. A seller trust is rated on;
- Product description
- Product packaging & handling
- Timely delivery
Seller ratings are displayed on a seller’s product page and convey seller’s reputation to buyers. Hence it is important to have high ratings for achieving your customer’s as well as potential customer’s trust. A seller must aim to give a genuine and detailed product description, ensure safe packaging and timely delivery to improve ratings and aim for high buyer’s trust in himself.
It’s a marketing activity in which a customer is persuaded to buy upgrades or expensive/add-on products while they’ve bought or are in the process of buying a product. The strategy is aimed to:
- Increase the quantity of the customer’s order
- Make customer upgrade the product with respect to features and pricing
Upselling helps sellers do more business as multiple products are offered to customers.
For example, A customer is browsing for a camera and selects one camera. After the selection, he is presented with more options from many sellers. In this scenario, more expensive and high-end products are pushed to the customer. This is known as upselling.
- Increase sellers marketplace sales
- Gives multiple options, customers get to choose the right product
- Customer satisfaction is achieved, as customers can make selection from a wider variety of products
Variant ( Product)
The same product on the marketplace can be sold in different variations like a different color and different sizes. In these cases, the color and the size are the variants for the product’s SKU and helps seller in unique identification of products.
A product will always have a different and unique SKU for all different variants. Variants help customers make a choice from various options for a product.
For example, Variants for the same women’s kurti are:
- Variant SKU MRP
- Small KurBibaRed1 ₹499
- Medium KurBibaRed2 ₹499
- Large KurBibaRed3 ₹499
An alert or caution message is issued if a user fails to follow and adhere to the rules and regulations of selling on the marketplace.
The seller is notified of any malpractice, fraud or illegal activity by a warning message. This is to ensure the user puts an end to the activities mentioned in the warning message. If the seller does not abide by this and doesn’t rectify the malpractice, a penalty is imposed on him.
Possible reasons for a warning/penalty could be:
- Multiple seller accounts
- Selling of counterfeit products
- High Returns
- Empty box delivery
- Selling of products more than the prescribed MRP
- Selling expiry products
- Used item sold as new
- SLA beach
The document that promises the consumer or customer a replacement for a product if it turns out to be defective or non-functional is called a warranty. Product parts’ replacement or servicing options may be offered as a warranty by a company in some cases.
All products that come with a warranty must be delivered with a warranty document to the customer. On the marketplace, products of only the authorized sellers for a brand are uploaded to make sure only genuine and eligible warranty items are shipped and delivered to customers.
For example, Some products that carry a warranty are Laptops, camera, mobile phones and food processor.
Wholesale is the sale of products or services in bulk by a manufacturer or producer to a wholesaler or a retailer. Wholesalers and retailers then sell the procured merchandise or products to the end consumers via various channels. Product’s price is always lower when goods are sold by a manufacturer to a wholesaler as compared to when sold by a retailer to the customer.
A retailer preferably buys goods from a wholesaler who offers the lowest price for the manufactured goods.
The process of inspecting and verifying documents submitted/uploaded by a seller. Examples include trademark certificate, bank account statements, brand authorization letter, address proof etc. This is to ensure correct and genuine users sign up on the marketplace as sellers.
Verification process is executed for
- Email verification
- Mobile number
- Brand Authorization
- Address Proof
- Physical verification -Identity proof
On-boarding is the process by which new sellers are assisted to register as an online seller on a marketplace. The seller account and a unique Merchant ID [MID] generated at the sign-up process is used to login to the Seller Account and documents are uploaded for verification to kick-start the on-boarding process.
A size chart gives the dimension and measurement details of a product to customers. A size chart helps the buyer pick up the right size of any particular product. It reduces product returns as the correct size product gets shipped to the customer.
Cross-selling is when a complimentary product or service is offered while a customer is buying a certain product. For example, lure a customer to buy a washing machine cover along with a washing machine or a camera case along with a camera.
Capital is the funds required to run any business. A certain amount of working capital is essential at all times and this can be achieved by:
- Steadiness between inflow and outflow of funds
- Timely payment of procured items/inventory on time
- Stock management, good sales and low returns
- Following up for receiving payouts effectively
- Keeping an eye on the inventory, regularly updating it with fresh stock to achieve good sales.
Capital is required to help expand and excel in business activities across all spheres and channels.
Cash on Delivery
COD or Cash on Delivery is the mode of payment that a customer uses to pay for an online purchase. In COD, at the time of the order delivery, the customer pays cash to the delivery, courier person.
Data shows that the chances of returns are higher on the marketplace if an order’s payment option is selected as ‘COD’ by the customer.
The mobile wallet and digitalization are set to change the COD in a big way and reduce return orders and cancellations. This will help in fast payouts for the sellers.
The act of receiving funds or capital to expand and to run business operations is defined as financing.
A marketplace provides a platform to reach out to customers with your product portfolio and also financing options, such as the collateral-free loans to its sellers to empower them to expand their online business. Post financing, capital can be used to:
- Stock more inventory
- Add new products to catalogue
- Manage cash flow gaps
An online order that is processed and shipped to a customer must carry all the required information, like order ID, details of the product, seller details, shipping address and total value of the order. This detailed information is put on a list and is termed as an Invoice.
Any marketplace order cannot be shipped without an Invoice, which should be carefully affixed on top of the box or the package with a transparent tape over it. An invoice ensures timely and correct delivery of an order to its destination.
- Loans refer to the funds or the money that is borrowed for a certain time from a bank or a loan provider. The loan amount is beneficial for expansion of business.
- Paytm Sellers have a quick and easy way to avail short term collateral-free loans from leading partnered financial institutions. This could help to facilitate a seller’s overall marketing growth and assist buying in bulk and selling in more categories to earn good profit.
Payment Dashboard is on the Seller Panel and gives complete details of the payments for a Seller’s Account. It is the most important tab as it gives complete insights on the payment earned at a particular time for a seller.
A seller has a choice to check for the payments for a particular date range (Check payment for a particular date eg: 25th Dec 2016) or orderwise (can look up for a particular order number).
The payment dashboard also lets a seller see the UTR (Unique Transaction Details) for the payments that have been made into his account. This tab helps keep a track of sales made in the marketplace and allows to download payment details.
- Manage payments
- Check for the transactions
- See detailed breakdown
- Download individual settlement
All online payments are processed through a Payment Gateway. Payment Gateway is the service that allows processing of a user’s transaction which is made via an eWallet, debit or a credit card for an online purchase.
When a user proceeds to make a payment, he is directed to the payment page where there are several options to make a payment. If the customer selects net banking as the payment option, he is directed to a new page where the actual transaction happens. This service tool that allows the customer to complete a transaction for online shopping, ticket booking or bill payment on a marketplace is termed as a payment gateway.
The service helps
- Verify each customer’s transaction
- Makes online purchase possible
An action or procedure to pay or receive funds is defined as a payment. For example, a customer makes a payment for the online purchase of tickets of for the bill payments he makes online. In this process, a payment is made via his eWallet, credit or a debt card. An online seller also receives payments for the sale of products on the online platform. These payments are done on a regular basis and can be tracked on the Payments Dashboard present in the Seller App and Seller Panel.
Pending payments are the payments that are due to be paid to a seller by the marketplace. This pending payment for sales in a definite time frame is given to the seller in the next scheduled payout.
Paytm payments currently are made thrice a week, namely on Monday, Wednesday & Friday. Payments are released on the basis of delivered/returned orders. A seller is entitled to an order’s payment seven days after the successful delivery of the order.
In cases where a customer returns the product and the seller has already been paid, then the reverse payment process takes place.
All payments for any period are credited to a seller’s bank account registered while signing up on Paytm Marketplace or Paytm Mall.
Terms & Conditions
Terms & Conditions or T&Cs are the set of rules and regulations to which a seller must adhere in order to use the Paytm marketplace for selling his products. Having a robust T&C list helps give:
- A set of rules that improve customer experience and build the buyers trust in sellers
- T&Cs clearly state what is allowed on the platform and what disputes can be considered on the marketplace
- Terms and Conditions establish rules for selling online
- These are transparent as they protect the seller’s as well as buyer’s interest. They are also a great way to help keep the process of product listing and buying fair and smooth.
eWallet is an electronic wallet that stores money digitally. A user can use this digital money for online and offline shopping, buying a bus, train or movie tickets, paying utility bills and educational fees etc.
Making payments from the Paytm Wallet is easy, convenient safe and fast. An eWallet is a product which requires a password to login and an OTP for transactions.
and can be downloaded from the iOS Store or Google Play Store to start making cashless payments.
Per government rules & regulations all businesses have to pay various types of taxes to keep their online business running. VAT or Value Added Tax is the tax that is imposed on the sale of goods in India. All states have unique VAT regulations and tax rates that are applicable for different types of products, hence the VAT and its exemptions vary from state to state.
- Some basic products do not have VAT on them. For example salt and khadi products
- Daily consumption goods such as tea, coffee and medicines have a VAT of 4-5% in most Indian states
Service tax is the tax collected by the government per the Income Tax Act-1961. This is levied on all Indian online marketplaces for the sale of products.
Example: any delivery charges to a customer is levied with a 15% service tax that is charged in the form of Service Tax. When a product is sold on Paytm, a 15% Service Tax is levied on a seller. This includes 14% service charge, 0.5% Education Cess and 0.5% Krishi Kalyan Cess.
Goods and Services Tax or GST is the indirect tax that is set to roll out on manufacturing, sale and consumption of goods and services. Once applicable, this tax will be applied at the national and the state levels and will replace the indirect taxes that are levied by the Indian Central and State governments on goods and services.
Post implementation, present taxes like the Central Sales Tax, Excise Duty, Luxury Tax Service Tax, Entertainment Tax and VAT will be merged into a single tax in the form of GST.
Interstate Entry Forms
As per state regulations, interstate entry forms are the mandatory documents that are required for a seller’s shipment that has to pass from one state to another.
A scanned signature and stamped pre-filled form and the invoice is downloaded from the Seller Panel and affixed on the product packaging to ensure the shipment does not get stuck at the state’s exit or entry points. Declaration of the forms reduces all chances of:
- Courier partners returns due to insufficient documents
- Hefty penalties by sales tax authorities
Sole proprietorship is the simplest model of business in which the business is owned, supervised and run by only a single person. It is a business where an individual is personally responsible for business profits and debts. The person who owns this type of business is called the sole proprietor. It has the following advantages:
- A single person owns and manages the business
- Minimal investment
- Ease to start and shut down compared to partnership ventures
The sole proprietor needs a VAT/TIN registration to establish a Sole Proprietorship business.
Seller Dashboard is a special feature on the Seller Panel that lets a seller track his overall selling performance on Paytm Marketplace.
It gives insights on the number of orders that need attention like ‘To Ship’, ‘To Acknowledge,’ ‘Seller Ratings‘ etc.
It also gives a quick view on
- Total Sales (in ₹)
- Items sold
- Orders cancelled by seller
- Customer cancellation & returns
- Shipment, SLA breach
The dashboard details can be customized to look up information for a week, month or a certain date for sales, orders or returns.
PAN or Permanent Account Number is the number/code on the PAN card that is utilized to pay Income Tax in India. It also serves as an individual’s identity proof and has details:
- PAN holder (user)
- name Father’s name
- Date of Birth
- Unique alphanumeric PAN number
PAN number is one of the mandatory documents that needs to be submitted in registering oneself as a Paytm Seller.
OTP or One Time Password is the unique one-time identifier generated for logging into a session/service/website or even a transaction.
A Paytm Seller needs to enter an OTP for logging into the Seller Panel to start a new session. This OTP, mostly a combination of numbers, is timed and is sent to a user’s registered mobile. The needs to enter this OTP for logging into an authorized session of the Seller Panel.
Making use of an OTP helps to not allow an unauthorized access to any seller’s account on Paytm.
The fee charged for selling an item on the marketplace is termed as Marketplace Commission. This commission structure is shared with the seller when he/she completes the seller registration formalities and process on Paytm. The marketplace commission and commission rules can also be viewed in the Payments Tab on Paytm’s Seller Panel.
Payment Gateway Commission
The percentage of commission levied on the money that the customer uses to transact for a product on the marketplace is defined as Payment Gateway Commission.
For all marketplace categories, there is a set default commission percentage. A seller selling in a particular category has to pay the default percentage of the commission.
At the time of payout, following measures are taken for releasing the seller payout:
- Product Level
- Merchant + Category + Brand
- Merchant + Category