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Paytm Mall To Beat Competitors With 4-hour Delivery Plan; Pilots In New Delhi

Sep 3, 2018 by Avanish Tiwary
Paytm Mall To Beat Competitors With 4-hour Delivery Plan; Pilots In New Delhi

Alibaba-backed Paytm has partnered with last-mile delivery startup Shadowfax to ensure a record four-hour delivery while the industry average is 2-3 days. The pilot that is operational only in New Delhi is limited to products that are sold by Delhi sellers.

Currently, players in the grocery business in India take anywhere between 90 minutes to two hours to deliver supplies. But this is the first time an e-commerce company is planning to deliver its orders in four-hours.

Paytm’s delivery partner Shadowfax that recently raised USD 22 million, claims to have fulfilled around 1,000 such deliveries every day. Since this is a pilot program, Paytm is not informing shoppers of its new initiative. The estimated time of delivery on Paytm Mall while ordering products ranging from apparels, phones to refrigerators, is anywhere between 2-8 days.

“A couple of years ago, 3-4 days of delivery in e-commerce was acceptable. Currently, if an online platform is able to deliver in 1-3 days it is considered very good. But with Paytm we have been able to prove we can do even better,” said Vaibhav Khandelwal, co-founder, Shadowfax.

The closest answer to Paytm’s four-hour delivery in the e-commerce space is the one-day delivery fulfilled by Amazon India in 19 cities. It charges a flat Rs.99 for one-day delivery to the non-Prime customers while keeping it a free service for Prime subscribers. Paytm doesn’t charge a flat fee for delivery, but if the order value is less than Rs.1,000 a delivery fee ranging from Rs.30-65 is charged.

Earlier in an interview to ET Retail, Akhil Saxena, vice-president of customer fulfilment at Amazon India had said, “Amazon India pioneered the concept of premium guaranteed deliveries with the launch of one-day delivery within 6 months of its launch in India. Today we have services like the two-day, one day, same day, release day, midnight, Sunday delivery (in 200 cities) and now morning delivery (in Bangalore, Mumbai, Delhi-NCR and Hyderabad).”

To be sure, the same-day and next-day deliveries are applicable to products that are delivered by Amazon’s in-house delivery team. Saxena claimed that 70% of its in-house product demand is eligible for next-day shipping. “Over 1.4 million products are available for next day delivery which is by far the highest in the e-commerce industry,” he said.

Shadowfax is also in talks with Flipkart’s fashion arm Myntra to launch four-hour delivery.

“We are projecting it as a plug and play, Amazon Prime-like model. Any company can just integrate with our API and enable Prime-like services on their platform. It is even better than Prime as we are delivering the order within four-hours,” Khandelwal said. According to Paytm Mall’s website, it has partnerships with at least 16 logistics companies including Delhivery, Blue Dart, Shadowfax, Ecom Express, etc. Shadowfax said its serviceability is based on the number of delivery people available and the distance from the source to the destination.

“Since we calculate density parameters such as distance and availability of delivery persons, we are able to give e-commerce companies an accurate time within which we will be able to deliver this particular product,” Khandelwal said. He claims, he has received good response from the Paytm as well as the Alibaba team on their handling of the four-hours delivery pilot.

However, to take this initiative to all its customers and not just limit it to New Delhi, Khandelwal believes, Paytm Mall will have to make a few product changes. Shadowfax wants Paytm to enable location details of its customers on its platform, which it says will increase the accuracy of the express delivery of four-hours more accurate.

“Paytm doesn’t capture the latitude and longitude of its customers. But when you are working in such a high-paced density you need that location infrastructure; you should be able to define those geo-spatial details,” Khandelwal said.

Paytm said it did not wish to comment on this story.

Avanish Tiwary

Avanish Tiwary is a Bangalore-based tech journalist. He focuses on emerging Indian startups and unicorns. He can be reached at avanish.tiwary@thepassage.cc.

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