Listing Guidelines & Sorting Order Policy

Version 0.3

Effective Date- 25 Sept, 2023

This version supersedes the earlier draft with changes as inline with ONDC Network Policies support.

Full version is published herewith for reference and version control for future modifications.


Version History

Version History




20th Sept, 2023

  1. Updated Temporary Hold criteria under LIsting & Cataloging (Quality of Product Image is missing/ Poor/Pixelated/Not Clear)


31st July, 2023

  1. Revised Conditions for Temporary & permanent hold of catalog
  2. Updated Threshold values against Listing guidelines stating applicability
  3. Defined sort order sequence for parameters for various categories live on the ONDC network
  4. Indicated exclusions & Minimum threshold criteria for each category


28th June, 2023

Initial Version

I. Contents
  1. Basic Guidelines & Best Practices for Sellers to list their products on Paytm via ONDC
  2. Network Health Monitoring & Routine Performance Checks
  3. Sorting Order for Sellers & Products
  4. Frequently Asked Questions

1. Basic Guidelines & Best Practices for Sellers to list their products on Paytm via ONDC


These guidelines are applicable across all categories, including but not limited to- Food & Beverages, Grocery, Home & Kitchen, Pharmacy, Electronics, Fashion and Beauty & Personal Care. These rules may be extended to other categories depending on the category dynamics as they get launched on the network. Below are some General Guidelines & Best Practices expected to be followed by Seller Network partners:

  1. Follow general guidelines & policies defined by ONDC for listing of products
  2. Be active on the most recent API contract version as specified by ONDC
  3. Have necessary and scalable tech infrastructure in place for Cataloging, Order Acceptance & fulfillment, Logistics Assignment (on Network or Off network), Customer Support etc. to be able to cater to current and future scale of orders
  4. Ensure that all listed products have been mapped to correct categories with clear images through which a product is clearly visible and all mandatory criteria as defined in the API contract. Recommended size for images is 500x500 pixels for appropriate visibility on display screens however lower image sizes may also be accepted as long as product and relevant information is clearly visible. 
  5. Tech integration with the ONDC network & API certification by ONDC either directly or through a certified Seller Network Partner
  6. Have inventory, Pricing & other required details pertaining to products & listings updated through the API Response
  7. Set up Store operational timings & holiday information configured through API response
  8. Maintain Operational performance standards - Pricing, Logistics, Customer Support & Catalog Update in line with Market practices

Once you fulfill the above criteria, your catalog qualifies the basic requirements for listings on the Paytm-ONDC Store and you may get in touch with your respective Seller App representative to list your products on Paytm

2. Network Health Monitoring & Routine Performance Checks

To maintain network health & ensuring that Seller Apps & Sellers are constantly delivering remarkable standards of service, Paytm routinely reviews seller performance and takes necessary actions. The factors taken into considerations for reviewing the performance are - Catalog Quality, API performance, Customer Service standards & Operational performance. Based on the above criteria, Paytm Buyer App may take certain actions to ensure a good experience for the Buyers. 

The Actions may include:

  1. Temporary block on a sellers catalog
    1. With cooling off period - the seller may be temporarily be shown as unavailable for order or de-listed for a specified period of time 
    2. With need for rectification from Seller/ Seller App for unblocking. Once the issue highlighted has been rectified, the Seller App will send a confirmation on the same along with the corrective actions taken to ensure that such issues do not recur and request Paytm for a re-evaluation. 
  2. Blacklisting/ Permanent Block 

Below table highlights the nature of issues which warrant an action from Paytm. Sellers can take necessary corrective steps to request for re-evaluation or wait for automatic reactivation after a cooling off period. The Redressal mechanism depends on the nature & gravity of default.

Please note that the release of any temporary or permanent block will be at the sole discretion of Paytm. Given the early stage of the network the thresholds of the parameters may change dynamically and therefore, are not predefined. 





Issue Bucket

Issue Type

Temporary Hold

Permanent Hold

Details & Redressal Mechanism

Thresholds for Temporary or Permanent Hold

Listings & Catalog

Quality of Product Image is missing/ Poor/Pixelated/Not Clear


Re-evaluation only upon request of Seller Apps

> 50% catalog with brand/Seller NP Logo or Stock images that are not representative of the SKU

Incorrect and/or Non-availability of Statutory fields - FSSAI, Country of Origin, BIS etc.


Re-evaluation only upon request of Seller Apps

Catalog Rejection on Search 

Abusive, Objectionable, Indecent images or content on the Product pages


No Redressal

Any product with Abusive, Objectionable, Indecent images or Content may lead to product or Seller being put on Hold

Incorrect Category mapping or Category Taxonomy (L1,L2) as mandated in the API Contract


Re-evaluation only upon request of Seller Apps

Any product with incorrect taxonomy mapping may lead to product or Seller being put on Hold.

The minimum criteria for taxonomy availability may extend to (Level 3, Level 4) as per the supported ONDC Network contract version and may be extended to clause without prior notice 

Listing of Dangerous Goods, Banned & Harmful products


No Redressal

Any listings of Dangerous Goods, Banner & Harmful products  mapping may lead to product or Seller being put on Hold


Failure to upgrade to the latest contract version by ONDC


Re-evaluation only upon request of Seller Apps

Catalog to be rejected if not on supported Contract version

Failure to implement Protocols or Tech advisories Issued by ONDC


Re-evaluation only upon request of Seller Apps

Catalog to be rejected if not on supported Contract version

Adherence to correct order states & info sharing via API Responses


Re-evaluation only upon request of Seller Apps

Covered in API clause below

High API failures or NACKs on API calls


Cooling off period/ re-evaluation only upon request of Seller Apps

> 6% Failures or Nack on Select Calls>2.5% Failures or Nack on Init Calls>1% Failures or Nack on Confirm Calls

Operational- Fulfillment, Customer Support

Poor fulfillment rate of Orders


Cooling off period/ re-evaluation only upon request of Seller Apps

< 80% fulfillment Rate

Poor On-time Delivery (OTD) Metrics


Cooling off period/ re-evaluation only upon request of Seller Apps

< 50% OTD of orders

Contact Ratio (Total Escalations/No of orders received by the merchant)


Evaluation Based on both Cumulative and Recent Performance. Permanent Hold till seller completes RCA & shares with Paytm

> 50 % Contact Rate

High count of Response Time Breach cases for Escalations


Evaluation Based on both Cumulative and Recent Performance. Permanent Hold till seller completes RCA & shares with Paytm

To be implemented in future

Poor Customer Ratings & NPS


Evaluation Based on both Cumulative and Recent Performance. Permanent Hold till seller completes RCA & shares with Paytm

To be enforced once Customer Rating & NPS starts getting tracked.

To be implemented in future

Pricing, Commercial & Payout Issues

Repeated cases of incorrect Pricing  and/or MRP Breach 



Evaluation Based on both Cumulative and Recent Performance. Permanent Hold till seller completes RCA & shares with Paytm

Adherence to be checked upon any customer escalations and/or category observations.

Breached to be notified to seller APPs ; Hold to be enforced upon 5 cumulated cases of MRP breach cases.



  1. Minimum threshold for orders for enforcing temporary or permanent hold on sellers is 10 orders across all categories
  2. For any action initiated on Customer Support tickets; Minimum threshold would be 10 Tickets
  3. Certain conditions may apply specifically to seller and/or seller Apps. These conditions are updated against relevant sections in the document
  4. Certain relaxations may be given to Large merchants and merchants sponsored by Govt bodies and agencies. These relaxations may be given for a stipulated period of time and applicable on a case to case basis.

3. Sorting Order for Sellers & Products

Paytm follows an objective criteria to create a sort logic on the default category landing pages basis customers’ expectations, needs & requests. These inputs are derived on the basis of:

  1. Industry Experience
  2. Customer Search Keywords
  3. API Feedback
  4. Natural Selection

The parameters defined for each category may differ as per nuances of each category and are defined below:


Sorting Order Rank


S No.


Key Metrics

Food & Beverage


Other Categories



Relevance of Search Results

Key Word or Specific Restaurant Search




- This factor is applicable only in case customer searches a particular product
- For navigation based journey, all merchants are assigned the same score


Serviceability radius set via API

Absolute Serviceable Radius




Merchants within a given radius to be given the same score; Time to Ship to be incorporated as tie-breaker in future API contract versions


API Response Errors, Timeouts & NACKs

Select/Confirm/Init Failure %






On time delivery %

OTD% for preceding Month




Sorting Boost/Deboost or Temporary hold are considered over a minimum threshold of orders


Density of Serviceable Locations- Stores with Multiple delivery points

Coverage by Active pin codes




This factor is not considered for categories where national shipping is expected


Quality of Catalog available- Images, Content, Attributes etc

% Poor Quality (Dummy) Images, Attribute Fill Rate




Catalog is expected to be good quality and conforming to ONDC Protocol specifications 


Density of Catalog within given L1/L2s

Count of SKUs




Merchants are expected to list all product variants for customers to exercise the right to choice

These metrics are reviewed at the end of each calendar month for all sellers and the score is assigned for the subsequent month. It is expected that these metrics will become a part of a machine learning model in the near future and scoring will happen via algorithms on trailing 30 day performance i.e Scoring to be revised automatically each day basis seller’s performance history

Sellers are advised to track performance metrics against each parameter carefully and boost their chance of featuring on top of the ranking algorithm.


  1. For any seller listed across categories, 10 (Ten) orders is considered as a minimum threshold for qualification under the Sorting order policy. Till the minimum threshold, sellers are assigned a Default score on ‘On time Delivery %’ metrics. 
  2. For any new Seller NPs onboarded or the Overall order volume is  < 10 orders, the algorithm assigns an average value to the seller NP and is passed on to all Sellers operating through the respective seller NP on Operational parameters.
  3. Paytm accepts and acknowledges that the network is ever evolving with new use cases being tested and implemented by both Buyer and Seller Apps. Therefore, there may be overrides to the policy under below conditions:

S No.




Customer’s Previous Order History

Any Items previously ordered by a customer may be displayed in a separate section with specific callout


Store Operational Times- Open Stores are displayed on top

Stores outside of operational timings are not displayed in the regular sort order


Sponsored Advertisements through Merchants

Any Merchant subscribing to the Sponsored Advertisement program may be boosted outside of the Sorting logic. There will be a separate callout to identify Sponsored merchants within the sorting order


Special Deals offered by Merchant

In the interest of Consumers, merchants sponsoring or providing any special deals may be boosted on the sorting order. Such stores may be identified through a special flag on the Merchant listing


Large Merchants and/or Merchants which are sponsored by Govt agencies

In the interest of consumers or the ONDC network initiative, certain strategic merchants may be boosted on the sorting order. However, this boost would be for a specified period or till the time they achieve threshold orders (Whichever is earlier)


4. Frequently Asked Questions


Q- I have completed the certification process but My store is not visible on Paytm?

A- There may be a few reasons why a store may not be visible on Paytm

  • If you are a new seller- You may want to check the catalog for mandatory attributes on the catalog. If the products do not have mandatory attributes such as Minimum number of images, FSSAI details etc. the catalog will not be displayed on the front end. A store without any items is not displayed 
  • If you are an existing seller- You may want to review your order API response log or fulfillment history. Check if adverse spike in API Errors or Fulfillment metrics or OTD performance has led to a temporary or permanent hold on the catalog.

 In case of an auto review, the catalog would be made live after a cooling off period while in other cases, you may need to reach out to the respective Paytm SPOC to submit the corrective actions taken in order for the catalog to be enabled again.


Q- My Stores are not showing on the top on the default category page?

A- The sorting order is a combination of several factors as described in the Sorting order parameters. You may want to check the Key Metrics as described to find out reasons for ascribing a lower score on the sort order page. Improvement in Key Metrics will automatically boost seller’s position in the periodic review cycle


Q- My Catalog was put under Temporary Hold, what should I do to get my listings back?

A- Poor Quality catalog is a key reason for listings to be taken down. The detailed reasons are available in the catalog guidelines. You may evaluate and improve the quality of your listings by providing high pixel images, Upload content with mandatory & optional parameters (wherever possible) to create the best display possible for the customers.

Once these changes are available on the network, Please reach out to your Paytm SPOC for review and subsequent removal of Hold on the catalog.


Q- I had issues with the supply chain due to which I had several customer complaints post-delivery, I have taken corrective steps to ensure this does not happen again. How do I get my listings back up again?

A- Customer Experience is of utmost importance & we will enforce stringent actions on sellers who display a poor track record in our periodic reviews. Sellers may connect with the Paytm SPOC to provide a detailed RCA of issues leading to complaints along with corrective actions. Repeated issues may lead to blacklisting of the sellers.

Any decision taken by Paytm with regards to blocking or unblocking of catalog will be final and binding on sellers.


Q- My store does not show up on the ‘Popularity’ feature on the Paytm app even when a customer is trying to place an order for a nearby location?

A- We have defined popularity as a measure of your store or Brands coverage of pin codes within a given city. Example- If you are an outlet with a single store located in Pin Code 110001 and you only service 1 pin code, you will have a lower attributed score compared to a seller serving 5 pin codes. Therefore, a geographical coverage over multiple pin codes or Multi warehouse setup under a single brand name is a good way to feature on top in the ‘sort by popular’ segment.





Cashback would be added as Paytm Cash, which is One97 Communications Ltd loyalty program. It can be used to pay for goods & services sold by merchants that accept ‘Pay with Paytm’
SellerBecome a Seller
WalletPayment Services
From Electronics, Fashion to Cars: Buy Everything Online from the Convenience of Your Home from Paytm Mall
Car & bike
Super Market
Women's Fashion
Men's Fashion
Home & Kitchen
Baby, Kids & Toys
Car & Bike Accessories
Sports & Fitness