Cashing in on COD Easier said than done

E-commerce has boomed in the last couple of years. But what’s the situation of Cash on Demand payment?

The idea of buying and selling things online is not new in the context of Nepal; it has been here for quite some time, but not with the same bang as in other countries. The reason are probably problems with the economy and the government’s handling of such industries. However, when the world has adopted online shopping, people here are still struggling to get used to it.

If you think as a buyer, online shopping sites have made life much easier for you. You can sit at home, go through a selection of products, and compare prices and finally ‘just’ order! Sounds good, right? So the question here is if it sounds so simple and good then why doesn’t it work in Nepal? Let’s look at it from the perspective of people running online shops.

Oops! It was a mistake 

There are a few people who place orders to check how the service works. At Kaymu, we thought cash on delivery would be easy. But our take on cash on delivery changed when we started getting fake orders. At the time of delivery, they’d say, “Oops! It was a mistake; I didn’t intend to order the product.”

I just wanna feel…
There are people who want to get a feel of the product before buying it. I wouldn’t blame the buyers on this one, because we have been brought up like this. Remember the time when you would go shopping and you’d feel each product, try it and then after all that hassle, be sure about something.

The no-shows
The availability of pick up points makes COD much easier. However, as there are no pick-up points for buyers to collect their products, cash on delivery becomes a pain for the sellers, especially when the buyer does not show up. The product gets dispatched without being sold.

Sorry, wrong number
We live in a country where every street has a street inside it with no house numbers and labels. So imagine making deliveries to a place X with no street address, and only the buyer’s phone number to rely upon. Also imagine a case when the buyer’s number is unavailable. Not a good situation to be in for sure!

Cash is King
Sellers want cash in hand as and when the products are picked up for delivery. For mediator companies (like Kaymu), the situation gets complicated when we are not sure if the product will be delivered or not. Similarly we need to understand that if we do our own delivery, the cash flow would be better. They need to understand that companies like Kaymu can only help them get businesses and not assured sales.

Who’s gonna stand and deliver?
It’s surprising to see that the valley has so many delivery cum courier services. However, none seem to be interested in cash on delivery. I guess it’s too much of a hassle for them considering the above factors. And they would be better off delivering documents and the like.

If these few constraints were to be resolved, the face of e-commerce could be changed for good. As Albert Einstein once said- “You have to learn the rules of the game. And then you have to play better than anyone else.”

The same applies here; we need to learn from the past and the present if we are to make a difference in the ever evolving state of technology. It’s not just about consumers and sellers right now; there’s more to it like consumer behavior, changing trends and habits, demography, need for infrastructure and much more.

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