However, the pandemic has transformed the way the sector operates with changes such as contactless deliveries becoming a mandate and with it, more users shifted to ordering on ecommerce portals on prepaid mode during the lockdown phase.
While the eCommerce industry has adopted these on a large scale, India has always largely been a cash-based economy, and as vaccinations are starting to be administered to the masses whilst implementing safety measures, the Cash on Delivery (COD) mode of payment is making a comeback. When considering payments, although a significant percentage of the population has adopted digital payments, India is a predominantly cash-based economy. This means that for ecommerce websites & marketplaces, the Cash on Delivery (COD) mode of payment remains a key area of focus.
Despite digital payments such as UPI, card payments, and mobile wallets gaining traction, studies reveal that COD still happens to hold one of the highest percentages of the total payment methods in developing markets. However, while COD appears to be a convenient process for customers and seamless from the business end, it comes with its share of challenges. A comprehensive, robust mechanism needs to be devised for frictionless COD payments since COD payments come with inherent issues such as a higher probability of Order rejections at the time of delivery leading to higher sales returns. This directly impacts revenue realizations, inventory planning etc, all of which ultimately impacts the bottom line of the company. On that note, here are five effective ways to optimize the COD order delivery process in the eCommerce logistics industry.
Analyzing customer history
Good and bad customers are a part of every business. Some may be punctual with completing their cash transactions for the orders while some may drag the process with delays. To optimize the COD process, it would be best for logistics players to drive customer behavior analytics based on their history of orders and rejection. This can then be used to create internal flags, hence filtering out the customers who are serious about their purchases accordingly at the time of order taking, eventually allowing the COD process to become more efficient.
Customer contact and address verification
A substantial amount of customer acquisition in eCommerce comes through various social media channels. These customers are generally from Tier 3 & 4 cities and mostly order on Cash on Delivery format as majority of them are making their online purchase for the first time. Guiding the customer to write proper addresses with house/ward Nos, nearby landmarks while booking the orders plays a very important role. Most of the large ecommerce stores and websites also have address validation software which they use to identify noisy addresses and run an address re-verification process before shipping those orders.
Rechecking a customer’s address and contact number can go a long way in enabling a smoother delivery experience for a COD order. Key steps such as re-validating a customer’s contact number through OTP, running an address check basis the content of an address and validating the pin code basis Google Maps APIs to flag redundant/bad addresses will ensure that the last mile delivery happens without any hiccups.
Sending updates to customers in case of delays
From the customer standpoint, no one likes their orders to be delayed. But in times such as the ongoing pandemic, unexpected delays are bound to happen. Logistics players can have deep integration with the carrier’s…