Ashok Kumar (name changed) from Hisar, Haryana was surprised when his online cash-on-delivery order for a Nokia handset was rejected by BuyThePrice.com.
Being a habitual ‘rejector’ of products after ordering them online, he had been barred by his favourite online electronics store from using the cash-on-delivery (CoD) option.
Bitten by the rising number of ‘rejects’ and non-acceptance of orders by shoppers like Kumar, online retailers are flagging such customers and drawing up a negative list of shoppers.
Industry estimates say there is a 30-50 per cent rate of rejection of orders by customers who opt for cash on delivery. This, in turn, doubles courier charges and adds to storage costs, thus eating into the e-tailers’ margin.
Online shopping habit studies show that customers shopping online change their minds if the purchase is an impulsive one and this will get enhanced if the wait for the product extends beyond two-three days.
At BuyThePrice.com , if the same customer returns the order more than twice, then he or she is barred from using CoD as an option. Such customers can only pay through credit or debit cards, says its founder and CEO, Mr Ranjith Boyanapalli.
In cases where shoppers have consistently refused CoD deliveries, lifestyle retailer Myntra.com does not permit them to make high value transactions (above Rs 10,000) using CoD. The transaction limit goes up when the customer makes successful transactions henceforth, says Mr Ashutosh Lawania, Co-Founder & Head – Sales & Marketing, Myntra.com.
Myntra has flagged around 3,000 people due to bad CoD history. “This is to ensure we have more meaningful transactions and miscreants don’t misuse us,” says Mukesh Bansal, Founder, Myntra.
Fashion retailer Zovi.com draws a negative list of pin codes and email ids based on past behaviour. “Doorstep rejection will automatically put the customer on our negative list,” says Mr Monappa, Head, marketing at Zovi.com . Myntra too verifies the pin-codes of newly registered members wanting to use CoD.
Even for regular customers, retailers use SMS, e-mail and phone calls to double-check if an order is genuine or not.