Announcing the move in a newsletter to clients the firm said, “Rupu is proud to announce that for the next couple of days we will offer you cash on delivery as an additional payment option. On selected deals, you will be able to choose cash on delivery and our driver will come straight to your doorstep with your product or service coupon.”
Cash on delivery has its pros and cons, but it comes with a few challenges to the firm. Going back the memory lane India’s e-commerce Web sites such as Flipkart, Rediff and Infibeam introduced cash-on-delivery and other offline payment options and said the method drove half of their sales or between 40 and 60 percent upwards. Offline payments, according to this firms was what drove online commerce, even leading to new business models dubbed browsing centres-points like Kenya’s cyber cafes where buyers buy online but pay cash offline.
Courier teams in danger
COD is great for Kenya but might simply not last as it adds lots of complexities and doubles costs for the firm apart from putting the courier teams in danger. Many of the customers paying in cash are also likely to return the goods- estimates by the Indian firm put it at 30-40 percent. Money is a measure of value and buyers have an attachment to cash than cards or mobile money.
Fear aside, COD is still good as major online payments are serpentine leading to incomplete orders by new buyers as one has to fill in details as if they were doing an examination. The pain of card payments will therefore drive Rupu offline payments and its a solid plan. After all, COD is the driver of China’s eCommerce.
COD needs caution though and buyers have to be careful when providing their physical address and mobile numbers to be in touch with the courier team and just in case the order location looks weird, Rupu reserves the right to enable and disable any COD order.
Founded in 2010, Rupu allows users to buy goods and pay for services at a discounted price for a group of buyers via Mobile money, VISA, MasterCard among others. However, the firm believes testing cash on delivery as an additional payment option will open deals to those prior closed to them.