To keep up with its rivals, especially during the festive season, Pepperfry has restored the option of cash-on-delivery (COD) with a limit of Rs 50,000.
Pepperfry chief product officer Abhimanyu Lal told FE that the feedback received from customers at its offline stores showed that customers wanted to pay by cash.
The furniture e-retailer had done away with this option on the site after demonetisation in November 2016, citing inconvenience to customers. The limit allowed at the time was Rs 5,000.
Among other players, Flipkart allows cash payments of `50,000, while Urban Ladder allows cash payments of up to Rs 25,000.
Lal said since Rs 50,000 is the limit where additional KYC requirements get triggered, the company has fixed the cut-off at that level. “The maximum cart limit for a customer is Rs 49,999,” he said.
Online shoppers in India prefer the cash option, say industry watchers, as they are not always confident about the quality of the product and many are not comfortable with paying online either. Though e-commerce companies prefer online payments, they are compelled to offer the cash option to be able to compete in the marketplace and retain share.
Satish Meena, senior forecast analyst at Forrester Research, said logistics costs are high in the online furniture segment and since around 10% of orders are cancelled, most companies don’t allow cash payments for big-ticket items. “Speaking of Pepperfry, it is difficult for customers to buy furniture without looking at the product physically, so this move could be to push customers to order more,” he said. Ahead of the festive season, it is possible more retailers will offer the cash payment option, at least in the bigger cities where volumes are large.
By- Aniruddha Ghosh