Thursday, March 24, 2011

E-Commerce: Beyond COD

I am admittedly a greenhorn in online transactions. I have fewer than 20 succesful transactions and most of these are done face-to-face or thru meetups.

So far I have bought:
a crib
a baby sling
and 6 cellphones

I have also sold:
3 cellphones
2 pairs of brassiere

Of these, only one transaction has very minimal human intervention, on our parts as buyer-seller.

Although I am no stranger to the internet and is an eager browser of online merchandise, I sometimes find it hard to bring myself to click the BUY NOW button. I’m many Pinoys feel the same way I do.

When CEO Bjorn Pardo said that one thing that keeps people from buying online is not having a credit card or the reluctance to use it online.Let me get back to you on this. First, I would like to add a few things why buyers like me have secondthoughts on buying online.

1. Payment Terms – like what Pardo said, most online transactions require a credit card directly or indirectly, and which is not accesible to anyone. Luckily, there are other options available now like electronic money , money order and such. They seem flexible enough but that is only after you’ve enrolled in them or had to present any proof of identification before cashing out your money.

2. Fear of Getting it Wrong – one thrill of shopping that online shopping cannot replicate is the sight, sound and feel of it. I am not talking about being in the thick of all things hot and sweaty, especially during crunch time shopping. I am talking about being able to fit the the clothes your buying. Being able to feel the texture of an item, rotating it 360 degrees so you can see it from every angle, the power to be able to examine the product as thoroughly as you can. Whereas in online shopping, in my case for example, I rely on actual pictures of the item, description, on reviews and most importantly on the honesty of seller I want to transact with.

3. Fear of being Scammed – this is what every shopper is araid of. Even those who do conventional shopping are wary of being ripped-off, paying for products that don’t live up to its, well, price. For online shoppers, the nightmare is being scammed into wiring or transfering your money to someone else’s bank account and then not receiving the product that you purchased.

I understand that both modes of shopping, conventional or online, have innate problems. As for online shopping, I think the biggest factor lies in honesty issues. This is the reason why most Pinoys would opt for COD or Cash on Delivery, that way both seller and buyer’s needs are met. The seller disposes of his wares while the buyer gets what he pays for.

What Pardo said, that Xend would be venturing into COD terms of payment, I think would be very beneficial for the growth of e-commerce. For one it answers a fundamental problem area in online transactions. This is very convenient for both parties and beneficial too. They enjoy the benefit of hassle-free transactions. It would be like doing meet-ups, only you have Xend to do it for you.

So, do you prefer the effort-consuming COD or the hassle-free deliveries via courier?

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