How to Manage Payments and Logistics During Festive Rush

Sailing through the festive season isn’t always a smooth ride. Especially for eCommerce players.

Here’s why. 

The festive rush is known to bring in higher sales. In fact, eCommerce players are expected to rake in $4.8 billion of GMV in the first week of the festive season of 2021. 

Businesses might have a hard time satisfying a huge number of customers while maintaining payments and logistic efficiency.

Cashfree Payments conducted a webinar with Shyplite to discuss this pain point. 

Pritesh Patil, the Director of Partnerships at Cashfree Payments and Parinay Itkan, the Co-founder of Shyplite discussed how businesses can leverage the festive season to:

1. Scale customer demand and accelerate their e-commerce platform’s growth

2. Increase operational efficiency and cater to increasing demand 

3. Offer a seamless payment and shipping experience to their customers 

Sounds interesting?

Let’s read on. 

Challenges Faced By Businesses During Festive Rush

The festive season brings a lot of uncertainties with it. 

It creates an accelerated demand for seamless payments and logistic experience in the market. 

But what if a business has the right eCommerce payment system and shipping gateway in place? Could it still face these uncertainties?

Turns out, it most certainly can.   

Issues in Handling Large Amounts of Payments

All businesses agree that getting a customer to the checkout page is hard work. 

However, even then, a conversion is not granted. The customer may abandon the cart due to:

  • Lack of payment options
  • Poor checkout experience
  • Too many redirections
  • Payment security concerns
  • System downtimes

Now, system downtimes are sadly, way too common during the festive rush. 

Your payment gateway may not be equipped to handle the high amount of transactions. 

Needless to say, businesses need to find a solution before the massive footfall destabilizes their system. Otherwise, they risk losing prospective customers and sales in the process. 

This brings us to another issue that businesses might face during the festive rush.

Not Satisfying Customer Expectations For Product Delivery

The festive season may be synonymous with “stretched bandwidth” for most SMEs. 

The same may also hold true for their shipping and delivery partners. 

In such a situation, customer experience can take a hit.

For instance: 

  • There may be a mismatch between the product representation and the delivered product
  • Customers may be disappointed if the business does not maintain constant communication on the delivery progress 

Here, it is important to provide a consistent message to customers across all channels. Now, this message could range from marketing communication to delivery methods. 

Businesses failing to deliver this risk losing customer trust. 

Evidently, most businesses wouldn’t be willing to take that chance.

So, how can businesses find a way out of this seemingly no-win situation?

How to Delight Customers During the Festive Rush?

The harsh truth is that there is no magic formula. 

However, these actionable tips might just work like magic when it comes to managing customer expectations during the festive season. 

Proactive Communication

Businesses must be proactive in their communication. If the delivery is taking longer than usual, the customer must be informed beforehand. 

Lockdowns in certain areas may add to the lag in product delivery. Businesses must take this into account while shaping customer communications. 

The benefits of clear communication are twofold. 

  • It builds customer confidence 
  • Increases brand recall due to the positive experience 

Shifting to Digital Payments

India is still considered a ‘cash economy.’ 

However, this can be a major roadblock in the case of reverse logistics. After all, the return of a cash-on-delivery (COD) product can disrupt cash flow for businesses.

Thankfully, the solution to this is readily available.

For starters, market players can focus on shifting to digital payments. Cash on Delivery payments can be converted into digital payments with payment products like payment links

Prepare Well in Advance

One of the best things a business can do before the festive rush is to prepare for it. 

Market players must run hygiene checks on their checkout process, server capabilities, payments systems and so on.

Another important step is to discuss the consequences of the expectant footfall with their business partners

For instance, in this case, the business partner can be a payment gateway like Cashfree Payments. Businesses can discuss issues like faster refunds process and opt for solutions that fit their bill.

Speaking of which…

Streamlining the Refunds Process 

During the festive holidays, the number of orders increases exponentially. Evidently, the number of replacements order also witness a hike. 

This brings in the need to optimize the replacement and refunds process. 

One solution is to offer instant refunds

In the case of COD orders, businesses can opt for payout links for the refunds process. 

Here’s how it works.

  1. Business creates a Payout Link and notifies the customer via email, WhatsApp or SMS.
  2. Customer enters the bank account/VPA in UPI/ Wallet where they prefer the reimbursement.
  3. Customer receives the refund amount

Another option is by encouraging customers to opt for pre-paid orders. This can be done through promotional offers and free deliveries on pre-paid orders. 

Optimizing The Replacement Strategy

However, the refunds process is only one side of the coin. 

In industries like apparel and jewellery, the replacement/refund requests are high. 

While it is always a good idea to partner with shipping gateways, the focus of the business should be to reduce the number of replacement requests

Conclusion: Payments and Logistics Needs To Move Hand in Hand

Above all, market players need to choose the right business partners. Here the scalability of the platform is the highest priority.

Secondly, market players can look for business partners that seamlessly integrate with other tools.

For instance, Cashfree Payments integrates with Shyplite to make the payments and shipping experience a breeze.

This allows e-commerce platforms to:

– Offer a seamless payment and refund experience 

– Choose from 30+ shipping partners to ship the package to 27000+ pin codes at the lowest rates 

– Reduce Return To Origin (RTO) rate and track unsuccessful deliveries 

How to Manage Payments and Logistics During Festive Rush
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