Cash-on-delivery or COD is considered to be a bad practice in Indian E-commerce. But it is a great strategy for startups to build trust with customers who are still not familiar and comfortable with shopping online and making online payment. 60 per cent of overall e-commerce is purchased via COD. It is the most preferred mode of payment among customers.
But surprisingly India’s second largest e-commerce portal IRCTC hasn’t made this option available for the past decade. It’s only recently that it introduced the cash-on-delivery facility powered by Noida-based startup BookMyTrain.
The main agenda behind coming up with BookMyTrain was to enable people to buy railway tickets without having to disclose their credit and debit card details. People who have access to the internet too are still not for online payment simply because they are not comfortable with sharing their cards online or they don’t have access to net-banking.
How does BookMyTrain app functions?
Once you are on the app or website, click on the ‘Buy a Ticket’ tab to book your journey. Select the desired source, destination, quota and journey date. Accept the terms of booking, and mention your delivery address. Finally, confirm your booking by providing your registered email/IRCTC’s username. Apart from choosing the COD option, a customer can check his/her booking history, apply for refund or file a TDR.”The COD facility offered only by us on train tickets was in the larger interest of the common man, who either had to spend time, energy and money at reservation counters, or was harassed by travel agents and touts,” says Anurag Bajpai, co-founder of BookMyTrain. IRCTC now is also working towards making train journey more easy and comfortable.
Anurag has had previous experience in logistics and distribution from his work with First Flight Couriers for more than 17 years.
Operational since February 2015, BookMyTrain has received a great welcoming response so far. “We have over 75,000 registered users, and amassed more than 50,000 app downloads within 100 days,” states Anurag.
The platform closes 4,000 transactions on a monthly basis, 70 per cent of which are COD. The average ticket amount is Rs 1,500-1,800, and maximum numbers of tickets are booked from Delhi/NCR, followed by Maharashtra and Karnataka.
The company has partnered with a delivery service provider for pan-Indian ticket delivery.
BookMyTrain has plans to extend upto 750 cities and towns in the next couple of weeks. If IRCTC allows them to sell tickets in the 8:00 am to 12:00 pm window as well, then they will be able to serve a larger mass.
E-tailers like Amazon got the opportunity to power IRCTC’s online retail arm, while paytm joined hands to offer its wallet for online ticket booking. The portal did an alliance with mydala as well.