Why Business Owners Should Stop Taking Cash on Delivery

In the age of digital commerce, relying on cash on delivery (COD) can be a risky business strategy. Business owners who continue to use COD expose themselves to unnecessary risks and inefficiencies. Instead, embracing digital payment solutions can streamline operations, secure payments upfront, and enhance customer satisfaction. Here’s why and how you should shift away from COD.

The Risks of Cash on Delivery

Let’s start by addressing the risks.

Sending products without receiving payment first is a gamble that no modern business should take. It increases the risk of non-payment and fraud, puts a strain on cash flow, and can lead to wasted resources, especially if dealing with customized products. Moreover, it forces businesses to bear the brunt of delivery logistics without any assurance of payment. Over the past couple of weeks, we have seen many business owners taking to Social Media to rant online about customers and why they do not offer Cash on Delivery, then going into their situations with customers.

On the flip side, there are many customers who talk about not trusting businesses to deliver their goods and that’s why they prefer Cash on Delivery. To me, this is probably the silliest point of view because why are you doing business with anybody who you don’t trust?

I won’t support any business that seems shady and if I feel like you wouldn’t deliver my product after I have paid for it, I think I would probably have other issues with your business and therefore you should only conduct business with organizations I trust.

We shop online on Amazon, Walmart, eBay, etc and pay ahead of time because of trust, so local businesses need to do better at building trust if they want more people to pay ahead of time.

Digital Payment Solutions: Secure and Efficient

Businesses can utilize several digital payment platforms allowing customers to pay before products are dispatched. Services like Fygaro offer packages where businesses can send payment buttons via social media or email. Customers click on these links and complete their purchases securely online. Similarly, banking solutions such as Scotiabank eCommerce Plus, Republic Bank ePay and FCB Easy Biz offer comparable features, enabling businesses to send out payment links effectively. You can even have your website built using any of the above services and it will be e-commerce ready.

Digital payment solutions are not just limited to businesses with websites; they can be easily implemented via social media or email. Platforms like WiPay allow business owners to create digital invoices, choose the currency, and decide who bears the transaction fees. This flexibility ensures that businesses can cater to diverse customer needs while maintaining control over their payment processes. You can also check out First Atlantic Commerce to see all of the platforms they integrate with to allow you to take payments online.

Leveraging Courier Services for Enhanced Delivery

Incorporating reliable courier services can further streamline the delivery process. Companies like CSF Couriers, Sped TT and O-Deliver take charge of collecting and delivering packages. As a business, you can pass the delivery fee to the customer, who would gladly be willing to pay the fee for the convenience or you can designate a free location for pickup. This setup not only optimizes delivery operations but also ensures that businesses do not incur additional expenses. These companies allow you to schedule deliveries through their online portals, integrate into your website for seamless collection of delivery fees but also give customers the ability to track their orders.

Accepting Cash Payments Ahead of Delivery

Let’s say you have clients who prefer to pay you with cash instead of using the digital solutions that we have outlined above.

You have 2 options that you can use:

  1. Bank Deposits or Online Bank Transfers – I would recommend setting up Zoho Invoice, so that you can track all of your sales. When you are sending out your invoices, ensure that you have your banking information in the footer of the invoice, so that people can walk into the bank to make their payments or they can pay you via online bank transfers.
  2. PayWise – PayWise expands this functionality by allowing cash payments at designated agents nationwide, which are then transferred to the business’s bank account.

Digital Marketplaces

Food Drop – Over the last year, Food Drop has been expanding to allow more businesses beyond food establishments onto their platform. If you are a business owner, this is one of the best marketplaces that you could be a part of, as it is one of the most used applications in Trinidad and Tobago.

They will handle the payments, schedule drivers for pickups/deliveries of your goods and they offer one of the smoothest customer experiences in the country. It is definitely worthwhile to get on the app as it allows you immediate access for your business to be digital, accepts digital payments and gives you access to delivery.

This option also collects payments upfront but gives you access to real-time delivery.

Building Trust With Your Clients

Addressing trust issues between customers and business owners in digital transactions is crucial for building a sustainable online marketplace. Skepticism usually arises from fears of non-delivery of goods and doubts about the reliability of new businesses. Overcoming these challenges requires business owners to foster a trustworthy brand and reassure customers through transparent and customer-centric practices.

Here are four tips for building trust with your customers:

  1. Leverage Social Proof: Encourage satisfied customers to leave positive reviews and testimonials. Display these prominently on your social media pages, websites, and even in your digital invoices. Use case studies or success stories to highlight your reliability and the quality of your products.
  2. Provide Clear Communication: Keep your customers informed throughout the purchase process. Send updates about order confirmation, expected delivery dates, and any delays or issues. Transparency in communication reassures customers about your reliability and responsiveness. The Delivery companies we mentioned in the article, all send out updates and links to customers to track their purchases.
  3. Offer Secure Payment Options: Use well-known and secure digital payment platforms. Ensure that your website and payment processes comply with the latest security standards like SSL certificates. Prominently display security badges and certifications on your payment pages to assure customers of the safety of their transactions. Display the logos of your payment processors, so that people can also check them out as well.
  4. Implement a Robust Return Policy: Provide a clear and fair return policy. This shows that you stand behind your products and are willing to address any issues post-purchase. Make the process of returns and refunds as simple and hassle-free as possible to build trust and encourage repeat business.
  5. Media Features: Get featured in media, the public tends to trust businesses more that have been featured on notable platforms or in the media, than businesses they have never heard of. This is why the “As seen on” sections of your website, go a great distance in building trust.
  6. Engage Through Consistent Content Creation: Regularly create and share high-quality content that is relevant to your audience. This can include blog posts, videos, tutorials, and live sessions that provide value and establish your expertise in your field. Consistent content creation helps build a connection with your audience, demonstrating your industry knowledge and commitment to serving your customers. By providing useful information and solving common problems through your content, you establish trust and credibility, making customers more comfortable purchasing from you.

Raising Business Standards

The move to pre-payment systems is about more than just efficiency; it’s about setting higher standards and teaching customers how to engage with your business. Implementing such systems shows professionalism and commitment to quality service, potentially weeding out non-serious customers and reducing the headache of follow-ups and disputes. If you have a brick-and-mortar store, you can still accept cash in your store but this article is for those specifically engaging in Cash on Delivery.

By setting up these systems, businesses can accommodate traditional payment preferences while securing funds in advance. This approach not only mitigates risks but also respects customer habits without compromising business integrity.

Transitioning from Cash-On Delivery to advanced payment methods is crucial for modern businesses aiming to thrive in a competitive marketplace. By adopting digital payment solutions and integrating efficient courier services, businesses can enhance their operational efficiency, secure payments upfront, and set a standard of professionalism that attracts serious customers.

While this shift may initially seem daunting, the long-term benefits of stability, security, and customer satisfaction far outweigh the temporary challenges of adjustment. If you are a customer and don’t trust a business to deliver your goods with pre-payment, your solution is simple…Only do business with those you trust!

We should no longer see business owners coming online and airing their grievances about trying to meet up with customers and they don’t show up or courier companies chasing customers to deliver products and the products themselves were not paid for as yet, tying up your inventory.

If you feel like your business would not survive this transition because your customers wouldn’t pay you ahead of time, you need to 1) Get better customers, 2) Evaluate your business and understand why the public doesn’t trust you enough to pay ahead of time.

We do it for Amazon, Walmart and everywhere else without any fuss!

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