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Nearly 1/3rd of cash orders not delivered

​​Narvar’s CTO Ram Ravichandran said that several ecommerce companies in India are piloting projects using machine learning and AI that may enable them to cut losses by several means, including not offering COD to certain shoppers based on their s...

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Nov 11, 2019, 10.15 AM IST
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The Flipkart Group, along with other e-tailers, are experimenting with quite a few initiatives to help them reduce losses from returned items.
(This story originally appeared in on Nov 11, 2019)
NEW DELHI: Around a third of all cash-on-delivery (COD) orders from e-commerce sites in India are not delivered, adding to cost for e-tailers, revealed data from Narvar, a San Francisco-headquartered company that partners with major global retailers to automate deliveries.

Despite India’s digital boom, COD orders currently account for 65% of all orders from online marketplaces in India. “Depending on the size of the parcel, a single return could cost the e-tailer Rs 50-150,” said Pushkar Singh, founder & CEO of last-mile delivery logistics company LetsTransport.

Narvar’s chief technology officer (CTO) Ram Ravichandran, who also served as Twitter’s first data scientist, told TOI that several ecommerce companies in India are piloting projects using machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) that may enable them to cut losses by several means, including not offering COD to certain shoppers based on their shopping behaviour.

“Being a very high COD market, non-deliveries and returns are major problems for Indian retailers. It is a massive challenge and loss of income for retailers. The idea is to incentivise people to move beyond COD,” he said.

While email questionnaires on non-deliveries and returns sent to major e-commerce companies, including Amazon India, did not elicit responses, a senior industry executive said the Flipkart Group, along with other e-tailers, are experimenting with quite a few initiatives to help them reduce losses from returned items.

“Providing lucrative benefits by partnering with financial institutions on prepaid orders is one such step. Other than that, Myntra is running several such pilots because apparel and footwear are some of the most returned items due to sizing issues. On Myntra, for instance, one can now upload a picture of the foot to get the correct size of the shoe,” he said.
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