How Mobility is Helping Small Merchants Sell Online

by April 20, 2016 0 comments

Manish, a 54 years old resident of Udaipur has a beautiful 5 room house, which he offers on rent for travelers. Tourists who have visited his home earlier make repeat bookings over the phone and some of them do not turn up on the day of booking. This incurs losses for Manish as it results in unsold inventory at the last moment. With no token amount being taken from tourists, he cannot cover the charges for rooms that are left unsold due to cancellations.

Manish shared his problem with one of the tourists who had stayed at his house. The tourist suggested him to start collecting online payments using e-invoicing technology. That would help Manish collect token amount for bookings made over phone, and at the same time, ease the process of making payments for the visitors, as they will be able to use their credit card, debit card, or Net-banking. The money would also get transferred directly to Manish’s bank account, which adds to the convenience of collecting payments.

The technology used to make this possible is called electronic SMS invoicing. As the name suggests, it’s an invoice (essentially a Payment Link) sent via SMS to a customer. Merchants can now specify the amount of payment, mobile number of customer, name of customer and description and transaction id for their reference. The customer receives a SMS with the above details along with a payment link which he/she can click to make the payment.

As a result of implementing SMS invoicing, last minute cancellations have significantly gone down for Manish. Since visitors have to pay token money in advance, even they make more informed decisions while booking the room. Customer satisfaction has also gone up as they can have multiple payment options to choose from, thereby saving them the hassles of having to carry cash all the time.

Role of Technology

Technology has really changed how merchants sell merchandize, be it products or a service (like the rooms Manish rents to travelers). “Today, vendors are building apps that facilitate merchants to smoothly get on board through the mobile platform, with features to sell their products or services through the app itself”, said Abhishek Tripathi, Business Head, PayUMoney. It also saves them from the tedious on-boarding process from a website.

It’s not just mobile apps, but companies also allow small organizations to setup their own e-commerce stores online, complete with all payment options so that even small merchants like Manish can quickly leverage technology.

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