Local stores to rescue: Only 1 in every 4 customers able to find fruits, veggies on e-commerce

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Published: April 10, 2020 11:19:36 AM

While e-commerce platforms are operational to deliver essential commodities, not many consumers are able to fulfil their fruits and vegetables orders from these platforms.

The citrus fruit is exported to Bangladesh with nearly 100-200 tonne by road.Only 18% respondents said they were able to get most fruits and vegetables while 9% said they were able to get only some fruits and vegetables via e-commerce apps.

While e-commerce platforms are operational to deliver essential commodities, not many consumers are able to fulfil their fruits and vegetables orders from these platforms. For those customers, their local stores have to save the day as three in every four buyers get their fruits and vegetables from the local vendors and retail stores, according to a survey by LocalCircles. The ongoing lockdown situation has severely hit the supply chains, hindering service providers from getting stocks. “The 21-day lockdown to stop the spread of COVID-19 has negatively impacted the supply situation of fruits and vegetables. The availability which took a significant hit between March 23-26 is now starting to finally show improvement this week,” the survey said. 

As Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced a sudden lockdown in the entire country due to coronavirus pandemic, thousands of trucks carrying essential commodities like fruits, vegetables, rice, wheat, pulses, etc., were stranded on the roads as they failed to secure permits from local authorities. Since government exempted consumer essential items from lockdown, several e-commerce companies started delivering essential items. However, according to LocalCircles and Department of Consumer Affairs survey, only 18% respondents said they were able to get most fruits and vegetables while 9% said they were able to get only some fruits and vegetables via e-commerce apps. A majority of respondents said that they were not able to find anything on these platforms. “Ecommerce apps were just unable to supply fruits and vegetables during the lockdown period. Some consumers reported that if they were able to add fruits and veggies in their shopping basket, the ecommerce app cancelled these items at the last minute,” the report said.

On the other hand, local stores and retailers performed better than e-commerce sites as 17% respondents were able to get everything and 47% of those surveyed were able to get most fruits and vegetables. “The local vendors and retail stores have performed significantly better than the ecommerce platforms when it comes to delivery of fruits and vegetables,” the report added. The major factor that helped local stores to deliver goods was proximity with shoppers. On the other hand, e-commerce websites were scrambling due to major supply-chain disruption.

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