Deliveries of essential goods cancelled, delayed as Covid-19 lockdown hits availability

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Published: March 25, 2020 4:13:51 PM

The problem for consumers buying goods online in days ahead might not change as leading e-commerce portals and grocery players have shut their services temporarily.

The situation is relatively better in sourcing essential products from retail stores.

The lockdown triggered due to the Coronavirus outbreak has taken a toll on the availability and delivery of such products in India even as e-commerce firms reported on-ground challenges faced by delivery personnel because of police action in delivering orders on time. Out of over 16,000 responses in a survey conducted on Monday and Tuesday from 164 districts in India, 79 per cent cited problem in receiving their online orders including longer delivery period, delayed orders, partial delivery of orders and cancelled orders. These orders were for essential goods such as wheat, rice, pulses, salt, sugar etc. 

The survey conducted by the community social media platform LocalCircles also revealed that an increase number of consumers couldn’t find such essential goods on e-commerce apps. While only 35 per cent of respondents claimed non-availability of goods online from Friday till Sunday last week, the share increased to 79 per cent on Monday and Tuesday. “This indicates that the majority of the e-commerce orders for essential goods are not reaching consumers,” the survey said. 

Also read: Amitabh Kant ensures Grofers, BigBasket zero inconvenience by government authorities

However, the problem for consumers buying goods online in days ahead might not change as leading e-commerce portals and grocery players have shut their services temporarily. Flipkart on Wednesday announced the suspension of all services while Amazon restricted their deliveries to high priority products “like household staples, health and hygiene products, sanitizers, baby formula, and medical supplies,” the company said in a statement. Grofers and BigBasket had also shut their services on Wednesday. 

The situation is relatively better in sourcing essential products from retail stores as only 32 per cent consumers complain that they couldn’t get most essential goods in the past two days that had increased from just 17 per cent consumers in the preceding three days. Coronavirus has so far infected 562 people in India and caused 11 deaths in India, as per the government data.

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