Homegrown e-commerce giant Flipkart has temporarily suspended all services while Amazon India has restricted delivery to products that are critical in the wake of the ongoing coronavirus crisis.
Homegrown e-commerce giant Flipkart has temporarily suspended all services while Amazon India has restricted delivery only to products that are critical in the wake of the ongoing coronavirus crisis. “Flipkart has temporarily suspended orders as we assess the possibilities of operating in the lockdown,” Rajneesh Kumar, Chief Corporate Affairs Officer, Flipkart, said in a statement on Wednesday. On the other hand, Amazon said it is “making changes to our logistics, transportation, supply chain, purchasing, and seller processes. This includes prioritizing stocking and delivering priority items like household staples, health and hygiene products, sanitizers, baby formula, and medical supplies,” an Amazon spokesperson told Financial Express Online. The company said that it will inform its customers about changes to the services.
While the whole country has been put under a 21-day lockdown, Amazon India’s services have been exempt from the same for making essential deliveries. “We’re providing a vital service to people in India, especially to those most vulnerable, like the elderly. With people depending on us, we are grateful to the central government for allowing an exemption to e-commerce services under sec 144,” the company spokesperson said. For those who have existing orders of non-essential items with Amazon, the company will reach out to the customers to cancel them and refund them in the case they are prepaid orders, according to various media reports.
Grocery delivery services such as Grofers and BigBasket are also facing issues as coronavirus grips the country. “We are currently facing operational challenges due to a lack of clarity in our listing as an essential service provider,” Grofers said in a tweet recently. On the other hand, BigBasket’s website is currently non functional “due to restrictions imposed by local authorities on movement of goods,” it said.
Meanwhile, the country has been put under a lockdown for 21 days by Prime Minister Narnendra Modi as India races to contain the virus. The lockdown has been put under effect since midnight on Wednesday. The coronavirus cases have been climbing across the globe. Currently, there have been over 500 reported cases of coronavirus in India with at least 11 deaths so far.