Relaxed lockdown: E-commerce customers flock to Amazon, Flipkart, others; this many buyers placed orders

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Updated: Jun 11, 2020 5:30 PM

Ever since the government allowed e-commerce companies to deliver non-essential items to all places except containment zones, majority online buyers have flocked to online marketplaces such as Amazon, Flipkart, others.

Ministry of Home Affairs had allowed the sale of non-essential goods from May 4 onwards in green and orange zones.

Ever since the government allowed e-commerce companies to deliver non-essential items to all places except containment zones, majority online buyers have flocked to online marketplaces such as Amazon, Flipkart, others. According to a LocalCircles survey, receiving over 16,000 responses from 231 districts, 59 per cent consumers said they have already placed orders online while 36 per cent said they would order soon. Among those who have already ordered goods, 36 per cent said they have ordered everything they wanted during the lockdown including gadgets, appliances, office/school supplies, fashion, home supplies, toys etc. while 23 per cent claimed they have to order more products.

This perhaps indicates that the Covid impact on e-commerce sector has bottomed out and the sector may recover to pre-Covid level in few months ahead irrespective of the pandemic situation in the country. “This (online buying) will happen even if the Covid cases increase in India including for non-essential goods. Such products anyway don’t have sustained demand like essential goods such as grocery. So there will be sudden surge and then it will normalize whether the cases increase or not,” Arnav Gupta, an analyst at Forrester told Financial Express Online.

Also read: After Amazon, now you can shop on Walmart’s Flipkart using voice assistant

Ministry of Home Affairs had allowed the sale of non-essential goods from May 4 onwards in green and orange zones except red and containment zones. The rule was further relaxed to operate in the red zone as well from May 17 giving major relief to Amazon, Flipkart and other e-commerce companies that suffered revenue loss along with delivery and logistical challenges on the ground.

On the customers’ part, the pent up demand during the 40-day lockdown (first two phases) brought back some activity on e-commerce portals as well as ‘thousands’ of sellers had started getting orders. “Thousands of sellers have started receiving orders for the first time since the lockdown began in March. We are hopeful that this will help jumpstart the livelihood of many small sellers and their workforce,” an Amazon spokesperson had said in a statement.

54 per cent customer responses claimed that they plan to order from one or more from categories such as gadgets including laptop, tablet, printer, mobile etc; office or school supplies, appliances or white goods, home improvement and furnishings, fashion, apparels toys, gifts etc. while 17 per cent said others.

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