Following the issuance of guidelines for the fourth lockdown phase by the Home Ministry and individual states, e-commerce companies including Amazon, Flipkart, Snapdeal and Limeroad have started taking orders for non-essential items, too, with a chunk of the orders coming from red-zone classified areas. To begin with, e-commerce platforms saw orders for mobile phones, garments, home goods like pressure cookers, food processors, bedsheets, towels and mops, among other such non-essential items, which were not being delivered to a large part of the country earlier.
A senior Flipkart official said that the company would start taking orders in most states soon after discussing resumption with its sellers. “In accordance with the latest Government guidelines and directives, we will continue to work with local authorities while serving customers, sellers through our safe supply chain,” a company spokesperson said.
Gurgaon-based online marketplace Snapdeal said in a statement that orders on its platform grew rapidly and had crossed 2.4 times the average of the previous 15 days by 3pm on Monday. “The surge in orders started around 10 pm on Sunday and has been growing every hour from 8am onwards. Many users simply checked out their pre-loaded carts, which they have accumulating over the last 4-6 weeks. On average, users bought 2-3 products in one go. This was to avoid a stock out situation, where high-demand products get sold out quickly,” it added.
Snapdeal also pointed out that users from Delhi-National Capital Region, Mumbai, Pune, Bengaluru, Patna, Chandigarh, Ahmedabad, Surat, Vadodara, Jaipur, Kota, Hyderabad, Lucknow, Indore and Kolkata accounted for a large part of the orders placed on its platform, adding deliveries of non-essentials are expected to resume Tuesday onwards, depending on state-specific guidelines.
Amazon India has also started taking orders for non-essential items such as mobile phones, books, apparel to a number of red-zone areas, too. “Amazon welcomes the latest notification from Government of India as it enables ecommerce to deliver a wider selection of products while upholding the tenets of safety and social distancing. This will give a fillip to the 6 lakh retailers and MSMEs on our marketplace and help revive economic activity more broadly,” the company said in a statement.
Meanwhile, online cab-aggregator Ola also announced resumption in over 160 cities across the country.
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