As lockdown 3.0 comes into action beginning May 4 midnight, e-commerce platforms such as Amazon, Flipkart start accepting orders for non-essential products. At the time of announcing the lockdown 3.0 guidelines last week, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) clarified that e-commerce platforms will be able to sell essential as well as non-essential products starting May 4. But the catch here is, not everyone will be able to order these non-essential items.
The delivery of non-essential products will be limited to the Green and Orange zone only. Consumers who belong to the Red zone can only order essential products like earlier.
Amid the coronavirus lockdown, the government of India has divided the country into three zones — Red, Orange, and Green — for better understanding of which areas are dangerous and which ones are safe. Starting today, all locations listed under the Green and Orange zone will have some relaxation. One of them is ordering non-essential items.
Starting midnight of May 4, Amazon and Flipkart and other e-commerce platforms have started accepting orders for non-essential products. After a long halt, smartphones are finally available for pre-booking but for consumers living in the Red zone the phones show “not delivered”. Websites such as Mi.com have also resumed service and are now delivering in Green and Orange zone.
Notably, metropolitan cities including Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata, Hyderabad, Pune, Bengaluru, Chennai, and Ahmedabad have been designated as red zones. Check the full list of Red zones here.
E-commerce giants are taking additional safety measures to deliver products whether essential or non-essential. The companies have revealed that the delivery agents have been trained to handle the package keeping in mind all the safety guidelines. Similar to food and grocery delivery platforms e-commerce giants are also providing the option for contact-less delivery wherein customers will have the choice to ask the delivery agent to leave the order outside the door.
“Our foremost priority is to ensure the safety of our customers, employees and partners and we will continue to join efforts to fight against the pandemic by serving people in the safety of their homes with products they need and help in social distancing efforts to keep India safe,” Amazon spokesperson said.
Also Read: Read the latest e-commerce guidelines here
Commenting on the new guidelines Amazon noted that they will maintain the sanctity of the new guidelines around the red zones and urge the government to consider the “positive role e-commerce can play to get customers all priority products they need in the red zones as well, enabling a stronger economic support for the small businesses while prioritising safety.”
Currently, there are no words on when non-essential products will be available to everyone including people living in the Red zone. The service is expected to resume only after the lockdown officially lifts after two weeks.