E-commerce platforms such as Amazon, Flipkart, and others have been requesting the Indian government to begin the delivery of non-essential products as that will help their small business partners revive their businesses after weeks of lockdown. Until now, the online retail platforms could only accept orders for essential goods such a groceries, medical products, and so on. Starting May 4, e-commerce platforms will be able to sell as well as deliver essential and non-essential products, but only in some areas.
The latest guidelines from the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) state that e-commerce platforms will be able to deliver non-essential products only in Green and Orange zones. The government has divided the country into three zones: Green, Orange, and Red. Read to know more about these zones.
Who can order what from e-commerce platforms
Before ordering find out which zone do you belong to. Click here to find out which zone you live in. If you live in Green and Orange zones from May 4 onwards you will be able to order essential as well as non-essential products from online platforms. Be it a smartphone or a laptop or a dress you will be able to order everything from e-commerce platforms starting May 4.
Also Read: Read the latest e-commerce guidelines here
However, if you live in one of the Red zones your orders must be limited to essential goods only. Amazon, Flipkart and other e-commerce services will not be able to deliver non-essential products if you belong to one of the Red zones. 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.
Amazon, Flipkart welcomes new guidelines
Amazon India said that they welcome the government’s decision to “allow e-commerce in Orange and Green Zones to serve people safely with products that they need and have not been able to access due to the lockdown”.The e-commerce giant said 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.”
Amazon further added that this move will allow millions of small and medium businesses and traders to jumpstart their businesses and livelihoods across their workforce. “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.”
Flipkart said, “We welcome the Government’s efforts in progressively charting out an exit plan from the lockdown and allowing e-commerce to serve consumers in the Orange and Green zones by fulfilling their products needs, in addition to serving essentials/grocery in Red zone through a safe supply chain and SOPs.”