The Indian e-commerce sector has come to a close halt over the nation, harming the supply of basic commodities, in the midst of lockdowns in a few states and cities to avoid the spread of coronavirus, as per the industry executives.
Flipkart has briefly suspended its operations taking after a 21-day lockdown reported by the Government. Rival Amazon said that it’ll sell essential things such as family staples and healthcare items, but its basic supply benefits Amazon Pantry was showing out of service. The delivery of essential products counting nourishment, medicine, and medical equipment through e-commerce is exempted from the lockdown, but e-tailers say local authorities are closing down warehouses and ceasing trucks from crossing state borders. Delivery faculty are too denying to appear in the midst of the pandemic. Manuj Mundra, Senior Product Manager, RIVIGO expressed his view about lockdown in India, “Movement of all personnel and goods is banned – except essential commodities – food, groceries, oils, medicine et al. We are good at a lot of things. Flawless execution is not one of them. In the last 48 hours, we have experienced trucks carrying medicines being stopped at borders, warehouses containing urgent medicine and sanitizers being forcibly shuttered off. We have to get our act together.”
What’s happening in e-commerce sector?
- BigBasket said it was not operational due to restrictions forced by local authorities on the movement of goods.
- Rival Grofers isn’t taking any orders either, after its distribution centers in Hyderabad, Mumbai, Pune, and Delhi-NCR were closed.
- Snapdeal is confronting disturbance in delivery over states.
- As per a LocalCircles study, About 4out of 5 buyers consumers are facing delay within the delivery of essential goods from e-tailers
Sachin Taparia, Founder, Chairman and CEO at LocalCircles said, “As India implements the largest lockdown in human history to prevent the spread of coronavirus or COVID19, citizens are struggling to get their essentials. 79% of citizens in the last 48 hours could not get their essentials via e-commerce apps. Similarly, 32% of citizens who visited a local retail store could not get them either. While the Narendra Modi Government is actively trying to resolve, there is a communication breakdown between state leadership and the police on the ground. Based on inputs from states so far, it will take about 5 days for the situation to get better and 60-70% of the supplies to resume.”
Gopinath Koneti, Executive Director at KPMG India spoke about Lockdown strategies,
1. Rural areas and food production must be protected and insulated from urban Covid chaos immediately. Few villages are proactively restricting outsiders. This is good.
2. For urban metros and high-density areas food supply chains already exist. In the name of lockdown, pls don’t create further chaos. Create easy movement of vegetables, milk, fruits, and other groceries.
3. All non-essential hotels, clubs, malls, hotels, canteens are already closed. Much of the b2b food otherwise consumed by them is now added to the b2c consumer food supply chain. There is no shortage of food. India can feed its own countrymen with absolute abundance. Unless we create panic which is mindless.
4. Country leadership should communicate clearly on food supplies and the measures taken for smooth availability of food for the next 21 days or longer if needed.
5. Fellow countrymen, we need to have restraint on the usage of our food essentials and the way we cook. Please don’t cook more than necessary to only bin it later. Since you are not going out and no guests are allowed, pls restrict food consumption.
6. In societies wherever possible, a volunteer can be appointed to procure and deliver food supplies to each household.
According to industry sources, Flipkart, Amazon, Bigbasket, and Grofers have witnessed about 30% spike in orders majorly related to groceries, as people are avoiding crowding malls and shopping centres. According to sources, Grofers, which last year raised $220 million from investors including SoftBank, is additionally planning to offer a credit-feature soon for consumers with low salaries to enable them to buy groceries.