Flipkart, one of the two largest e-commerce platforms, will stop taking new orders on its site starting Tuesday night, according to internal communication sent minutes earlier.
“We want to first disable taking all orders and then start enabling categories in a sequential manner,” Adarsh Menon, senior vice president, Flipkart said in an email to employees.
The directive follows Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Tuesday announcement of a 21-day nationwide lockdown to contain the spread of the coronavirus.
It comes hours after Amazon, the other large e-tailer, said it was suspending the delivery of non-essential products and prioritising household staples, packaged foods, and healthcare items.
“All the 3 supply chains viz. grocery, non large and large will stop taking orders from tonight or tomorrow morning,” said Menon.
“Leadership will evaluate how to get supply chains back in consultation with government and stakeholders but as of now the platform will not accept any orders.”
A Flipkart spokesperson did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Flipkart has earlier told sellers that it shutting down all fulfilment centres till April 2, and would not pickup products stored at seller warehouses.
Amazon, in a blogpost published Tuesday, gave buyers the option to cancel pending orders and claim refund.
E-commerce operations across the board have been disrupted for a week. Indians observed a self-imposed quarantine on Sunday, and on Tuesday it was extended to be followed from March 25 to April 15.
Major disruption is faced by grocery delivery firms like BigBasket and Grofers, which have seen their orders shoot up over the last week.
Both these firms have had to shut down warehouses in North India, and go back on orders. BigBasket app crashed several times on Tuesday.
Despite the government assuring that e-commerce deliveries were allowed — later saying that only essential items should be delivered — there are reports of delivery boys being harassed by on-ground police.