As e-commerce companies start accepting orders for non-essential products from green and orange zones, they are witnessing heavy traffic from consumers for products ranging from hair trimmers and air conditioners to cooking stoves.
The home ministry last week extended the national lockdown but allowed the online sales of essential and non-essential products in green and orange zones that have almost contained the coronavirus outbreak, and only essentials in red zones.
Flipkart said as people continue to stay logged in at home, whether for work or a workout class, headsets saw 200 per cent increase in searches on its platform. This could also be a reflection of a growing trend in personal entertainment, where more people are seeking ways to create their own space in crowded households. With temperatures soaring, fans and air conditioners searches have more than doubled than in pre-Covid days.
“With e-commerce being allowed for essential and non-essential products in orange and green zones in specific states, we are seeing an increase in searches for products in categories such as laptops, mobiles, air conditioners, and coolers,” said Anil Goteti, senior vice-president at Flipkart, adding, “We are working with sellers and micro, small and medium enterprises across India, and helping them prepare their businesses and workforce to make products available to consumers in this hour of need.”
The Walmart-owned firm is seeing an increase in searches for consumer electronic products, including personal grooming equipment such as trimmers. In the past fortnight, trimmers continue to be one of the top 10 most-searched products, with a 4.5x increase in searches since the beginning of April. Consumers have been searching for shoes 1.8x times more than saris — this can be attributed to people’s inclination towards leading a fitter and healthier lifestyle during this time.
New Delhi-based e-commerce firm Snapdeal said it has resumed delivery of non-essential products in orange and green zones, along with continuing deliveries of essential products. Wherever possible, the platform is prioritising delivery of household goods, along with deliveries of essentials. On Day One of Lockdown 3.0, the online retailer said it received 75 per cent of orders from green and orange zones.
“The overwhelming response is a reflection of the important role e-commerce plays in fulfilling the needs of India,” said Snapdeal. “On Day One of Lockdown 3.0, we have delivered packets across India — from Dehradun to Thiruvananthapuram, from Jamnagar to Jorhat. Our sellers today shipped steel utensils from Salem, footwear from Amritsar, and apparel from Gurugram,” said Snapdeal.
Snapdeal is focused on the needs of buyers in smaller cities across India and more than 80 per cent of its users hail from tier-2 and tier-3 cities. The platform witnessed 40 per cent of its orders coming from orange zones and 35 per cent from the green zones on Monday. It has started deliveries of non-essential products in various cities, including Panipat, Ambala, and Panchkula in North India. In the western region, the firm has commenced deliveries in Goa, parts of Gujarat such as Valsad and Navsari, and select towns of Rajasthan, including Udaipur and Bikaner. Other cities where the platform has added delivery of non-essentials to existing operations include Pondicherry, Kozhikode, and Tuticorin.
However, Snapdeal said thousands of orders for Jaipur continue to be on hold, given the red status of the capital town. Deliveries to many parts of Maharashtra are currently disrupted, but will commence over the next two-three days. The platform has also resumed the process of despatching goods to hill cities of Shimla, Solan, and Mandi, and deliveries in these towns are expected to be operational by the middle this week.
E-commerce company Amazon said it is accepting orders as allowed by the Ministry of Home Affairs directive and respective state government guidelines. Its customers in orange and green zones are buying other priority products that they needed the most. It is seeing demand for various kinds of smart devices and products related to electrical appliances, clothes, and work-from-home enablers in orange and green zones.