As India entered the 21-day lockdown period to prevent the spread of coronavirus, ecommerce players are temporarily suspending their operations or limiting it to only essential items. Amazon India has also notified consumers that it’ll only process orders which are essential in these times.
In a blog post, Amazon India said that the company is working to provide essential products and services that its customers need at this time. Amazon said that it is getting increased demand for priority products and important services so it prioritising its operations to deliver products such as household staples, packaged food, health care, hygiene, personal safety and other high priority products.
With less workforce working to meet the demand for essential products, the decision will also help Amazon to protect its employees from the deadly virus. While Prime Minister Narendra Modi had called for a 21-day lockdown, Amazon didn’t clarify when it will start processing non-essential orders.
On the website, the company is currently selling products listed under categories like personal hygiene, grocery, home cleaning, health and fitness, and books. It is processing mobile and DTH recharges as well. For existing orders, Amazon is contacting its customers to avail a full refund on the order.
Amazon’s competitor Walmart-owned Flipkart, previously, temporarily suspended all operations and services. But after hours of the announcement, the company said that it is restarting its grocery delivery service Supermart in Bengaluru, Delhi NCR, Mumbai, Chennai, and Hyderabad.
Not Able To Deliver Essentials
Amid this lockdown situation, most of the ecommerce players are facing disruptions in the delivery of even essential items. BigBasket and Grofers have reported that their delivery partners were stopped at beaten by law enforcement agencies, citing lockdown, in many cities across the country.
Also, police departments in many cities also temporarily locked down many warehouses of these companies. This led to postponement or cancellation of lakhs of online grocery orders placed of BigBasket and Grofers.
Both these companies have raised this issue to many central and state governments. Recently, BigBasket and Grofers also held discussions with the officials of the Prime Minister office. Besides them, industry bodies like FICCI and CII have also reached out to government offices so that these companies don’t face any disruptions in the delivery of essential goods.
As a result, some state and city departments have come up with unique solutions to facilitate the delivery of online grocery orders. For instance, the Delhi government has launched electronic curfew passes to allow these delivery-partners to easily pass through police checkpoints.DOWNLOAD OUR CORONAVIRUS REPORT!