Covid19 Tech Impact
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To mitigate the revenue impact caused due to the lockdown, ecommerce players — Walmart-owned Flipkart and Amazon — are now planning mega online sales events in May. For the same, both these companies have asked partner brands and sellers to stock up as Flipkart and Amazon are expecting a resurgence in the number of orders for non-essential items.
Earlier, several brands approached Flipkart and Amazon seeking a booster in their sales as their revenues have been severely impacted due to no sales since the lockdown. Most of these brands are those which sell exclusively on either Amazon on Flipkart, according to ET.
After hearing the concerns of their partner brands, Amazon and Flipkart have forwarded the inputs to the government as well. They have also raised the fact that many users, currently, want to buy non-essential items such as smartphones, laptop, printer and webcam as they are facing difficulties in working from home. Also, as the temperature in many places in India has started to spike, people are also searching for products such as AC, refrigerator and fans.
Ecommerce Sales Without Discounts?
As the demand is already there, Flipkart and Amazon are expecting a surge in orders once the restrictions on non-essential items are lifted. And brands want to leverage this surge to dodge the revenue impact from the lockdown, by reducing the discounts offered.
Some of the brands selling on online marketplaces said that consumers will not be looking for discounts but focus on availability after the lockdown. Instead of being driven by discounts, the new sales are going to be driven by natural demand. Realme India CEO Madhav Sheth said that while sales events have been planned for May, they may not involve many cashback offers or discounts.
With restrictions on movements and manufacturing units not working optimally, many brands selling online are already running out of products. Also, the ban on imports is also leading to supply chain issues. “Since there is supply chain disruption ever since the lockdown and stocks are limited,” Sheth added.
Will Lockdown Spur Ecommerce Growth?
In the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, many consumers have switched to ecommerce platforms for buying groceries and other essentials to maintain social distancing. As a result, ecommerce players and brands are expecting that consumers will also move to buying non-essential products online once operations resume.
Avneet Singh, chief executive of SPPL, which makes Kodak and Thomson smart televisions, said that ecommerce marketplaces have witnessed new consumers in the age group of mid-thirties are ordering products online for the first time. Singh believes that these new consumers will help boost online sales after the restrictions are lifted.
As of now, Odisha has already allowed all the ecommerce players to deliver all types of lockdown in the second phase of lockdown. Taking cues from Odisha, other states and central authorities are expected to take similar actions as India is entering the next phase of lockdown.