Getting your things delivered at your doorstep will no more be an easier task for the next 21 days in India as e-commerce giants shut their Operations temporarily during Lockdown. The severity of deadly Coronavirus has made E-commerce giants halt their operations temporarily. These major market players include Amazon India, Flipkart, and Big basket.
Amazon India has communicated that it will no longer take any orders and will prioritize the pending orders for high priority products. The company publicized the information through a Blog stating that the changes will be effective from 24 March itself.
It further stated, “We are seeing an increased demand for priority products and important services. To serve our customers’ most urgent needs while also ensuring the safety of our employees, we are temporarily prioritizing our available fulfillment and logistics capacity to serve products that are currently critical for our customers such as household staples, packaged food, health care, hygiene, personal safety, and other high priority products.”
The company has further provided the low-priority customers with an option to cancel the order and get a refund for the prepaid items.
Expressing its concern for small scale businesses, Amazon stated that “We recognize these are hard decisions that may impact some of our sellers’ business – we appreciate their understanding and continue to work for ways to enable small businesses to meet customer requirements during this time.”
On the other hand, Flipkart has also confirmed the suspension of its operations through a blog post stating that they will not be operating for at least three weeks as per the government orders for 21 days lockdown. However, the company did not clarify as to how long that suspension will remain effective.
Big Basket having its set up in almost 35 cities has also communicated its temporary shutdown with a message on its official website, “We are not operational today due to restrictions imposed by local authorities on the movement of goods. We are working with the relevant authorities to enable delivery as soon as possible.”
The other two online grocery retailers i.e. Groffers and Milkbasket, who had not confirmed any shutdown are forced to shut due to the circumstances. Groffers which deliver in 17 cities of India had not communicated any shutdown and has approached the Delhi government in context to the incident of police shutting down their warehouse in Faridabad where the company is having a backlog of almost 2 lakh orders.
Co-Founder and CEO of Groffers took to Twitter citing their ordeal, “Our @grofers warehouse in Faridabad was closed by local law enforcement today. While we understand they are doing their duty, essential items will be denied to 20,000+ households in Faridabad and Delhi every day. We need help in sorting this out. @Mcf_Faridabad @ArvindKejriwal.”
Similarly, subscription-based online grocery store i.e. Milk basket has informed its incapability to deliver fruits, milk, and vegetables to Gurgaon, Noida, and Hyderabad customers on March 25. The company has also expressed its agony and told that due to the police harassing Milk basket’s staff for being on the road, it had to dump 15,000 liters of milk and 10,00 kgs of fruits on Tuesday.
On March 24, PM Narender Modi has announced a 21-day lockdown in the whole country to curb the spread of COVID-19. The government has assured the availability of all essential items during this lockdown.
In India, confirmed corona cases have reached 562 and the death toll has increased to 12.