E-com firms scramble to deal with Covid-19 lockdown, some suspend services altogether
Following the 21-day lockdown announcement in India, platforms like Flipkart, Amazon, Grofers and BigBasket have made changes to their services.Updated: Mar 25, 2020 14:11 IST
The government late Tuesday announced a nationwide lockdown to help curb the spread of Covid-19 pandemic. The lockdown, however, exempts the essential service providers. Following the announcement, e-commerce platforms such as Amazon, Flipkart and BigBasket updated their services.
This has however caused confusion among people as most of these platforms shut services and stopped accepting orders. Naturally people scrambled to stock up on food as the 21-day lockdown period was announced. As mentioned above, essential products are permissible and the government has also encouraged delivery to lessen people stepping out.
Flipkart suspends services
Flipkart earlier today announced it is temporarily suspending services. The e-commerce platform will not take or deliver any orders until further notice. The announcement came hours after the nationwide lockdown was announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Amazon restricts services
Amazon India hasn’t stopped its services but restricted it to essential goods. The e-commerce platform will deliver products that fall under categories such as household staples, packaged food, health care, hygiene, personal safety. As for those who have pending orders, Amazon India said it will offer a refund for those products.
Grofers, BigBasket suffer
Grocery delivery platforms like BigBasket and Grofers have also halted their services. Grofers had to stop its services as its warehouse in Faridabad was closed by the police. Grofers updated saying the matter has been resolved now and it will resume operations within 24 hours.
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— Albinder Dhindsa (@albinder) March 24, 2020
BigBasket is also not operational with its services shut for the time being. There hasn’t been any update from BigBasket as yet.
“We are not operational today due to restrictions imposed by local authorities on movement of goods. We are working with the relevant authorities to enable delivery as soon as possible,” BigBasket said on its site.
We regret the inconvenience caused, we are not operational due to restrictions imposed by local authorities on movement of goods in spite of clear guidelines provided by central authorities to enable essential services. We are working with the authorities to be back soon.— bigbasket (@bigbasket_com) March 25, 2020
Food delivery platforms
As for food delivery platforms, these are still operational but limited to restaurant availability. Zomato or Swiggy haven’t announced any changes to delivery services except for the measures being taken to ensure clean and safe delivery. Users can still order food from these platforms provided the restaurant is offering delivery of food.