Economy

Covid-19: Indian consumers prefer home-delivery of supplies despite relaxed restrictions, says survey

Hemani Sheth Mumbai | Updated on July 05, 2020 Published on July 04, 2020

A fil photo of BigBasket home delivery   -  THE HINDU

The survey was based on over 25,000 responses from 231 districts of India.

Even as the Government has begun implementing a phased re-opening post-lockdown, a majority of Indian consumers are still getting their essentials home-delivered according to a survey by LocalCircles.

Consumers had turned to home-delivery of essentials amid the restrictions imposed under the lockdown that had been put in place back in March to curb the spread of Covid-19 in the country.

The government last month had outlined a plan for a phased reopening of the country with relaxations including reopening of shops and malls. However, a majority of consumers are still relying on home-delivery of products.

According to the survey, 40 per cent of Indian consumers are opting to have their essential and non-essential supplies home delivered either by e-commerce or local/retail stores.

As per the report, 21 per cent of respondents are purchasing their supplies from e-commerce portals while 19 per cent of consumers were getting products home-delivered from retail and local stores. 47 per cent of consumers were still buying their supplies from local markets.

Consumers prefer to get these products home-delivered due to increased convenience and to minimize exposure to the novel coronavirus. As per the report, 21 per cent consumers cited minimizing exposure to others as their reason for preferring home-delivery while for 71 per cent consumers, it was both, minimising exposure and convenience.

“Doorstep delivery and payment of delivery makes it a better choice for the consumers in these times of Covid-19,” the report read.

However, even with home-delivery gaining a higher preference, consumers are still facing various issues with the option. As per the report, consumers face major issues including long delivery times, increased pricing, Exchange/Returns and Refund while getting their orders home-delivered.

“The rise in demand has definitely led to longer delivery times for many platforms and vanishing of many of the so-called ‘big discounts’ which the e-commerce site claimed to provide. Hence the consumer is clearly paying for the convenience. Also, exchange and returns according to consumers have become difficult due to restrictions placed due to containment zone rules, colony and society rules where one has to go to the gate even if they were trying to get something of nominal value replaced,” the report read.

Retailers must adapt to the new model and should finetune their strategy in order to cope with these new consumer habits.

“If this continues for a few more months, it is likely to become a habit for many consumers where most supplies come home and they don’t go to get the supplies. As that happens, malls and traditional retailers that rely for sales primarily on store visits will have to change their models and value proposition to cater to this new model,” it said.

The survey was based on over 25,000 responses from 231 districts of India.

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Published on July 04, 2020
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