E-commerce firms see pent up demand for non-essential items in non-containment zones

Meenakshi Verma Ambwani New Delhi | Updated on May 18, 2020

Expect huge demand for products such as mobiles, TVs, laptops and summer clothes

E-commerce companies are expecting to see pent-up demand for non-essential products from red zones, as they gear up to begin taking orders for their full range of products in these regions, outside of containment zones.

Many leading e-commerce firms opened their platforms to begin accepting orders for a broader range of products on Monday in non-containment regions located in red zones. However, a lot will depend on how States look at it, as following the Ministry of Home Affairs guidelines for lockdown 4.0, each State is coming out with its own norms.

Srinivas Mothey, Senior Vice-President, Paytm Mall, said the initial response has been encouraging as most red zones are placing orders. Inter-State movement of non-essential goods will be key in scale-up of e-commerce activity in the country, he added.

“Our merchants, offline shopkeepers, and logistics partners have all ramped up operations in tier-I metro cities and all red zones in the country. We have opened up all our pin-codes and now taking orders for non-essentials delivery,” he said.

With a large chunk of sales coming from urban centres for e-commerce, opening up of red zones is being considered as a significant move, as most urban centres are in the red zone. Players said it will be crucial to see how the situation evolves in urban centres in various States, especially in Maharashtra, Delhi and Gujarat. E-commerce firms will need to work closely with State governments on delivering non-essential products in red zones.

A spokesperson for Shopclues said, “For almost two months now, people across India have been holding back on making their non-essential purchases. In urban centres such as the metros, an entire office-going population has shifted to working from home. A pent-up demand and pending requirements to make the Work-From-Home experience seamless will drive the purchase patterns on e-commerce sites.”

Shopclues said it has started witnessing huge surge in demand for non-essentials especially in categories such as mobiles & accessories, summer fashion, including dresses, cotton trousers, footwear, home fitness essentials and grooming appliances in red zones.

Avneet Singh Marwah, CEO, SSPL, said, “We expect to see many new buyers getting onto to e-commerce in the coming days. For products such as television, laptops and mobile phones a huge pent-up demand is expected from the red zones outside the containment zones.”

Flipkart spokesperson said, “Post the government guideline we are awaiting the guidelines and advisories from the different States.”

According to Amazon, the latest move will give a fillip to the 6 lakh retailers and MSMEs on its marketplace and help revive economic activity more broadly.

Published on May 18, 2020

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