Ecommerce News

Covid-19 relaxations: States decision to allow non-essential sales may bring respite to ecommerce firms

Written by B2BChief

States decision to allow non-essential sales may bring respite to ecommerce firms. (Representational image)&nbsp | &nbspPhoto Credit:&nbspBCCL

Key Highlights

  • The easing of curbs will allow consumers to buy items that they badly need

  • Etailers believe incremental rise in orders over the next two weeks because of the pent-up demand

  • Ecommerce volume growth fell 11% in April compared to March as consumers opted for buying essentials online

New Delhi: Maharashtra government’s decision to allow relaxations in the ongoing covid-19 related restrictions in the state for delivery of non-essential items may bring some cheer to e-commerce companies. However, online retail firms are of the view that easing movement curbs are unlikely to trigger any massive surge in sales.

The relaxations in rules will allow consumers to buy items that they desperately need and help small businesses unlock their operations to a certain extent. Also, the decision has been hailed because Maharashtra houses large warehouses of e-commerce companies.

It is worth noting that the coronavirus infections have dropped significantly across the country and the positivity rate has gone below 10 per cent which made the state governments for ease in restrictions. It would be somewhat easier for e-commerce firms and sellers to navigate logistics though the relaxations come with some conditions.

Citing an industry executive, ET reported that a district magistrate can still issue instructions to stop delivery of ‘non-essentials’ if the Covid-19 positivity ratio surges in a particular district.

Primarc Pecan, one of the largest online sellers of over a dozen marketplaces including Amazon India and Flipkart, is anticipating an incremental rise in orders over the next two weeks because of pent-up demand. Its co-founder and CEO, Ankur Dayal, told the publication that consumers were primarily trying to save for healthcare needs and are spending only on items they need immediately. 

Other industry executives are of the view that there was neither impulse purchases nor fancy buying, demonstrating the broader stress in the economy.

The financial daily quoted an unmanned senior industry executive as saying, “There may be 10 per cent more traction but it’s not like the first wave last year…for things to get better on both supply and demand side, structural issues need to be addressed. Good pace of vaccination and ease of capital on the supply side (sellers) will be helpful.”

It has been reported that e-commerce volume growth dipped around 11 per cent in April compared to March as consumers concentrate on buying essentials online.

Dayal further mentioned that there has been a jump in groceries and healthcare nutraceutical products sales but segments such as like appliances – both large and small and home decor have been hit.

“Going forward, there should be no difference between essentials and non-essentials…there will be incremental demand because people weren’t able to buy things which were essential to them but might not come under the definition. Overall, for the year, we are hoping we can match last year’s sales, but it looks tough,” the daily quoted him as saying.

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