E-commerce firms may finally resume full operations

As part of Lockdown 4.0 guidelines, MHA allowed delivery of non-essential products in red zones as well

E-commerce firms may finally resume full operations

The ministry of home affairs allowed delivery of non-essential products in red zones, as part of the new guidelines issued on Sunday for Lockdown 4.0, providing huge relief to e-commerce companies.

Now, e-commerce firms may finally resume full operations after nearly two months of staggered operations after the lockdown began on 25 March. So far, they could only deliver essentials, such as groceries, which is a small part of the business for most, including Amazon and Flipkart.

From 4 May, the firms were only allowed to deliver non-essential products in orange and green zones. However, large parts of most major cities were in red zones, and thus, remained out of bounds for non-essential deliveries.

“The new guidelines will help us deliver to most metro cities, which presently fall in red zones. We have received a sizeable number of consumer electronics wish-list orders from metro cities where people have been waiting to buy laptops, mobile phones, and other daily use items for several weeks now. The government’s decision will also help in opening up supplies of consumer electronics from warehouses in the red zones," said Srinivas Mothey, senior vice president, Paytm Mall.

“We welcome the guidelines announced by the MHA, which pave the way for a broader resumption of economic activities across most parts of India. At Snapdeal, we are ready and equipped to start serving customers across India, in red, green and orange zones, by providing access to the millions of products," said a Snapdeal spokesperson.

Snapdeal received 75% of its orders on Day 1 of Lockdown 3.0 from orange and green zones and expects increased orders for red zones, as well.

Large e-commerce companies were forced to focus on delivering non-essentials only in smaller cities, despite delivery norms being eased during Lockdown 3.0, as major cities continued to be in the red zones. Metros and Tier 1 cities contribute close to 70% of total e-commerce orders, according to industry experts.