E-commerce platforms, including Flipkart, Amazon, BigBasket and Grofers, have suspended their operations in the wake of lockdown due to the Coronavirus outbreak in India. The move follows after Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced a complete lockdown for 21 days in the country. Only the shops that sell essentials, including fruits, vegetables, grocery, and milk will be allowed to remain open. These companies also deliver essentials, but only Amazon has said that it will continue to deliver packaged food, health care, and personal safety products.
‘Flipkart has temporarily suspended orders as we assess the possibilities of operating in the lockdown. We are prioritising the safety of our delivery executives and seeking the support of the local governments and police authorities to meet the needs of our customers as they stay home during this lockdown,’ Rajneesh Kumar, Chief Corporate Affairs Officer, Flipkart, said in a statement. The company also posted a message on its website urging people to stay indoors.
Amazon, however, said that it will be delivering essential goods, such as household staples, packaged food, health care, hygiene, personal safety, and other high priority products that are currently critical for customers. ‘This also means that we have to temporarily stop taking orders and disable shipments for lower-priority products. For all pending customer orders on lower-priority products, we are reaching out to customers and giving them a choice to cancel their orders, and receive a refund for prepaid items,’ said Amazon.
While Grofers leaves a ‘Notify Me’ option to know when the services resume, BigBasket has stopped taking new orders. ‘We are currently experiencing unprecedented demand. In light of this, we are restricting access to our website to existing customers only,' says BigBasket. It asks the customers to check later about the available shopping slots.