As the Indian Government imposed nationwide lockdown went from 21 days to a whopping 40 days, consumers needs started showing significant changes as well.
Now, according to a survey conducted by the community platform called LocalCircles, consumers in India have been found to looking forward to buying a lot many products in the ‘non-essential’ category if they are going to be available on e-commerce platforms.
The survey observed that the demands for non-essential goods such as electronic gadgets, appliances, office supplies, school stationery and so on have increased a lot between the extension of the nationwide lockdown increasing from 21 to 40 days.
Nearly 55% of Consumers who participated in the survey are wanting to buy products from at least one or all the categories that have been so far put on the hold or prohibited by the government, according to the survey findings.
On Wednesday, in line with the Indian Government’s permission, many physical shops and retail stores have now started to open up for the sale of non-essential items such as fans, books, stationery and other things. However, the sale of electronic gadgets such as smartphones or laptops still hasn’t resumed either at retail outlets or on e-commerce platforms.
The survey also highlighted the fact that close to 33% of the 8,600 survey respondents specifically want to order electronic gadgets such as laptop, tablet, smartphone, printer etc. if it gets allowed by the Indian Government. Also, 43% of the survey respondents said that they want to buy school and office supplies as soon as it gets permitted.
Various e-commerce giants in India such as Amazon and the Walmart-backed Flipkart are very well aware of these consumer demands because their platforms can see what products are being searched for by consumers amid this lockdown. According to them, they observed a surge in demand for gadgets, kitchen utensils, personal grooming products apart from air conditioners and coolers. The e-commerce giants have repeatedly proposed to the Indian government to allow them to begin the sale of non-essential goods.
It was previously notified by these e-commerce platforms that they will be resuming the sale of some non-essential goods from April 20th as permitted by the Indian Government. However, now it seems like the government has backtracked on its permission to do so.
From the Government’s side, they still haven’t come up with an official reason or clarification for this. But it can very well be assumed that it is mainly because the coronavirus outbreak isn’t seeming to go away any time soon.
However, the eCommerce giants are reportedly gearing up to make most of the consumers’ excitement and are ready for the launch of big sales seasons somewhere in May end. Both Flipkart and Amazon have anticipated the trend and expect that people would be in the buying spree once either the lockdown is relaxed or the restrictions on the delivery is lifted. No company wants to lose out on the consumers’ excitement and want to be ready to match the demand. Therefore, they have also advised their sellers to stock an adequate number of non-essentials items in to fulfil the demand.
As of right now, the COVID-19 outbreak in India has infected a whopping 16,454 people among which only 4,257 people have recovered. This virus has also claimed the lives of 681 people as of right now. This shows the curve definitely hasn’t ‘flattened’ enough for restrictions to be lifted when it comes to e-commerce deliveries of non-essential goods and other non-urgent businesses. That being said, many are hopeful that the end of this second phase of lockdown will bring some relief as day-to-day businesses can resume to a large extent.