Online shopping increases multifold in India during Covid-19
Nowadays Amazon, Flipkart and various other online retail sites have increased their sales - they are playing a vital role in India during Covid -19 pandemic
The Indian retail market is greatly divided up between the unorganised sector, which includes about 13.8 million conventional family run neighbourhood stores, and the organised sector which includes all organized brick & mortar stores and online shopping sites which is enjoying a boom in B2C e-commerce nowadays. The former still has an over 90 percent market share.
The majority of Indians continue to have more faith in the neighbourhood brick & mortar stores for their shopping as they prefer touching and feeling the products and negotiating discounts over-the-counter, before buying.
In India, a great majority of B2C ecommerce retailers, draw customers to shop online by offering bargains such as free delivery, discounts, buy-one-get-one-free and exchange offers. However, many Indian shoppers known to be cost-conscious and conservative as a part of their value system, are generally not attracted into making quick decisions based on promotions and advertisements. Moreover, online shoppers, many-a-times, come across problems concerning product delivery timelines and customer support services.
Nowadays, Amazon and Flipkart are the most popular ecommerce sites in India. During the present corona pandemic, people are staying at home and even working from home. Many states have imposed lockdown because of Covid-19 since it is dangerous for the people to venture out. This has started a new trend of buying online.
Earlier people used to avoid buying clothes online but now there is a shift in this too - some have started buying clothes online as well - but the bulk of this sector comes from comfort clothes, including shorts, T-shirts, and pajamas.
This spike in B2C ecommerce in India is of course due to 3 sets of buyers. The existing online shoppers stocking up on essentials given the outbreak and the resultant lockdown. However it also consists of perhaps two more segments, apart from those who were regular online shoppers - one which did not shop online due to the inhibiting factors detailed in the beginning of this article and another that till date, was either ignorant or did not have telecommunications connectivity. It would be interesting to check – how many shoppers from these two segments switch to online shopping, even after the coronavirus crises is over.
Amazon is temporarily prioritizing its available fulfilment and logistics capacity to serve essentials such as household staples, packaged food, health care, hygiene, personal safety and other high priority products. It is even contemplating temporarily to stop taking orders for lower-priority products.
Globally too Amazon has seen a surge in orders and is raising overtime pay for associates working in its warehouses, during the coronavirus outbreak. Amazon is also helping the customer with better offers in regard to refund and exchange. Such offers will be difficult for the retail shops to match. This will be helpful in increasing the online sales in India.