There has been a big spike in searches for items like smartphones, gas stoves and trimmers on Flipkart as the government has allowed delivery of non-essential items in orange and green zones via e-commerce route. The Walmart-owned company said it had seen an increase in searches for consumer electronic products, including personal grooming equipment such as trimmers.
In the past fortnight, trimmers continued to be one of the top 10 most-searched products with a 4.5X increase in searches since the beginning of April.
Search for gas stoves has more than doubled, while fans and air conditioners searches have seen similar trends as temperatures soared across the country, it said.
"With e-commerce being allowed for essential and non-essential products in orange and green zones in specific states, we are seeing an increase in searches for products in categories such as laptops, consumer electronics (such as headphones), mobiles, air conditioners, coolers, t-shirts, and other essentials," Anil Goteti, Senior Vice President at Flipkart, said.
He added that the company is working with lakhs of sellers and MSMEs across India, and helping them prepare their businesses and workforce to make products available for consumers in this time of need.
"At Flipkart, we continue to serve our customers by providing them products at their doorsteps through a safe and sanitized supply chain. This is carried out via robust SOPs which are in line with the guidelines shared by the government and local authorities," he said.
Under the first and second phase of lockdown, which lasted for 40 days, e-commerce companies were allowed to deliver only essential products like grocery and medicines.
With these platforms now being allowed to ship non-essential items as well in select areas, people are thronging online marketplaces to buy smartphones, laptops, notebooks and other items to facilitate work and study from home.
Industry watchers feel the trend could continue for sometime as people may not want to step out to make purchases.
Given that only standalone shops have been allowed to operate, and malls and large markets continue to remain shut, people may turn to online stores to get products home delivered.
Depending on the number of cases of coronavirus infections, areas have been divided into red, orange and green zones.
In the red zones, which include Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Pune and Hyderabad, the companies can ship only essential items like grocery, medicines and healthcare products.
However, shortage of staff at warehouses and logistics hubs could result in delays in delivery of items, as per industry executives. PTI SR RVK