Lockdown 4 guidelines for e-commerce companies were issued on Sunday by the Ministry of Home Affairs. All the major e-commerce companies can now resume their operations fully, across the nation.
As per the new guidelines, all e-commerce activities can resume, except for those specifically prohibited. The ministry clarified that the states would take the final call on allowing e-commerce businesses to function depending on the local needs and situations. As per the latest directives, only essential activities will be allowed in the containment zones, whereas delivery of non-essential products can be made in other zones.
During lockdown 2.0, e-commerce companies where allowed to deliver only essentials, such as home cleaning essentials, groceries. Lockdown 3.0 allowed e-commerce giants to deliver essentials and non-essential products in orange and green zones only. Red zones were kept out if this relief. However, this did not bring much profits to the e-commerce companies.
According to the e-commerce industry experts during previous lockdowns, the large e-commerce companies were forced to focus on non-essentials deliveries in smaller cities that hardly contributed to the industry. Despite eased delivery norms during Lockdown 3.0, major contributing cities remained to be in the red zones. 70% of total e-commerce orders were from metros and Tier-1 cities.
Flipkart and Amazon were able to recover only 20% of their sales a week after lockdown 3.0 guidelines that permitted them to resume deliveries in green and orange zones.
Srinivas Mothey, senior vice president of Paytm Mall said- “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."
Snapdeal spokesperson said- “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."
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