Online shopping sales still have impressive numbers but there is a huge room for improvement. Online shopping hasn’t been easy for all shoppers. Many consumers face different difficulties while shopping online. They’re facing lack of technology, lack of digital solutions and lowered the speed of data and inadequate resources.
Resourceful individuals running businesses have identified several problems faced by consumers and are working for opportunities to serve consumers amid Covid-19.
The government imposed lockdown which stopped all sorts of trade running in the country which led to an abrupt pressure in the market.
Modern retailers are facing overwhelming demand that steered to extended delivery horizons up to three to five weeks or more.
Stalk shortage is again a major issue.
At some places where physical retailers don’t have e-commerce availability or where consumers don’t have online access, consumers are being able to place orders via WhatsApp or other messaging applications which include ordering and getting it delivered from traditional store.
Industries are now urging the government for uniform classification and delivery of essential items across the country. The government has allowed delivery of essential goods which include food, pharmaceuticals and medical equipment through e-commerce sites.
E-commerce sites have seen a spike in orders on their platform. Over the last few weeks, people have logged in to stalk up their household needs and also ordered office items like routers and cables as they are more likely to work from home on concerns and according to guidelines provided by the government to stop the spread of Covid-19 and restrictions in public movement that have been enforced.
Grocery delivery platform BigBasket said it is operational in cities like Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, Bhopal, Mumbai, Noida and Vadodara even though its services were affected by severe restrictions imposed on the movement of our staff and vehicle. In other cities all shopping sites shall resume operations as soon as they get permitted.
Their team is working to ensure support towards their customers.
Amazon and others have reportedly called on the government to expand the list of essential items to include electronic goods, saying that the continuous shutdown of online sales could hurt consumers and small businesses operating on the platform.
The Covid-19 pandemic has disrupted and impacted the daily lives of citizens in an unprecedented manner. It is effectively complimenting the local stores in ensuring the availability of essential goods. However, there are still various challenges which must be overcome to ensure good balance of e-commerce during pandemic and beyond.
Apart from the safe shopping experience provided by online sites. E-commerce is also known to benefit farmers during the spread of COVID-19, by enabling them to sell their produce directly to wholesale buyers instead of involving the middleman into the business. This enhances the farmer’s income.
Although the government has permitted the delivery of essential goods through e-commerce, service providers are still struggling to provide permit passes for their staff. The companies have to seek permission from all states which is time consuming. Police is taking actions against the delivery staff which frightens them to do their job. We can also see an emerging gap in the backend supply chains between manufactures, wholesalers and retailers thereby flattening the supply cycle.
On the way to quickly provide relief to all e-commerce players especially the smaller ones is to allow the delivery of non-essential goods while practising hygiene and social distancing.
Stakeholders must collaborate and find innovative solutions together which help in disabling the challenges amid Covid-19.