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COVID-19 lockdown: E-commerce firms start taking orders from ‘red zone’ cities; deliveries from tomorrow – Moneycontrol

E-commerce companies have started taking orders for non-essentials from consumers in cities even classified as ‘red zones’ after the government relaxed norms for lockdown 4.0. The online retail platforms have started taking orders for non-essentials in cities such as Mumbai and Bengaluru, industry insiders say.

Confirming the development, Paytm Mall said they have started deliveries for all their pin codes for non-essentials as well. In a statement, Srinivas Mothey, Senior Vice-President Paytm Mall, said: “Our merchants, offline shopkeepers, and logistics partners have all ramped up operations in tier-I metro cities and all red zones in the country. We have opened up all our pin codes and are now taking orders for non-essentials’ delivery.”

While the state governments have not yet officially come out with rules and regulations for operations in their specific areas, many relaxations have already been offered. This is part of the baby steps the government is taking to enable opening up of the economy, which has suffered a body blow after a two-month-long lockdown because of COVID-19.

An Amazon India spokesperson did not share details of areas that have been opened up for servicing, but said they were looking to revive the 6 lakh retailers and small businesses which sell on the platform.

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“We are humbled by the opportunity to be an extended partner to the government as it balances saving lives alongside creating livelihood…we remain committed as always to ensuring the safety of our customers and our employees while creating business and employment opportunity,” the Amazon spokesperson said.

Delhi NCR-based e-commerce platform Snapdeal said more than 65 percent of the orders booked on their platform today came from tier 1 cities that are in the red zone. Further, more than double the consumers who came to look for products on Snapdeal actually bought something, showing that consumers were waiting for e-commerce deliveries to begin in major cities.

“On an average, users bought two to three products in one go, simply checked out their pre-loaded carts, which they have been accumulating over the last four to six weeks,” said a Snapdeal spokesperson.

Among the cities which led the surge for Snapdeal are Delhi-NCR, Mumbai, Pune, Bengaluru, Patna, Chandigarh, Ahmedabad, Surat, Vadodara, Jaipur, Kota, Hyderabad, Lucknow, Indore and Kolkata.

The company gave details of products that were ordered, which include budget phones, garments, trimmers, home goods like pressure cookers and equipment needed to work from home like monitors and keyboards. The deliveries will start on May 19.

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