E-tailers discuss how to navigate critical points and buy in a group

Bangalore: Amid discussions about a phased reduction in restrictions at the end of the 21-day shutdown on April 14, e-retailers, delivering the essentials, are devising strategies to operate amid new Covid-19 groups and emerging hot spots in all the country.

Large e-commerce companies, such as Amazon India, are considering delivering only certain days of the week in selected areas that have seen a greater number of positive cases. To manage the growing volume of orders, the Bigbasket e-grocer is already encouraging consumers to merge their orders with their neighbors so that more products can be delivered in the same slot for one location. Meanwhile, Amazon has extended its work from domestic policy for 65,000 employees in India to April 24, in line with global policy.

“This is being considered for states, such as Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu, with a high number of cases. They (delivery partners) would have to take long detours to get to the surrounding areas, which means more time for deliveries. Therefore, doing these areas only on selected days could be better, ”said one person familiar with the developments.

Government officials, including the interior secretary, will meet on Monday to discuss an exit strategy from the shutdown. E-commerce executives, in charge of essential deliveries, are also expected to be part of the meeting, the sources said.

While e-retailers are constantly increasing the volume of deliveries, curfews, which are not transferable, have emerged as a problem in expanding operations. Flipkart manages some 20,000 deliveries a day, while Bigbasket operates at approximately 60% of capacity. As of Sunday night, Amazon was delivering in select PIN codes in 40 cities.

Electronic vendors expect Monday's meeting as the result could affect their logistics and supply chain networks. Emails sent to Amazon and Flipkart received no response.