New Delhi: Amazon allows only a small percentage of slots to Indian accounts who sell non-essential products. This move from Amazon stems from various factors, such as states not issuing their guidelines for e-commerce companies and the majority number of sellers located in red zones.
The home ministry announced another two weeks of lockdown with a little relaxation on orange and green zones. India’s third phase of lockdown only permits the e-commerce of essential goods in red zones, which covers Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Pune, and Hyderabad.
A senior industry executive tipped that only a few states (Karnataka, Rajasthan, Maharashtra, and Uttar Pradesh) have notified their e-commerce guidelines so far. This lack of clarity for e-commerce guidelines on some states could obstruct the full operations of e-commerce.
Another problem that e-commerce business owners face is most of their sellers are located in red zones. Most sellers’ warehouses are located in the red zone, which imposes a strict ban on non-essential good deliveries.
The e-commerce business owners are appealing to the government to widen the category of essential items. They requested items such as laptops, phones, chargers, electronic gadgets, and summer clothing to be included in the list of essential items. E-commerce sellers argue that the inclusion of the mentioned items on the essential list would help the working people and the students as well.
An anonymous industry executive said that online sellers had constantly been engaging with their online customers to prepare for the full online operation once the lockdown is over.
The sellers who are based in the orange and green zone can see the locations to which they can deliver. The customers, on the other hand, will see the products that are available for delivery. (Contact Amazon Seller Consultancy)
Srinivas Mothey, senior vice-president at Paytm Mall, said that Paytm Mall had a meeting with their stakeholders, including suppliers, logistics partners, and offline shopkeeper base in preparation for their e-commerce to go live.
“We would be going live with key consumer demand categories like consumer electronics, laptops, home, and fashion. These verticals and catalogs would be open to our customers besides continuing essentials. We would be taking new orders for non-essentials from Monday, May 4, and deliver in all green and orange zones,” as per Mothey.
Mothey said that the company’s sellers in the non-essential category are prepared to go live this May, anytime. The rest of the company sellers would follow suit as soon as the lockdown restrictions ease.
Mothey added that “We have extended their processing times to pack and ship products by 2-3 days buffer, relaxed SLAs (service-level agreements), and penalty conditions on order processing temporarily. We are in the process of getting inventory updated and cataloguing their SKUs (stock-keeping units) on the platform. Our logistics partners are in touch with them and will start the process of deliveries soon as we start getting orders.”
On the other hand, Flipkart beamed on the news that the government allowed the mobility of non-essential items in orange and green zones. The company says that it is working with lakhs, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in preparation to resume operations.
In Amazon, the Indian representative said that some online businesses are bracing for relief once the lockdown regulations on goods ease some time in May. He said that Amazon focuses on maintaining the “sanctity of the new guidelines around the red zones.”