Popular e-commerce platforms like Amazon and Flipkart have, in recent weeks, experienced a sharp rise in sales volumes, attributed to the increase in demand for non-essential items like laptops, smartphones, health & fitness gear, and home appliances. Reports also indicate that there has been a rise in the purchase of large appliances, however demand for apparel remained muted.
The entire nation went into lockdown towards the tail end of March, at which time all e-commerce activity relating to the sale and purchase of non-essential goods came to a standstill. Digital retailers had something to celebrate at the start of May when, following the implementation of the third phase of the lockdown, the ban on the sale of non-essential items was lifted. According to some sources, demand has returned to between 70 and 80 per cent of pre-COVID-19 levels.
Industry experts have noted, though, that the rise in demand could be temporary. The rise in sales volumes currently being witnessed has been attributed to the ‘pent-up’ demand that gathered during the first two phases of the lockdown.
As several businesses resorted to work-from-models, individuals had been hard-pressed to equip themselves with the requisite technological resources such that they are able to fulfill their work commitments. However, the inability to purchase vital equipment like chargers and adapters, as well as laptops or smartphones has made the transition to a work-from-model less than seamless. As such, the increase in sales volumes is being viewed as a delayed response to the lockdown.