E-commerce business is one of the things which haven’t been able to escape the impact of the ongoing second wave of the pandemic. Once the national lockdown had lifted, there was noticed an immediate hike in the number of online orders with the delivery of the goods being allowed. However, this time there surrounds uncertainty among industries in the context of recovery in various sectors with the major being the Great Global Pandemic and its adverse impacts over the past several weeks.
As reported by an e-commerce solutions provider, Unicommerce, online shopping volumes dropped in the month of April. Additionally, fashion and accessory sales were down 22% in the same period while eyewear and accessories were down 16%. Only fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG), and health and pharmaceuticals, saw growth — of 33% and 18%, respectively. Consulting firms and analysts are reviewing the annual growth outlook for e-commerce this year as they are largely concerned with non-metro markets being hit hard this year. Around this time some of the executives also mentioned that the effects of the current wave of Covid-19 have hit consumer demand for non-essential segments, both in urban as well as rural markets. Expectations of a demand revival are driven by the belief that consumers will continue to avoid offline shops and malls.
Although the second wave has impacted the large population of the country and people are afraid of stepping out more than ever, the appetite to shop online will continue to grow in the long run.
E-commerce executives said that the effects are more visible this time though data is still flowing in for the month. There are certain items like essentials whose sales never came down but demand right now is less for work-from-home and kitchen and home products.
Other stakeholders feel the same — traditional retailers and shop owners are increasingly looking to go online amid the second wave.