Amit Agarwal, covid, Ecommerce, Customers, Amazon India, may still remain muted, volume growth was down 11%

Customers are back on the Amazon India platform, country head Amit Agarwal told ET, and they are shopping for all the products that they were purchasing before the second Covid-19 wave.

The e-commerce giant is seeing increased traffic, across categories, over the last week as various cities and states relaxed lockdown-like restrictions, allowing sales of both essential as well as non-essential items online.

ET reported on June 2 that easing guidelines will result in incremental sales, though overall sales growth may still remain muted due to the broader stress in the economy.

“We see customers coming back and shopping for the kind of things they were shopping before the wave came in. This is also not a very long-drawn lockdown, like 55 days last year. We are beginning to see customers, as things open up, shop for the kind of things they shopped before,” Agarwal said.

The company does not expect a ‘dramatic’ change in consumption behaviour though it expects more data to trickle in on the recovery in the next couple of weeks.

“Traffic continues to be robust and growing — people wanting to come online and shop. We continue to see the growth that we were seeing before,” Agarwal said.

This could be due to multiple factors, like the need for safety, spending capacities and pent-up demand, he added.

Over the last 10 days, large states like Maharashtra and Karnataka have allowed all goods to be sold online, which industry experts said would help in navigating logistical hurdles as well as enable small businesses to restart operations.

Agarwal reiterated that home deliveries of all goods should be allowed during a pandemic, whether on ecommerce platforms or local stores, as online delivery is one of the safest ways to buy goods.

Amazon now counts around 50,000 local stores, who have joined the platform in the last one year.

The company has vaccinated 100,000 frontline associates, employees, and their dependents.

Startups such as Zomato, Swiggy and Urban Company have also been setting up camps to vaccinate their delivery fleet or service providers.

ET reported last month that ecommerce volume growth was down 11% in April compared to March and that consumers generally prioritised buying essentials online.

Data for sales in May is not yet available.

Online sellers continue to see higher demand for essentials, besides electronics and other necessary products for working from home.

As the second wave spreads beyond metros, recovery in tier II and tier III towns will also be a critical factor in the overall recovery of e-commerce this year.


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