The lockdown due to Covid-19 has made us realise that offline retail is far more efficient and mature than e-commerce. People in top metros who rushed to order from BigBasket and Grofers had to wait several weeks for delivery while a significant chunk of the orders is yet to be delivered.
The efficiency of neighbourhood retailers over e-commerce companies during the lockdown also reflected in LocalCircle’s survey. According to the findings, the majority of consumers found fruits and vegetables via local vendors and retail stores. The survey claimed to be conducted on consumers across 244 districts in the country by the social community platform.
About 47% of consumers said they were able to get most fruits and vegetables at local retail stores while 17% said they were able to get only some and 17% said they were able to get everything easily at a local retail store. Whereas, only 23% of consumers were able to find fruits and vegetables on e-commerce apps.
About 18% said they were able to get most fruits and vegetables via online ordering platforms or e-commerce apps while 9% said they were able to get only some and only 5% said they were able to get everything easily.
Significantly, about 56% of consumers were not able to get anything on e-comm apps.
Many consumers expressed their ordeal that the e-comm apps were not taking orders related to fruits and vegetables or cancelled their orders at the last minute, added the survey.
“The issues around lack of workforce availability due to migration, transporters charging up their prices, lack of clarity with local administrations on curfew passes weighed in on the delivery by e-commerce platforms,” said Akshay Gupta, general manager of LocalCircles on why the delivery platforms were facing issues.
The lockdown had disrupted the supply chain of e-grocers while they were witnessing up to 5X surge in their daily order volume. Movement and supply of essentials and unavailability of manpower were the major challenges for such firms.
Over policing, shut down of warehouses and violence against last-mile delivery boys during the first week of the lockdown also added burden to their operations. Following such complaints from e-grocers, the government had issued orders exempting sellers of essential supplies including their entire logistics and supply chain from the lockdown to enable doorstep delivery of groceries and essential items.