A poll conducted by community social media platform LocalCircles suggests that 78 per cent of the respondents want e-commerce firms to sell all items, essential as well as non-essential. The survey covered 12,343 unique consumers located in 210 districts across India.
The respondents said that they prefer e-commerce to deliver non-essentials in red zones too or at least expand the lockdown essentials list. The feedback indicated that consumers would soon be shopping for secondary essentials including items like books, stationery, tablets/laptops, printers, phone accessories, batteries, coolers, air conditioners, etc. The poll also suggested that even post lockdown, crowded malls would not be an immediate choice for shopping and majority would prefer buying items of need via local stores (in-store or delivery) and ecommerce sites.
In the LocalCircles polls conducted in mid-April, 68 per cent parents said their children need textbooks for online school classes to be effective while 24 per cent parents said they did not have a screen (desktop/laptop/tablet) for children to access online classes. Similarly, 43 per cent households said they needed office/school supplies while 33 per cent said they needed some gadget or other urgently.
At the moment, none of these demands can be met as ecommerce is delivering only essential goods. Even during the next phase, where zones other than red would be allowed to sell all products, the problem is likely to persist as red zones cover most major cities and 33 per cent of India's population.
The respondents hence wanted ecommerce firms to be permitted to sell all goods, even in the red zones. In addition to government's permission to ecommerce platforms to deliver essentials, local retailers and traders must also be permitted to take orders on phone/whatsapp and deliver them, they pointed out. As an alternative, respondents suggested that at least there should be an expansion of the essential goods list by adding secondary essentials items.
On the question of how they would shop post lockdown, 26 per cent said they would buy it from ecommerce sites, while 41 per cent said they would go to the local retail stores/markets. Another 24 per cent said they would try to get it delivered from local retail stores, while 4 per cent said they would go to the mall and buy what they need.
In a statement, LocalCircles said it would submit these findings to all key central government stakeholders.
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