As India enters into 21 days complete strict lockdown to curb the spread of the COVID 19 pandemic, India’s biggest e-commerce stores are suspending their operations. Walmart Inc’s Flipkart has temporarily suspended all its services. Whereas, Amazon India has halted orders for non-essential products.
Suspension of service from both Indian e-commerce sites came after they face difficulty in moving their goods, courier or parcel from one state/location to another. Most of the states (+ districts) are completely locked down and there is a restriction for the movement of goods and people. Also, there is a government order for social distancing and self-quarantine efforts. Thus most of the staffs in these e-commerce companies are staying at home for safety.
Flipkart has completely suspended its services, with no order possible through its store. While Amazon India has temporarily prioritised its available fulfilment and logistics capacity to serve only essential products. You could order essential products such as Household Staples, Packaged Food, Health Care, Hygiene, Personal safety and other high priority essential products. They have stopped accepting orders and disable shipments for all other products.
If you have any pending order with Amazon India, you could either wait till the lockdown eases. Or you could cancel the orders and get a full refund for the orders.
These changes on Flipkart and Amazon India are in effect from 24th March 2020. As the period of suspension of service is unknown, they will update you when they resume normal operations via email, SMS, notification or social media.
These companies are still in talks with the Centre and State Government to deploy their staffs to fulfil customer orders. Central govt has already recognised e-commerce as an essential service. As the general public is ordered to remain at home and to maintain social distancing, these e-commerce companies can essentially help the public by delivering essential household products and groceries to the door-step.
Amazon India and Flipkart are slowly resuming their operations. Currently, users from selected cities can order products from Amazon India. At the time of writing Amazon India’s deliveries are resumed in Bengaluru, Bhubaneshwar, Gurugram, Hyderabad, Jaipur, Jamshedpur, Lucknow, Ludhiana, Mohali, Mumbai, Mysuru, Patna, and Raipur. You could find more details at Amazon India COVID-19 updates page.
In the case of Flipkart, normal service would resume soon. According to Kalyan Krishnamurthy, chief executive of the Flipkart Group “We have been assured of the safe and smooth passage of our supply chain and delivery executives by local law enforcement authorities and are resuming our grocery & essentials services later today. We continue to strengthen our supply chain in a safe & secure manner for our employees & consumers alike, and will leverage our efficient & robust delivery network to make products available to customers“.