Flipkart, Amazon suspend services as India goes into lockdown
Hours after Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced a 21-day, nation-wide lockdown to combat the threat of COVID-19 outbreak, two of India's biggest e-commerce giants - Flipkart and Amazon India - temporarily suspended their services. Flipkart has stopped taking new orders entirely, while Amazon India is taking only those related to essential services, high-priority products. Here's all about it.
Flipkart stops taking new orders, trying to deliver existing ones
Following the government's decision, Flipkart issued a notice announcing the suspension of all its services. The app/website of the company displays the message, which says that the operations have been halted temporarily and will be back as soon as possible. So, in effect, you can't place any new order on the platform while the existing ones are being processed but might be delayed.
Amazon, meanwhile, is prioritizing orders right now
Like Flipkart, Amazon has also suspended its services, although not entirely. The app/website of the Jeff Bezos-owned company displays a notice that says resources are being prioritized to serve the most urgent needs of customers, meaning orders for essential goods like staples, packaged food, health/hygiene/personal safety items. All other products, on the other hand, will be unavailable for purchase until further notice.
What about pending Amazon orders?
As for pending orders, Amazon says, it will follow the prioritizing approach and disable the shipments of low-priority products, say, like clothes. The company says it will be reaching out to customers who have placed such orders, giving them the option to cancel their products and receive a full refund. The strategy is in effect and is likely to continue throughout the lockdown period.
Big Bazaar is promising doorstep delivery
Separately, to help with the delivery of essentials, Big Bazaar has also announced a doorstep delivery program. The initiative allows people in states like Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Maharashtra, and Gujarat to place an order at the nearest Big Bazaar outlet and get products delivered at home for cash. The company notes the delivery might be delayed due to movement restrictions imposed by the government.