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Ease of lockdown restrictions shows signs of economic recovery, e-commerce sales almost return to pre-lockdown levels

The e-commerce industry has recovered in just around three weeks after the government eased lockdown restrictions for online delivery of goods

Following the easing of restrictions after the 4 phases of lockdown by the Modi government, demand seems to be picking up as an increase in sales have been reported by various sectors of the economy.

Sandeep Kataria, the CEO of footwear company Bata India, said that there has been an increase in the demand for the last three weeks following the restrictions in lockdown. He also added that the trend is expected to continue as consumers start feeling more confident.

According to the reports, Kataria said that the multinational footwear company was expecting a revival in demand by September with the onset of festival season.

He also added that the company is working on various cost-optimisation measures including rental renegotiation, closure of unviable stores and digitalisation drive across the organisation, etc to eliminate redundancies.

To compete with the online brands, Kataria said, Bata has shifted its focus towards driving online sales and they are also in the process of expanding its e-commerce footprint by ramping up presence in online marketplaces, rolling its omnichannel home delivery offerings through 900 stores.

“We are offering contactless home delivery services for the customers along with our delivery partners. We see demand picking up in Tier 3-5 towns, where stores have opened earlier than in metros,” he added.

“After grappling with severe business disruptions, we are back with safety and hygiene as our top priority. We are also recalibrating business operations with a strengthened product portfolio, a steady focus on cash conservation in the company and better online presence and services to ensure seamless shopping experiences for our consumers,” Bata India CEO said.

He added that change in consumer behaviour is a natural fallout of the on-going crisis and a new order will be in place in the post COVID world. The health and safety will assume paramount importance for everyone, the CEO added on the changing consumer behaviour patterns.

E-commerce platforms see recovery post coronavirus lockdown

The e-commerce industry has recovered in just around three weeks after the government eased lockdown restrictions for online delivery of goods. Reportedly, almost 70 per cent of the pre-Lockdown order volume has been re-gained by the e-commerce sector.

Unicommerce, which provides cloud-based solutions to manage inventory and orders, said it processes over 20 per cent of e-commerce volume with over 10,000 e-commerce sellers using its services to sell on multiple e-commerce platforms across categories including Myntra, Urban Company and multiple brands such as Forever New, Jack & Jones etc.

Kapil Makhija, CEO, Unicommerce told Financial Express Online that the e-commerce industry has shown signs of recovery and is expected to return back to normal in the next four-five weeks. “Since the onset of lockdown 4.0, e-commerce has seen a consistent increase in orders. However, consumers are ordering specific products basis requirement, such as trimmers and chargers in electronics, kids clothing, home decor items etc.,” Makhija added.

Earlier from May 4, the Ministry of Home Affairs had allowed e-commerce companies to take orders for non-essential goods as well and deliver them in green and orange zones during lockdown 3.0.

However, in the latest notification issued by the MHA, the government had further relaxed e-commerce operations to operate except containment areas.

Apparels purchase has seen 40 per cent order volume back to pre-coronavirus level. “People are ordering more of comfort clothes like shorts and t-shirts. However, it’s interesting to see that the kids’ apparel has done better recovery, with weekly sales similar to pre-lockdown volume,” the company said.

In the third and fourth phases of lockdown, electronics and home decor have seen an increase by around 30 per cent and 50-60 per cent respectively. On the other hand, the eyewear segment witnessed orders decreasing by almost 45-50 per cent.

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