3 weeks post lockdown relaxation for non-essential ecommerce - 36% customers say, yet to place their orders


  • • 36% ecommerce customers have placed all their orders
  • • 23% say they have placed only some of their orders and will more place soon

June 11, 2020, New Delhi: With the COVID-19 curve touching new peaks every day and average daily cases now between 10,000-11,000, 79% Indians feel India will experience a significant rise in cases in the coming months. Post June 1, as the Government implemented Unlock 1.0 and permitted opening of many more public places, extended hours for markets and offices at full capacity, anxiety or worry about catching an infection has also gone up. Per LocalCircles survey, 56% Indians are currently feeling anxious and worried.

During these times, to minimize human contact, people have started resorting to getting delivered what they need at their doorsteps via ecommerce or the local retailer/kirana store. Most ecommerce grocery apps saw their volumes go up several fold as people ordered essentials during lockdown via ecommerce. Post May 17th, the Government permitted delivery of even non-essentials via ecommerce.

Now that 3 weeks have passed, LocalCircles conducted a survey to get consumer pulse on what have they been shopping on ecommerce sites since lockdown May 17th. The survey received more than 16,000 votes from 231 districts of India.

In the first question, consumers were asked since ecommerce was permitted to ship app products by the Government, did they place all their orders for products like gadgets, appliances, office/school supplies, fashion, home supplies, toys etc. 36% answered in a ‘yes’ while 23% said they have placed some orders but some more are to be done. 36% said they have not placed any orders yet but will do it soon.

Green Shoots for eCommerce: 36% customers yet to place their non-essential orders; Another 23% have placed some and will place some more

Green Shoots for eCommerce: 36% customers yet to place their non-essential orders; Another 23% have placed some and will place some more

Most ecommerce platforms have reported a surge in orders since the Government allowed them to ship both essentials and non-essential products to all areas except containment zones. Apps like Amazon and Flipkart have seen an increase in orders of products like dishwasher, kitchen appliances, computer accessories, coolers, air conditioners, vacuum cleaners, mobiles etc.

When asked what category of products (beyond essentials) do they plan to order via ecommerce sites in the next 30 days, 5% said gadgets like laptop, tablet, printer, mobile etc, while another 5% said office or school supplies. 6% said appliances of white goods, 5% said home improvement and furnishings, 8% said fashion, apparels toys, gifts, while 17% said others. 54% said they plan to place orders for one or more of the above categories.

Top eCommerce categories (beyond essentials) that will see strong consumer interest in the next 30 days include Gadgets, Office/School supplies, Appliances & White Goods, Home Improvement & Furnishings and Fashion, Toys & Gifts

Top eCommerce categories (beyond essentials) that will see strong consumer interest in the next 30 days include Gadgets, Office/School supplies, Appliances & White Goods, Home Improvement & Furnishings and Fashion, Toys & Gifts

This indicates that while three weeks have passed, a sizable 36% ecommerce customers are yet to place their orders and 23% are yet to place some. Consumers who are not registered or do not order via ecommerce sites were excluded from this survey.

eCommerce companies may need to understand the customer profile better to understand why the 36% customers haven’t placed their orders. If the answer is lack of awareness about ecommerce now shipping non-essentials or their home being in a containment zone, this demand will come back soon. However, if these are consumers facing financial distress or earnings impact, it may take a while for this demand to come back.

While overall this pending demand is good news for ecommerce platforms, the complaints against ecommerce platforms are also on the rise. As the data gets collected, LocalCircles will bring out an overview of issues that consumers faced during and post lockdown with ecommerce platforms.

Survey Demographics

Over 16,000 responses were received from citizens located in over 231 districts of India. 56% respondents were men while 44% respondents were women. 57% respondents were from tier 1, 32% from tier 2 and 11% respondents were from tier 3, 4 and rural districts. The survey was conducted via LocalCircles platform and all participants are validated citizens who had to be registered with LocalCircles to participate in this survey.

About LocalCircles

LocalCircles, India’s leading Community Social Media platform enables citizens and small businesses to escalate issues for policy and enforcement interventions and enables Government to make policies that are citizen and small business centric. LocalCircles is also India’s # 1 pollster on issues of governance, public and consumer interest. More about LocalCircles can be found on https://www.localcircles.com

Akshay Gupta - media@localcircles.com, +91-8585909866

All content in this report is a copyright of LocalCircles. Any reproduction or redistribution of the graphics or the data therein requires the LocalCircles logo to be carried along with it. In case any violation is observed LocalCircles reserves the right to take legal action.

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