Even though COVID-19 lockdown has ended, 40% Indian consumers still getting majority of their essential and non-essential supplies home delivered via ecommerce or local/retail stores


  • • Majority ordering via ecommerce and home delivery services to minimise exposure to others and for convenience
  • • Top issues faced by consumers with ecommerce and home delivery service include long delivery times and price charged followed by Exchange/Returns and Refunds
Though COVID-19 lockdown has ended, 40% Indian consumers still getting majority of their essential and non-essential supplies home delivered via ecommerce or local/retail stores

July 4, 2020, New Delhi: As the Lockdown 1.0 started in the 4th week of March, many consumers resorted to ordering groceries via ecommerce platforms or by calling up their neighbourhood store.

Though ecommerce platforms struggled initially with curfew passes and delivery of essential supplies, by Lockdown 2.0 on April 15th they started delivering essentials consistently. In Lockdown 2.0 and Lockdown 3.0, the ecommerce platforms and home delivery by neighbourhood stores became effective models for people to get essentials. With Lockdown 4.0, consumers found additional relief as they could also order non-essential supplies via these platforms. With the fear of COVID-19, many consumers continued limiting their movement through Lockdown 4.0, Unlock 1.0 and now even in Unlock 2.0 choosing to continue the home delivery by local stores and ordering via ecommerce platforms. Is this a trend to stay or will it change once cases of COVID-19 reduce is the question in the mind of brands, retailers as well as ecommerce platforms.

To understand the consumer better, LocalCircles conducted a survey pulse on how they have been doing their buying off late and what is the reason for it. The survey received over 25,000 responses from 231 districts of India.

In the first question, consumers were asked how they were buying majority of their essential and non-essential supplies. 21% said they are buying from eCommerce sites, 19% said they are getting home delivery done from retail and local stores, while only 1% said they are buying from the mall. 11% said they are buying from department stores and 47% said they are still buying from local markets.

40% consumers now getting majority of their essential and non essential supplies home delivered via eCommerce or local/retail stores

40% consumers now getting majority of their essential and non essential supplies home delivered via eCommerce or local/retail stores

This would mean that 40% consumers are now getting majority of their essential and non-essential supplies home delivered via ecommerce or local/retail stores.

When consumers were asked about the key reasons for them to purchase majority of their essential and non-essential supplies via eCommerce and home deliveries, 21% said minimizing exposure to others while 6% said convenience. 71% said both minimising exposure & convenience were main reasons for them behind this move.

Majority of those who are ordering essentials and non essentials via eCommerce and home delivery services are doing it to minimise exposure to others and for convenience

Majority of those who are ordering essentials and non essentials via eCommerce and home delivery services are doing it to minimise exposure to others and for convenience

This shows that majority of those who are ordering essentials and non-essentials via ecommerce and home delivery services are doing it to minimise exposure to others and for convenience. On top of it, doorstep delivery and payment of delivery makes it a better choice for the consumers in these times of COVID-19.

The final question asked since lockdown, what are the top issues they have experienced when purchasing your essential and non-essential supplies via eCommerce and home deliveries. 20% said price, 10% said product quality, 13% said exchange, returns and refund, 8% said payment Issues (Cash, Digital, etc), while 32% said long delivery times. 10% also said there were other issues.

Since lockdown, top issues faced by consumers with eCommerce and home delivery service include long delivery times, price, exchange, returns and refunds

Since lockdown, top issues faced by consumers with eCommerce and home delivery service include long delivery times, price, exchange, returns and refunds

This makes it evident that since lockdown, top issues faced by consumers with ecommerce and home delivery service include long delivery times, higher prices followed by exchange, returns and refunds. The rise in demand has definitely led to longer delivery times for many platforms and vanishing of many of the so called ‘big discounts’ which the ecommerce site claimed to provide. Most major grocery platforms for instance have reduced the discounts offered on even their in house brands from 25-35% range to 0-15% range. Hence the consumer is clearly paying for the convenience. Also, exchange and returns according to consumers have become difficult due to restrictions placed due to containment zone rules, colony and society rules where one has to go to the gate even if they were trying to get something of nominal value replaced.

Recently, a popular ecommerce platform added 2.5L new customers on the first day of its annual sale proving that people want to avoid going to markets at any cost. Similarly, many brick and mortar stores are now taking orders over phone and whatsapp and delivering within a few hours. 40% consumers are using both these options quite effectively not just in metros but also tier 2 and tier 3 cities of India. If this continues for a few more months, it is likely to become a habit for many consumers where most supplies come home and they don’t go to get the supplies. As that happens, malls and traditional retailers that rely for sales primarily on store visits will have to change their models and value proposition to cater to this new model.

Survey Demographics

25,000 responses were received from 231 districts of India. 61% respondents were men while 39% respondents were women. 57% respondents were from tier 1, 31% from tier 2 and 12% respondents were from tier 3, 4 and rural districts. They 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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