The third edition of the nationwide lockdown started from Monday May 04. Unicommerce, India‘s leading e-commerce focused SaaS platform, released a report on the COVID-19 impact across e-commerce sectors in India. With the country now being divided into three zones: red, green and orange (based on the severity of the COVID-19 spread), the report highlights how the different sectors are performing in the lockdown 3.0 phase.
Below are some interesting insights about the trends on the recovery of business by online sale:
Overall E-commerce sector – The overall e-commerce sector showed a good sign of recovery in the first week of lockdown 3.0 and made up for the steep decline of 40 days due to lockdown. The overall industry has reached 30 percent of its pre-lockdown order volumes which is a good sign for the industry. With e-commerce players being permitted to resume operations in the green and orange zones, the business will continue to take a major hit as over 40 percent of the e-tailers are based in metropolitan cities which are currently in the red zone.
Fashion E-commerce Sector – The online fashion sector is one of the major contributors to overall India’s e-commerce volume and growth. It includes apparel, footwear, bags, and accessories and has suffered the maximum impact due to the coronavirus pandemic. During the first seven days of lockdwon 3.0, the sector has recovered 30 percent of its pre-lockdown order volumes. The sector is expected to see further growth in the current week, as it took a couple of days for retailers to get back into the business. The fashion sector is expected to see the next big jump, once e-commerce operations begin in metro cities considering all metro cities are presently under the red zone.
Consumer Electronic Appliances – It’s finally good news for the online sellers of electronic appliances as order volume is increasing significantly, with the recovery rate of 35 percent in the first week of lockdown 3.0. It’s also interesting to see a 5-7 percent jump in the average order size compared to the week before the lockdown was announced in March.
Online Eyewear – The eyewear comes under the essential category and online eyewear players continued to operate during the lockdown as well. During the lockdown, the number of orders for eyewear decreased by over 60 percent, despite multiple promotions by leading online eyewear players. However, the order volume has increased by 70-75 percent as compared to a week before lockdown 3.0. This shows how consumers were not aware that eyewear products operate under the essentials category.
Online Cosmetics – As some of the products from the cosmetics category come under the essentials category, the majority of companies were partially operational during the first two phases of the lockdown. However, the order volume declined by almost 90 percent during the time period. In the first week of lockdown 3.0, the cosmetics sector has not shown any significant signs of recovery, as the sector has only been able to regain 15-20 percent of its order volumes. Having said that, the sector is expected to recover but will take a slightly longer time than usual.
E-pharma and Online Grocery Sector – Both e-pharma and the online grocery sector witnessed a massive spike of 100 percent spike during the first two stages of lockdown, with the average order size increasing by another 20 percent. However, there has been a negligible change in the number of orders in the last one week, beyond a spike of 7-8 percent in the overall order size as people may have already stocked up medicines and grocery items. The lockdown is expected to result in a major boost for the sector in the current financial year.
Speaking about the report and the impact, Kapil Makhija, CEO, Unicommerce said “The last 40 days had a major impact and change in people’s mindset when it came to online shopping. Even though the government has permitted certain activities, consumers are still wary of leaving the house and have adopted social distancing as a way of life. The essentials category has witnessed a major surge during the 40 day lockdown and will continue to see an increase in the overall demand. With certain relaxation in the non-essential sale in the green and orange zones, we are witnessing a similar growth in the other sectors. E-commerce industry is expected to see a steep increase in orders in the long run as the consumers would adjust to the new norms post the lockdown.”
The COVID-19 pandemic has created extreme turmoil globally. As people start buying online, the country will witness a next wave of digital commerce. All leading retail brands are now working towards strengthening their e-commerce operations. Unciommerce works with all the leading e-commerce players and retailers of the country and helps them achieve the necessary digital transformation required for businesses to achieve growth as well as optimize costs.