Large e-tailers such as Amazon, Flipkart, BigBasket and Grofers are taking time to deliver products across pin codes, especially in regions hit hardest by the second Covid-19 wave, amid surging demand for online groceries.
Customers shopping on these platforms are witnessing delivery timelines of 3-7 days, primarily because of a jump in the quantum of orders and lack of supply chain staff.
The delivery timelines are similar to what it was around the same time last year when lockdowns were put in place after the onset of the pandemic in India.
Supply of essential goods, however, does not seem to be affected this time around.
India’s largest online grocer, BigBasket, asked customers to place orders in advance and even pool them with neighbours to reduce the load on its platform. They should expect deliveries in 2-3 days, it said.
“With restrictions on movement nationwide, we are seeing a massive surge in the number of orders we receive each day. While slots are definitely available, please expect deliveries to happen in 2-3 days,” BigBasket said.
“We also request you to cross-check your items at the time of delivery and place any return/replacement requests right there. This way, we will be able to reduce additional trips and dedicate our resources to serving more people on time,” the company added.
In Bengaluru and Delhi, which are still reeling under a devastating second wave, deliveries by Grofers, the other dedicated online grocery retailer, are taking 4-7 days.
The platform has said in the past that orders for certain items have surged by as much as 150% in severely hit regions.
It is a similar story on Amazon’s express grocery delivery service Fresh and on Flipkart’s Supermart, as the spike in orders that started a month ago has yet to show any signs of letting up.
BigBasket, Grofers and Flipkart are all hiring additional workers to cater to the increased demand for groceries.
Industry trackers say the demand has been on the up only in the past one month, as customers are seeing far higher service levels this year, compared to during the peak of the lockdown last year.
Moreover, the sustained expansion in the base of online shoppers witnessed last year is leading to climbing demand this year.