The Impact Of Covid-19 On Indian E-Commerce Sector

In his decade long career, Akshay has worked with companies such as Josch Power Tools, ACE Designers, Bosch India, Cocomo Chrysler, and Miebach Consulting, prior to founding ShakeDeal in 2016.

As the Coronavirus pandemic continues to wreak havoc across the globe disrupting lives and economies, various industries including aviation, automobile, hospitality, IT services, pharmaceutical and e-Commerce are grappling with the challenges posed by this un-foreseen health menace. The global outbreak of Coronavirus has adversely impacted business models, supply chain networks and jeopardized business continuity operations. The UN Conference on Trade and Development states that the Coronavirus can cost the global economy close to $2 trillion. The potential impact of this crisis on Indian economy is yet to be ascertained, as the economic activity continues to slide.

Online marketplaces have reported an unprecedented spike in demand for personal hygiene products such as hand washes, sanitizers, and toilet essentials such as toilet papers, in addition to daily necessity items like floor cleaners, wet wipes and others. Panic buying and hoarding have made matters worse, and it has led to essential items running out of stock. To ensure that necessary supplies are avail-able, e-Commerce players are cracking-down on hoarders & profiteers and blocking their access to online marketplaces. E-Commerce players are finding it hard to meet demands due to inequity unleashed by curb on exports of preventive gear such as protective masks.

Businesses need to be intuitive, agile and reimagine their business models to tide over the Coronavirus crisis

Organizations across domains have allowed remote working for employees, which has boosted in-home consumption. State governments have imposed lockdowns on malls & multiplexes and invoked sections of the law to prevent mass gatherings. As a result, people are buying groceries and even food items online. Perishable vegetables like tomatoes and food grains are stocked-out. The supply-demand imbalance has become a major bottleneck, and online stores are finding it difficult to fulfill orders.

B2B marketplaces are the worst hit, as most of their supplies are dependent on exports as well as imports. Industrial, safety and MRO supplies are severely affected, as most of the production lines for these items are based out of China. In the aftermath of the Coronavirus outbreak, factories aren't operating to their capacity, resulting in reduced production and thereby contributing to the supply-demand inequity.

Procurement tech-focused e-Commerce firms are trying to mitigate the risks posed by the Coronavirus pandemic by ensuring the business continuity operations are resilient. They have prioritized procuring protective masks for employees and scouted for alternative suppliers, in addition to in-creasing safety stock levels of goods. The uncertainty about this global health crisis is alarming, as no one can predict when this catastrophe will die down. Businesses need to be intuitive, agile and reimagine their business models to tide over this crisis.