E-commerce companies such as Flipkart, Amazon and Snapdeal, as well as vertical etailers including Lenskart, Nykaa, and Firstcry, resumed full operations from Monday after the central government removed all restrictions on online retail as part of its plan for Lockdown 4.0.
These platforms were so far restricted to selling non-essential goods like smartphones and electronics in government designated green and orange zones, while being allowed to sell essential items such as food and grocery nationally.
But in its latest guidelines, the Ministry of Home Affairs said that all activities, except those specifically prohibited, will be now be opened up. However, states would still take the final call on allowing businesses to function based on their local needs and situations, the guidelines added. Online sales will continue to be restricted in containment zones across the country, where only essential activities will be permitted, as per the latest MHA guidelines
The move to reopen e-commerce will deliver a major boost to companies that were allowed to sell only essential goods since the lockdown was announced on March 24. Even the opening up for non-essential sales had seen low demand from areas outside of red zones.
ET had reported that Flipkart and Amazon had been able to recover only 20 per cent of their sales a week after the May 4 order that allowed them to resume business in green and orange zones.