Unlike most online shopping portals that had temporarily stopped taking orders for non-essential items owing to the restrictions imposed during the lockdown,
continued to receive and accept orders for all kinds of products, promising to ship them as soon as the restrictions are lifted.
Four days after allowing e-commerce firms to also deliver non-essential items such as electronic goods and readymade garments, the government on April 19 said sale of non-essential items will continue to be prohibited during the lockdown period which last week got extended till May 3.
Apparel, including t-shirts, bermuda shorts and lounge wear, accounted for nearly 40 per cent of the products being ordered, emerging as the clear favourite in the colossal non-essential category.
“Reflecting the current lifestyle of users, casual wear items like track pants and nightwear products including top and pyjama sets and nighties figured high on shopping lists.
“Open sandals and flip flops priced between Rs 300-900 were another popular pick with buyers,” said the survey.
With salons and parlours shut, it is no surprise that “personal grooming products” are also high in demand at the time, followed closely by “household products”.
The survey noted that personal grooming products — hair trimmer, epilator, beauty products and waxing strips — were picked by over “80,000” customers, while household products saw an “80 per cent growth over usual demand trends”.
“Pressure cookers, roti makers, egg boilers, kitchen tools like multi-function scissors and automatic mops reflected the efforts on the parts of the users to manage their households with limited or no domestic help,” the survey said.
The current state of affairs have also given rise to a new category of products — work from home essentials, which have turned out to be a major attraction with customers.
These range from headphones, laptop tables, home printers, and wi-fi routers to USB chargers, data cables, extension cords and back support pillows.
Lockdown and the great Indian hankering for ‘non-essentials' — pyjama set, roti-maker, ludo and what not. According to the survey, over “75 per cent” of the shopping lists were being generated by customers in non-metro cities, with Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh topping the charts.
“Bedsheets, towels, wall decorations, planting accessories and vegetable seeds for home gardens were other items in high demands. LED bulbs, emergency lights also figured high on the demand index,” said the report, adding that “25 per cent” of customers were first-time buyers.
School supplies — notebooks, textbooks, stationery items — and fitness products like weights, tummy trimmers, gym balls and smart bands too found themselves on the “most sold” list during the ongoing lockdown.
“Other popular items that India bought or added to their shopping carts include anti-snoring devices, spiritual books, stress-buster balls, indoor games like Ludo, Scrabble and Uno, soft toys, anti-clogging filters for kitchen sinks and musical instruments like guitars, flutes and mouth organs,” the survey said.