With the increasing number of people preferring to stay at home, work from home and shop from home, there is a surge in online orders on ecommerce platforms.
Amazon and Flipkart as well as e-grocers such as BigBasket and Grofers are witnessing increase in order flows.
This has led ecommerce companies to engage more staff and delivery personnel to meet the demand, prompting a surge in hiring part-time and full-time employees.
E-tailing platforms have seen a 15-20 percent spike in gross merchandise value (GMV) in the first 15 days of March compared to February, and a massive 50 percent growth in GMV in categories such as grocery, health and wellness, according to internet-focussed consulting firm Redseer.
“The spike in the first 15 days of March was also because of the Holi sales by several ecommerce platforms,” said Sanjay Kothari of Redseer.
“The net effect from Coronavirus was positive for these platforms, especially for categories such as health, wellness and groceries. It is muted in discretionary products such as mobile phones etc. “
The spike in demand has led to staffing firms such as TeamLease getting increasing requests from ecommerce companies to provide manpower.
“There is a perceived increase in demand across ecommerce platforms, and we have already had several companies give us a heads up that would need more staff in the coming days, though they have not yet indicated any numbers,” said Rituparna Chakraborty, executive vice-president of TeamLease.
TeamLease has more than 2.3 lakh associates or contract workers on its rolls in sales, delivery, customer service and logistics profiles.
BigBasket CEO Hari Menon told CNBC TV 18 on Monday that the company is hiring more people and also getting delivery partners to meet demand with on-time deliveries.
“We do most of the delivery ourselves. We are hiring people, and people are available right now since some other businesses are slowing down,” Menon said.
“Our delivery partners are also gearing up. We have van suppliers and are also creating storage space,” he added.
Amazon announced this week that it will ramp up hiring in the US and is opening 100,000 new roles ”to support people relying on Amazon’s service in this stressful time”
In a blog, the company said it will invest more than $350 million globally to increase pay by $2/hour in the US, £2/hr in the UK, and about €2/hr in many EU countries for employees and partners who are in fulfillment centers, transportation operations, stores or those making deliveries.
Amazon India in a blog post also said it is bringing in additional capacity to meet the increased demand.
“As COVID-19 has spread, we've recently seen an increasing number of people shopping online. In the short term, this is having an impact on how we serve our customers," Amazon India said in the post.
"In particular, you will notice that we are currently out of stock on some popular brands and items, especially in household staples categories. You will also notice that some of our delivery promises are longer than usual. We are working around the clock with our selling partners to ensure availability on all of our products, and bring on additional capacity to deliver all of your orders.”
Flipkart did not respond to queries on how the company is addressing the increased number of orders on its platform.