Online order, home delivery rise amid lockdown

Kathmandu, April 5

After the government allowed for home delivery of grocery items the trend of ordering groceries online has increased during the lockdown period.

Starting from March 24, the government imposed a nationwide lockdown to stop the possible spread of the coronavirus due to which people were facing problems in buying their daily essentials.

Amid this, supermarkets like Bhatbhateni, Salesberry, Big Mart and Nimbus Bazar, among others, have started home delivery of grocery items. Likewise, online stores like Daraz and Sastodeal have also started taking online orders of grocery items.

For instance, Daraz started a collaboration with Big Mart on Monday to deliver grocery items at the consumers’ doorsteps during the lockdown period.

“And the government has also acknowledged that e-commerce can add major value while ensuring the safety of citizens in such a difficult situation. Daraz got the permission to deliver groceries and essential household products together with Big Mart,” said Lino Ahlering, managing director of Daraz.

“The response for our grocery and basic household products has been phenomenal and customers really value this partnership between Daraz and Big Mart. Compared to normal days sales for this particular segment have increased by more than 10 times,” Ahlering said.

“As the domestic logistics network is not functioning now we can deliver only within Kathmandu Valley at present,” he said, adding, “But we are confident that increasingly more logistics companies will be able to operate with government permission to ensure the supply of goods not only in Kathmandu but across the country.”

He further said that the demand for rice, pulses, milk powder, noodles and hand sanitiser has been high.

Compared to previous days online orders have increased during the lockdown, said Roshan Pandey, manager of Salesberry Supermarket. “Earlier we used to hardly receive online orders, however, now our work completely depends on online service as people are afraid to come to the store and opening the store is also not safe,” he said. “We are taking orders via our website and mostly through Viber.”

According to him, they are at the moment delivering 700 orders each day via their three outlets in Kathmandu Valley. “A total of around 500 orders are being delivered from Satdobato and Maharajgunj each day while from the Sitapaila outlet around 150 to 200 orders are being delivered,”

Pandey said, adding, “We have mobilised five vehicles for delivery.”

Pandey further said that they are soon going to operate a mobile application for consumers to place their orders. “Our mobile application is almost ready and I think this will be beneficial not only during the lockdown period but in the future too,” he added.

Likewise, Bhatbhateni is currently delivering around 2,000 orders a day inside and outside the valley. “Currently we have mobilised around 30 vehicles inside the valley for delivery and mostly grocery and bakery items are being delivered,” said Panu Poudel, chief operating officer of Bhatbhateni.

He further said that they take orders via phone calls and their website both inside and outside the valley. “We have been delivering grocery items too and each outlet outside the valley has been delivering around 100 to 150 orders per day,” he said.

Bhatbhateni has six outlets outside the valley in Pokhara, Dharan, Bharatpur, Butwal, Biratnagar and Bhairahawa.

“As per the agreement with the government we have started home delivery using all the precautionary measures to stop the coronavirus from spreading,” Poudel added.

“Though online shopping had been rising in the country in recent years it has surged tremendously after the government imposed the lockdown.”

Likewise, Nimbus Bazar is also delivering around 150 orders a day. “Despite issues related to vehicle pass currently we are delivering goods at consumers’ doorsteps through four vehicles inside the valley only,” said Anand Bagaria, managing director of Nimbus Bazar.

As the demand for home delivery is increasing the company is planning to start home delivery service outside the valley soon, Bagaria added.

Meanwhile, Sastodeal. com is providing home delivery service of essential products like induction stoves, rice cookers, sanitisers and food items inside Kathmandu Valley. With the government’s initiative to cut electricity charge by 25 per cent due to the possibility of a shortage of cooking gas, Sastodeal is providing home delivery of electric cooking utensils such as rice cookers and induction cookers, among other items.

Top items on demand

  • Rice and pulses
  • Meat items
  • Baby food
  • Hand sanitiser
  • Noodles and biscuits

A version of this article appears in e-paper on April 06, 2020 of The Himalayan Times.