Amazon, Flipkart’s biggest rival in India, moved on Tuesday to restrict orders as it responded to increased demand due to the coronavirus outbreak.
Customers who have already placed orders for products that do not meet the criteria will be contacted and offered a refund, the company added.
The Indian government has stipulated that only services that are considered “necessary” for public life should be kept up.
It includes the delivery of food, pharmaceuticals and medical equipment provided by e-commerce companies. But some companies suggest confusion on the ground.
For example, Flipkart did not say why it stopped business when it seemed like an e-commerce company was exempt from the restrictions.
The company is reviewing “the opportunities to work in lockdown,” says Business Director Rajneesh Kumar to CNN Business.
“We prioritize the security of our suppliers and seek support from the local and police authorities to meet the needs of our customers,” he said in a statement without elaborating further.
Amazon told CNN Business that it was “working with the central government and local authorities and asked them to help us quickly with detailed operational procedures on the ground.”
Zomato, a popular food delivery startup, said its delivery workers were “facing several obstacles across the cities while trying to deliver food.”
It pointed out that its work had been classified as an important service, but said “coordination with several local authorities is … challenging.”
“The government has provided strong guidance that we follow and try to do our best to execute on the ground,” a company spokesman told CNN Business. “We are communicating with the relevant authorities and hope these issues will be sorted out soon.”
K K Rao, Faridabad Police Commissioner, told CNN Business that while they do not stop e-commerce services, they inform factory workers about social distance requirements. He said it meant that some factories “were temporarily shut down by police to inform employees.”
– Esha Mitra contributed to this report.