Non-essentials by E-commerce: The pandemic outbreak has hindered all businesses, thereby pulling down the economy as a whole. While physical marketplaces ran out of essential products such as food, medicines, etc. e-commerce sites took the responsibility to deliver the essential products to every household.  Every since the pandemic outbreak, the virus has only gained strength. With the following second and third waves hitting the world, stepping out of houses can entail risks of life. In such a scenario, one can only rely on e-commerce sites for essential products.  However, given that house arrests and lockdowns have pushed people into boredom and mental illnesses like depression, a question that comes to our mind is, “can a person live on essential products alone?” The standard lifestyle of an individual calls for entertainment and other products besides essential products. Any product that does not fall under the rubric of essential product is a non-essential product.  Non-essentials by E-commerce, Before diving deep into the crux of the matter of this blog, let us get a glimpse of what non-essential products are. 

What are Non-essential Products? 

Non-essential products are defined as products that are not necessary. These products mainly include fancy crockeries, jewellery, and electronic goods as well.  Amidst the pandemic when citizens are in a financial crisis, the government has issued bans against the delivery of non-essential goods. The aim is to cut down on unnecessary expenses and to save for unpredictable hard times in the future. 

Starting the Delivery of Non-essentials Amidst the Lack of Clarity 

It has come to the reports that e-commerce sites are starting to deliver non-essential goods. All the eCommerce companies are now allowing their customers to place orders on non-essential goods like electronics, make-up kits, and jewellery.  While this is looked down upon as a violation of covid prevention guidelines issued by the government, states like Karnataka and Tamil Nadu have strict restrictions on the delivery of items. The Karnataka government focuses on the delivery of food that even includes groceries because food is the most essential item the supply of which cannot be compromised.  Residents of other states continued to place orders on non-essential goods risking the lack of clarity. Given that the world shifted to being virtual for everything amidst the pandemic, we have also witnessed a hike in fraudulent activities where people received second-hand products that looked as good as new. However, the demand for non-essential products did not subside because the very concepts or notions of essential and non-essential are subjective and keep varying. 

Differentiating between Essential and Non-Essential is Difficult 

While the start of delivery of non-essential products seems to violate the instructions by the government, a psychological point of view justifies the action.  Retailers and executives of e-commerce firms have expressed their confusion by saying that demand for non-essential products has seen a great fall anyway because, with curbs in income in households, people are ordering only what they need. However, the needs and wants of people vary across regions and places which makes it difficult to say what is essential and what is non-essential.  Books that fall under non-essential products are important in our lives. 40% of people said that they needed new laptops, mobile phones, or a router to continue their office work from home. This makes electronic goods and paperbacks the most essential items. 

A Never-Ending Debate - Non-essentials by E-commerce

It cannot be denied that local businesses had to face hard blows with the breakout of a pandemic. With social distance being the norm, several local businesses have taken to e-commerce platforms to continue with their business. Local businesses are inclusive of jewellery stores, handicrafts, and much more.  As local businesses started gaining momentum, the economy on whole started to recover as well. Keeping this in mind, governments too have loosened their holds on restrictions on non-essentials delivery. Although, some government officials and especially the home ministry of affairs continues to meet the process with indignation. 

The Possible Cons of caused by the delivery of Non-essentials by E-Commerce 

Starting the delivery of non-essential goods also entails cons that should not be overlooked either. 
  • Products like electronic goods cannot be disinfected easily unlike essential goods.
  • Purchasing and selling non-essential products run the risk of coming into contact with the sellers and buyer which can increase the chances of contamination. 

A Neutral Take on the Issue - Non-essentials by E-commerce

One cannot outright assert that delivering non-essential products borders on unethical conduct. Delivering non-essential products is helping to reduce the poverty quotient in several nations. However, safety precautions should be kept in mind while making the deliveries of non-essential products. Additionally, the delivery rate of essential products should not be hindered by the delivery rate of non-essential products.  Non-essentials by E-commerce, Finally, customers are the hearts of every e-commerce site. There is absolutely no point in cheating the consumers and customers by delivering non-essential products to them. E-commerce sites while dealing with non-essential products should always check for clarity before dispatching them to their consumers and customers.  The option of returning the faulty products should also be available on e-commerce sites. This will help to maintain customer and consumer loyalty towards the e-commerce sites while helping them to retain the lost ones.  Read More: WHICH ECOMMERCE PLATFORM SHOULD BE USED FOR SMALL BUSINESSES