Flipkart has shut down all services on its e-commerce platform as India enters the next phase of lockdowns to contain the spread of novel coronavirus. The Walmart-owned e-commerce giant mentions on its website and app that it is suspending services temporarily. By services, the company means its core business of purchasing and selling goods online, and delivering them at doorsteps. The rest of the services such as video streaming, bill payment, and online mobiles games are still up and running, and can be accessed from the Flipkart app.
Flipkart’s decision to suspend its core service comes into effect immediately after rival Amazon announced that it will accept orders only for essential products moving forward. Here is what Flipkart’s message reads:
We are temporarily suspending our services. Your needs have always been our priority, and our promise is that we will be back to serve you, as soon as possible.
While Flipkart assures that it will resume service as soon as it can, it is quite likely that the e-commerce platform won’t accept or deliver orders until the fresh 21-day lockdown announced by the government on March 24 comes to an end. Meanwhile, rival Amazon will continue to offer its services, but will prioritise only essential products that people need while in lockdown to minimise the risk of COVID-19 infection.
As of now, the status of all products on Flipkart is listed as “out of stock”, but a few services are still active. Flipkart currently allows users to pay their phone, water, electricity, broadband, etc. bills using the mobile app. The Flipkart Video streaming platform is also up and running, allowing users to watch movies and TV shows while they practise self-isolation and social distancing.
The Game Zone allows users to play online games on their phone, while the “KreatorCentral” is where one can watch DIY art and craft videos. Flipkart has also partnered with GiveIndia to donate health kits and other essentials that will go towards helping fight the coronavirus situation.