Kolkata: After a slump in business from brick and mortar stores during the Covid-19 induced lockdown, an organization of traditional small traders on Wednesday claimed that it would launch an e-commerce portal for essentials “in a day or two” in association with its partners. Also Read - Centre’s Guidelines on Delivery of Non-essentials by E-commerce Firms Will Disappoint All: Amazon India
An official of the Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) that represents seven crore traders and 40,000 trade associations said the project aims at delivering essential items to the doorstep of a customer by a neighbourhood store. Also Read - Lockdown 2.0: Ban on Supply of Non-Essentials by E-Commerce Firms to Stay, Rules MHA
“A pilot has been going on in six cities of Allahabad, Delhi, Jhasi, Varanasi, Gorakhpur, Lucknow for the past seven days involving around 800 local traders. We are planning a pan-India launch with a target of involving one lakh traders and stores in a day or two,” CAIT West Bengal general secretary Rabi Shankar Roy told PTI.
Only essential items would be delivered through the E-Lala portal during the lockdown and after it is lifted, the e-commerce site will also deal with non-essentials, he said.
Bengal based traders body, Confederation of West Bengal Trade Association, said they are taking steps to empower consumers with details of local stores in their website and proposed to join the e-commerce bandwagon at a later stage, its president Sushil Poddar said.
Connecting consumers with neighbourhood stores will help maintain social distancing without any travel hurdles, he said.
Roy said Global Linkers is the technology partner of E-Lala while Consumer Products Distributors Federation and All India Transporters Welfare Association are part of the ecosystem.
He said it is free for traders to be on board while consumers will have to pay a small delivery charge for home delivery by the local store.
Roy said CAIT has launched a nationwide campaign for collecting data of seven crore traders and their employees.