Coronavirus Outbreak: Order online, but follow rules

Alisha Shinde
Monday, 23 March 2020

#AtHomeWithSakal: With more people shopping online, it is important to follow customer etiquette and hygiene to contain the spread of coronavirus.

With stores and malls shut now to contain the spread of coronavirus, more and more people are opting for online shopping and home delivery. However, in such times  customer etiquette and hygiene must be followed. 

Aaqyl Chagla, CEO, Rapid Delivery, a leading last mile delivery partner for major e-commerce brands, tells us how his organisation has take some important measures to make it safe for his employees and customers too . 

Handled with care  
Chagla points out that in the past few days there has been a massive increase in the volume of orders.  “In case of paranoia the challenge is to make people believe that their shipments are handled with utmost care,” he says. 

Initially, when the virus broke out, people thought that shipments could also be possible carriers of the virus. However, he says that the World Health Organisation (WHO) has stated that the risk of catching the virus that causes COVID-19 from a package, which has been moved, travelled, and exposed to different conditions and temperature, is low.
“However, even if such is the case, we are being extremely strict with the way packages are being treated,” says Chagla, adding, “Along with ensuring safe delivery of goods, we are taking all kinds of precautions to safeguard the health of our delivery team.” 

Instructions for delivery executives  
The company has taken a few measures like it has reduced the number of delivery executives per day, given strict instructions to the executives not to huddle in groups, instructed them to go to the warehouse only when their shipments are ready to be dispatched. Chagla also says that they give them constant reminders to maintain hygiene like washing hands, wearing masks and so on. 

The executives are being encouraged not to go to the homes of customers, rather drop off the package at the door or with the security guard, and then ask the client to collect it from there.  

Keep it to essential items
Chagla points out that the panic is understandable because the pandemic has affected almost all countries in the world. “As a logistic partner, we are seeing a spike in the number of orders that our e-commerce partners have been receiving. Most of the orders are for essential goods and only a few of the purchases are non-essential items,” he says.

There is nothing wrong with ordering products online, but customers need to realise that there are people out there who are putting their life at risk to get their orders delivered. Which is why, Chagla urges people to order only items that are absolutely necessary.  

Inform, if delivery address has changed 
Another thing that he points out is that many people may have placed their orders before the lockdown and must have asked for the delivery of the products at their office address. But now with offices shut and people working from home, they should make it a point to change the delivery address.

Avoid cash, go for digital payment
Encouraging contactless deliveries for the betterment of both the customers as well as the executives, most online shopping portals are avoiding cash on delivery. “The best way to follow contactless delivery is by opting for online payments rather than cash on delivery,” says Chagla.

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