HCMC residents suffer as online groceries orders fail

By Vien Thong   July 18, 2021 | 09:33 am GMT+7
HCMC residents suffer as online groceries orders fail
A supermarket shopping application linked with e-wallet ZaloPay stopped working, July 16, 2021. Photo by VnExpress/Vien Thong.
Six days after having waited for delivery of bread and some vegetables, Go Vap District resident Quy decided to cancel her online order.

Quy had placed the order at a supermarket through an application linked with e-wallet ZaloPay on July 11 morning, and the application said the goods would be delivered in 1-3 days.

"After three days, I got through to the call center and was told that the goods would be delivered in seven days because of overloading and insufficient supplies." On Friday, she called again and was told she would have to wait for the delivery, so she decided to cancel the order.

"At noon the same Friday, I used the app to place a new order but it said: "The system is under maintenance," she said.

Like Quy, many consumers in HCMC have been having unpleasant online shopping experiences with orders delayed or canceled, or apps have displayed error notices.

The time taken to deliver fresh groceries ordered on e-commerce platforms has lengthened considerably, and it has been very difficult to find shippers to make on-demand deliveries.

"I tried shopping online for five items that I wanted but three were sold out. It would take at least 3 days for goods to be delivered, so I opted to queue up at a convenience store or a supermarket," said Vy of District 1 said, adding that she had not been able to buy a single poultry egg for two consecutive days.

According to e-commerce and delivery platforms, the number of customers has skyrocketed over the past week. Delivery application Be said that on July 13 and 14, on-demand shopping and delivery orders in HCMC surged 1,000 percent against previous days. "The surge in orders has had shippers work at full capacity," a Be spokesperson said.

According to some e-commerce platforms, grocery supplies from provinces to HCMC over the past week have thinned out because of social distancing orders amid the Covid-19 wave, resulting in partial shortages of goods at both offline and online distribution channels.

"Supplies were disrupted for some days because our partner’s warehouse is located in a locked down area. On July 16, we used a new supplier, so goods became sufficient," an e-commerce platform spokesperson told VnExpress.

In response to the difficulties faced with e-commerce platforms, many consumers have shifted to makeshift shopping groups on social networks with sellers and buyers located in the same residential area. Some others have opted to buying fresh groceries from colleagues or friends whose relatives grow fruits and vegetables in their hometowns and send them to HCMC.

The city, home to 13 million people, is suffering the worst Covid-19 community outbreak ever. It is now the most infected locality with nearly 29,100 ocal cases recorded so far in the ongoing wave that hit Vietnam on April 27.

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