Businesses witness surge in online orders

Rupkatha Bhowmick

From grocery to baby products as well as pet supplies, online orders are on the rise amidst on-going concerns over COVID-19, as consumers are restricting going out. Case in point: a record download of grocery apps in the US – such as Instacart, Walmart Grocery and Shipt – indicated app store intelligence firm Apptopia.

Closer home, several supermarkets and hypermarkets have confirmed a surge in online orders. UAE-based electronics retailer Jumbo Electronics also confirmed almost doubling of online orders over the past few weeks, while pet store The Petshop/DubaiPetFood has recorded significant rise in online orders in the last five days or so.

Similarly, home-grown start-up Yalla Baby Box – a monthly subscription offering essential baby products – has clocked sales in the last four days than the whole of February 2020. However, according to CEO, Francisco Pellegrini, deliveries at Yalla Baby Box have not been affected yet.

“Basically, the economy will change after the COVID-19 pandemic, the same as consumer’s purchase behaviour; retail e-commerce industry will be boosted,” observes Pellegrini.

Yalla Baby Box

What kind of products are seeing maximum traction?

Pellegrini: Diapers and wipes are seeing maximum demand. These are products with more rotation and sales repetition, as well as baby essentials. Nutrition formula – on our platform, mums are buying 4-7 powdered milk per order – and some baby healthcare products are seeing high demand.

How are you ensuring stock availability?

Pellegrini: We have noted that people understand that the subscription model ensures they will have the required stock every month without the threat of scarcity. On our part, we made the right decision to increase our stock by four times for all the SKUs to ensure our customers are supplied with them for the next three months.

What measures have you undertaken at Yalla Baby Box to ensure utmost hygiene of your packages and safety of delivery personnel?

Pellegrini: We are encouraging our drivers and the fulfillment team to wash their hands every minute, when they are preparing the boxes. Disinfection is necessary, and a priority. We are using sanitiser wipes to clean our boxes and packaging even before being delivered at the customer’s doorstep. Our drivers have gel alcohol and sanitiser in the vehicles, and we encourage the use of masks (chinstraps). Now, our boxes also contain health tips and steps for parents to take care of their babies and for the quarantined life.


If you are a retail business, tell us how you are dealing with the current situation. Write to [email protected]