Early Signs of Activity: Locus On The Ground Report (May)

Locus On The Ground May Report

Lockdowns around the globe are slowly being lifted, and businesses are thus opening up. May saw some early signs of activity across sectors. The situation is nowhere near ‘normal’, but it is still a start. We hope that this ‘Locus On The Ground’ May Report will give a peek into what is now being called the ‘new normal’. Yes, we know, you’ve heard this term far too often. But our data is indeed showing us that both people and companies are adjusting and adapting to the ‘new normal’. 

Locus, which has clients in industries like E-grocery, E-commerce, 3PL, Retail, Pharma, and FMCG, among others, has collated 175 million orders to arrive at these trends.

Note: For the purpose of maintaining client confidentiality, all the graphs below have been normalized. 

How to read the graphs: The Y-Axis has been edited to a 0-10 scale. For example, in E-grocery, the non-normalized axis could have been, 0 to 10 million, which has now been normalized to 0 to 10 (Hence each data point represents one-millionth of the original value).

* These graphs are mere representations of trends we have seen on the ground, not actual data points


E-grocery sector - Growth Trend Graph
  • There has been a 30.6% growth in the E-grocery sector as compared to April. 
  • E-Grocery players, over a period of time, have figured out how to cater to the increasing demand. When the pandemic started, it took these players a while to adjust to the jump in orders. There were supply chain and labor issues. But over the last couple of months, the companies have managed to streamline their e-grocery supply chains. The easing up of regulations has also helped this sector. 
  • Overall, this sector is now managing its inventory better as compared to the early days of the pandemic. This has resulted in an increase in trust.
  • The smaller niche E-grocery players, who have simpler supply chains and lower SKUs, are seeing increased traction. 
  • The increasing demand for E-grocery means that there is a piece of the pie for everyone. 

Expert Opinion:

  • E-grocery is presently growing at a healthy rate, but the growth might taper down over the next few months. The sector will, however, still continue growing, albeit at a slower pace. 

Conventional FMCG

FMCG Sector - Growth Trend Graph
  • This sector has seen a 5.25% growth as compared to April.
  • The FMCG sector has seen a relatively lower impact due to COVID-19, thanks to its stable supply chain.

B2B E-Commerce Distribution (FMCG)*

B2B E-Commerce Distribution (FMCG)

*New-age companies that power FMCG distribution via e-commerce

  • This sector has seen an 8.2% increase since April.
  • On-ground data shows increased stability coming back to these new-age supply chains.

Expert Opinion

  • Trends on the ground indicate that conventional FMCG companies are now exploring more go-to-market strategies including Direct-to-consumer (D2C)/ Direct-to-Retailer and partnering with B2B E-commerce distributors
  • B2B E-commerce distribution companies are in for some volatile growth as the FMCG companies are exploring multiple ways to reach out to consumers. This could either be beneficial or go against them depending on various market forces.  

Essential Retail (E-commerce operations of brick and mortar retailers)

Essential Retail (E-commerce operations of brick and mortar retailers)
  • This sector has seen a 17% growth as compared to April. Though the pace of growth has reduced, there is still a steady growth. 
  • Customers are still depending on these players for the immediate purchase of essentials instead of waiting for E-grocery players to deliver.

Expert Opinion

  • With lockdown slowly being lifted across different parts of the globe, the prospects for this sector are positive. It will continue to grow at a healthy rate. 

Diagnostics Services

Diagnostics Services
  • The diagnostics sector has seen a massive 139.8% jump as compared to April. 
  • People are now increasingly turning to at-home diagnostics services to get their regular tests done. It is being seen as a safer option in these times. 

Expert Opinion:

With people experiencing the ease of at-home diagnostics services due to the lockdown, this sector will see increased adoption in the times to come.

E-commerce (Apparel, furniture, electronics)

E-commerce (Apparel, furniture, electronics)
  • Discretionary spending is at 32.8% of the peak in February. 
  • It has seen an uptick as compared to April when it was at an all-time low.  

Expert Opinion

  • With the easing up of regulations across the globe, people are slowly getting back to spending on non-essential items. 
  • This sector will see a slower path to recovery due to the overall economic slowdown. 

Same-day Delivery

Same-day Delivery
  • Same-day deliveries saw an 8.8% increase in May as compared to March.
  • Next-day and Same-day delivery has always been a demand from consumers. With increasing stability in the supply chain, a lot of online players are now enabling same-day deliveries.
  • In these times, fast and reliable delivery can go a long way in establishing trust and credibility. Supply chain can now be a differentiator and not just an enabler.

Expert Opinion

  • The trends on the ground show that this offering will see increased traction in the coming months with consumers expecting such services from their sellers.


The situation on the ground is beginning to see an uptick. Enterprises are realizing the importance of technology in logistics. Companies that rely on technology have been able to bounce back faster than the ones that don’t. 

New operating models like same-day delivery, crowdsourcing are gaining prominence due to the pandemic. These operating models could very well be the differentiator in a crowded marketplace. Logistics technology, which is scalable and agile, will support these new models and usher in better customer experience.

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Check out the previous reports:

EcommerceFMCG Supply ChainGrocery DeliveryNon-essential RetailingPharma Supply ChainSame Day Delivery