Amazon says delivery speed returned to normal after COVID-19 crash
Amazon.com Inc. says the one- and two-day delivery times that shoppers expect are expected to gradually return in the coming weeks, as the online retailer catches up with increased demand linked to the outbreak of coronavirus.
The company lifted restrictions on how much stock its suppliers can send to Amazon warehouses on Sunday and is shortening delivery times – which had stretched for weeks for some products since the outbreak began – to days. .
Amazon spends months preparing for the surge in consumer demand that typically occurs during the holiday season. The COVID-19 outbreak that has closed many retail stores and sent millions of shoppers online has created a month of spending for Black Friday without warning. Once Amazon fell behind, it took several weeks and hiring 175,000 people to get back on track.
“We have removed the quantity limits on the products our suppliers can send to our fulfillment centers,” Amazon spokeswoman Kristen Kish said in an email. “We continue to adhere to extensive health and safety measures to protect our associates when they select, package and ship products to customers, and we are improving delivery speeds to our store.”
Even with the delays, Amazon saw a significant increase in sales linked to the coronavirus outbreak because shoppers had so little choice. Amazon, supermarkets, supermarkets and pharmacies were among the few businesses deemed essential and allowed to remain open. But the delays were starting to tarnish Amazon’s reputation with its customers and merchants who supply more than half of the products sold on the site.
Fast delivery is at the heart of Amazon’s Customer Promise, helping it attract more than 100 million people who pay monthly or annual dues for Prime memberships. Prime members spend more on the site than non-Prime members, making it essential for Amazon to bring their delivery times back to normal, especially as retail stores start to reopen and shoppers have more money. options.
When Seattle-based Amazon was overwhelmed in April, many shoppers saw the long delivery times and shifted their purchases to curbside pickup options offered by Walmart Inc. and Target Corp., Anthony said. Ferry, CEO of PriceSpider, which tracks web traffic for more than 1,600 brands, including consumer staples made by Procter & Gamble Co. and Kraft Heinz Co.
“Loyal Amazon shoppers left the site when they saw long delivery times or items out of stock,” he said. “In-store pickup online shopping has become a much more attractive and desirable solution when people want something now. “
Amazon left workers worried about their safety on time off during the outbreak, which increased absenteeism and worsened delays. Some lawmakers, unions and workers have criticized Amazon for not doing enough to protect its warehouse workers and continue deliveries during the pandemic. Company officials have repeatedly said that they have taken several measures, including a thorough cleaning of the facilities, to keep its employees healthy.
Long delivery times were starting to erode Amazon’s brand reputation with consumers, said Juozas Kaziukenas, founder of New York-based research firm Marketplace Pulse which monitors the site. Buyers left 800,000 negative reviews on Amazon’s shopping site in April, double the same month a year ago, with the increase largely due to longer delivery times, a- he declared.
“Amazon is known for its large selection, low prices and fast delivery,” Kaziukenas said. “All of this erupted during the pandemic. The selection wasn’t always there, the prices weren’t the lowest because Amazon was out of stock and fast shipping was gone.
Even Amazon merchants, many of whom rely on the company to store, package, and ship their products through the Fulfillment By Amazon logistics service, have started doing things themselves to speed up the pace of deliveries.
Bellroy has been selling wallets, smartphone cases, and laptop sleeves on Amazon for seven years and has used Fulfillment By Amazon because fast delivery is popular with coveted Prime members. But at the end of March, delivery times for many of its products were 30 days, and sales have plummeted. Amazon prioritized essential items. So Bellroy began to pack and ship many of her products herself, and now handles the logistics of about 20% of her sales on Amazon, said Lina Calabria, co-founder and COO of the society.
“When you go to Amazon and see 30 day shipping, our brand gets mixed up with Amazon’s issues and we don’t want our customers to have a disappointing experience,” she said. “It looks like we accidentally developed a new strategy for Amazon.”
By further reducing its delivery times, Amazon will reduce the risk that more merchants will abandon its logistics service, which generated around $ 14.5 billion, or 19% of its total revenue, in the first quarter. Many sellers are just waiting for Amazon to remove the blockage on delivery, said James Thomson, a former Amazon employee who helps merchants sell products on the site through his consultancy firm Buy Box Experts.
“It doesn’t matter if I advertise on Facebook or Google and redirect people to my site and deliver faster delivery than Amazon,” he said. “The biggest problem for many traders is that buyers just don’t want their products right now. “