According to Fulfillment by Amazon, the Coronavirus, also known as COVID-19, has been greatly impacting Amazon customers, sellers, and employees.
Since people are staying in their homes trying to prevent the COVID-19 from spreading any further, online shopping has increased dramatically leaving household items low in quantity or completely out of stock. Due to this dilemma, Amazon has chosen to temporarily prioritize household items such as staples, medical supplies, and other high demand products that have been entering their fulfillment centers in order to quickly obtain, restock, and deliver products to customers as fast as possible.
Amazon says that for any other products than these, they have temporarily disabled FBA shipments and they are taking a similar approach with retail vendors as well. This will be in effect until April 5th 2020. Amazon will communicate when they resume their regular operations. Any shipments created before March 17th 2020 will be received at Fulfillment centers. You can learn more about this on this Help page. It’s also important to note that Selling Partner Support does not presently have any further guidance.
Amazon understands how this change might impact our businesses and says how they most certainly did not take this decision lightly. They are working as hard as they can to increase capacity and are trying to quickly hire 100,000 new full and part-time positions at fulfillment centers across the US. They thank their Amazon customers, sellers, and employees for their understanding and patience as they prioritize the above products in response to COVID-19.
What Actions Could You Take?
- Consider increasing quantities on any pending orders by up to 5% without penalty
- Ensure that you have a back-up means of fulfilling inventory, such as your own warehouse or 3PL to do fulfillment. We advise all clients to create a duplicate SKU for each ASIN, one is used for FBA and one is merchant fulfilled or SFP. This is allowed by Amazon and is a good tactic to ensure sales momentum is not impacted greatly when you run out of stock in FBA. You should also be exploring alternative fulfillment to diversify into other channels such as Walmart, eBay and other marketplaces as a means of diversifying your sales revenue through multiple channels
- Consider adjusting your prices to maintain a run rate that does not run out of stock, but be careful not to increase prices too drastic or Amazon may suspend your buy box eligibility due to price gouging concerns
- If you have a regular cadence of planned inventory allocations to Amazon, you will want to account for this impact by increasing future shipments as needed
- Many sellers are seeing decreased sales of non-essential product sales recently, so you may find that additional inventory is not needed and this may be good to keep inventory balances in check
If you have questions about selling on Amazon, optimizing your listings and advertising campaigns to peak performance, please contact Prime Guidance for a free account consultation at firstname.lastname@example.org.