Amazon Impacts of Covid-19 – Update 4/15

Click here to download a pdf of the slides, Navazon Inc April 14 2020 COVID-19. 


Much has happened in the past week as the COVID-19 pandemic has developed, and Amazon has continued to respond. Alan Adams and his team at Navazon have kept up with these shifts in the e-commerce space and have some very useful information for vendors trying to survive the crisis. 


Amazon itself is still thriving in the midst of the chaos. Amazon was the only retailer among the e-commerce companies covered by Wall Street firm Jefferies in which consumers are spending more since coronavirus pandemic began. They have hired 100,000 new workers and still need 75,000 more to fulfill their needs. However, many Amazon office employees have been pulled for COVID-19 Task Force, so they may be less responsive to regular tasks vendors and sellers need addressed. But even among that situation, RBS has recently started to respond a bit faster during non-work day hours. 


In some marketplaces, Amazon has begun to expand shipments to nonessential items and enabling 3rd party sellers to resume shipping, allowing more products into their fulfillment centers. Some categories, such as those that are travel related or luxury items like large televisions, are still lagging behind in orders. Grocery deliveries are still limited as well, and Amazon is encouraging those able to shop for those items in person. 


Current predictions estimate continued impacts of virus to run until end of May, so Amazon vendors and sellers will still need to know the best ways to run their business in the midst of these difficulties. Among the suggestions that Navazon has provided in past weeks, they remind vendors that customer demand for products is still high, even if POs are focused on critical categories. So, this creates opportunities for those quick enough to grasp them. 


Competitors are now seeing opportunity and reevaluating AMS spend, so businesses should again add AMS spend back or increase it to capture higher relevance and search rank before there is too competition again. With current high ROI and low ACOS, now is a great time to run ads on competitor terms and make sure your brand is seen while the competition is low. 


Looking to the future, be aware that Prime Day is expected to occur in August, all April and May category events have been postponed or cancelled, and Vine has been suspended. And if those things would normally be occupying your time, that makes now a great opportunity to get your future promotions planned and ready to submit as soon as you are able. 


As the COVID-19 responses continue to develop, there will certainly be more shifts and adjustments by Amazon, which will change how vendors and sellers handle their accounts and operations. This was a week with a mountain of updated measures, and the next is looking like it will provide even more. Be sure to tune in this coming Tuesday, April 21, at 10:30 PDT.