Managing demand during the ongoing coronavirus outbreak seems to have already begun to prove difficult for Amazon after shoppers reported delays when trying to purchase non-essential items from the ecommerce giant.
Last week the company announced that it would begin prioritizing the most in-demand essential items from its warehouses. However, this shift has made it increasingly difficult for consumers to order non-essential items from Amazon.
Despite the fact that many non-essential items were listed as in-stock and available through Amazon Prime, consumers and merchants took to social media over the weekend to say that certain non-essential items were now showing April 21 delivery dates.
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Before the coronavirus outbreak, Amazon Prime deliveries typically arrived in one or two days in the US. Now however, some Prime deliveries for items that are in-stock are showing five-day delivery promises while others will take up to a month to arrive at a customer's door.
In a statement to Recode, an Amazon spokesperson explained that the new delivery dates are a result of the company shifting its focus to prioritize high priority items, saying:
“To serve our customers in need while also helping to ensure the safety of our associates, we’ve changed our logistics, transportation, supply chain, purchasing, and third-party seller processes to prioritize stocking and delivering items that are a higher priority for our customers. This has resulted in some of our delivery promises being longer than usual.”
In addition to pushing back the delivery dates of non-essential items, Amazon said that it would only accept new stock in its warehouses through early April it was from one of six essential product categories such as health and household good or medical supplies.
The ecommerce giant also recently announced that it is currently trying to hire 100,000 new workers in order to help it sort, package and deliver goods to customers.
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