We noticed it already on Monday (16.03.). Neither our own VendorCentrals nor those of our customer accounts received orders from Amazon. Inquiries with colleagues revealed the same picture. We already figured that this had to do with the current situation and the restrictions caused by the Corona virus; then on Tuesday afternoon came the official announcement from Amazon:
So until April 5 (for now), Amazon’s logistics centers will cease regular operations and focus on items from the household goods (toilet paper?!? ;-)), medical supplies and other products with high customer demand. This results in fewer or no more orders for most vendors and extended delivery windows for existing orders.
Which Amazon categories are not affected by the restrictions?
- Baby products
- Drugstore and household
- Drugstore and personal care (including electronic devices for personal care)
- Industry and science
- Pet Supplies
For all those who pursue a double strategy and also operate a Seller Central parallel to the Amazon Vendor Account: There, too, delivery to the Amazon warehouses (FBA) is subject to the same restrictions.
What can you do as a vendor?
If you are a vendor not in the above categories, you will not receive orders from Amazon until April 5. This is not nice, but from our point of view it is not a catastrophe either.
First, we have observed in recent weeks that Amazon has purchased a disproportionate amount of merchandise and stocked up for higher ranges than usual. With this, the stock range should also be sufficient for many of your items and your products should be available and purchasable for the customer on the Amazon website. Thus, the risk of ranking loss due to lack of availability and thus lack of visibility is minimized.
On the other hand, you can use the “break” and the resources it frees up to expand your product portfolio on Amazon, create new items and subject the existing products to a comprehensive review and further optimize them.
For example in the
- Do your products all have zoomable product images?
- Are the product titles meaningful and do they have the optimal length?
- Are you using all 5 bullet points and getting the key messages about your products across there?
- Do you have A+ content in your products as much as possible and are you taking advantage of cross-selling opportunities?
- Build your Amazon brand store
Order Processing / Performance Area:
How can you still continue to deliver?
The restrictions only affect Amazon logistics centers. So you can continue to supply the customer as a vendor via dropshipping and as a seller via FBM.
What are our predictions for the future?
“Forecasts are difficult, especially when they concern the future” (Mark Twain).
Sometimes the quote is also attributed to Kurt Tucholsky or even Winston Churchill. So you see, not only the future is uncertain…
In general, we expect online retail to benefit disproportionately after a small dip and the decline of stationary retailers to accelerate significantly. This is also supported by figures from China. There, the Corona crisis caused brick-and-mortar retail to fall by 80%, while online retail fell by only 15%.
Many of the stationary retailers who are already struggling will not survive this.
This is also supported by the fact that Amazon has just advertised 100,000 new jobs in the USA (mostly for its fulfillment centers). Certainly there will be a “corona disease buffer” factored in there, but most of it is geared toward growth.
Conclusion: Online will boom. We are using the current ordering pause to position ourselves even better and to optimize fine details. This is also our recommendation to you.