How to Keep Your Business Running During the Pandemic

06/22/2020
With the increase in online shopping, the number of sellers on Amazon has continuously increased, especially in India. Today, Amazon India has more than 6 lakh sellers, many of them being small and medium businesses (SMBs) running successfully and earning good money. Our sellers have consistently been a core part of our success in providing rich customer experience to the buyers.

But today, we are facing a global pandemic of Coronavirus. The country is in a lockdown which has made it difficult for businesses to function. People are relying on e-commerce more than ever for essential goods like food, groceries, medicine, and healthcare items to ensure safety. During the initial phase of lockdown, only essential products were allowed to be delivered. But now as the lockdown has relaxed a bit, the sale of non-essential goods has resumed in some areas. The government has divided the cities into green, orange, and red zones, depending on the severity of the spread of the virus. This has brought some relief to our sellers who could not sell their products earlier.

The restriction on the selling of non-essential items has impacted the small and medium businesses (SMBs), who are not able to sell the majority of their products.

In such adverse conditions, where doing business has become difficult, we at Amazon, are taking steps to support our seller family when they need it the most. We have introduced some policy relaxations and rewards them. Here’s how we have taken steps to help our sellers like you during the lockdown.

Policy Relaxations

There are various policies for our sellers on Amazon to benefit them in the long run. To help them, we are relaxing some of the policies that may affect their business. The aim is to reduce the impact of the slowdown in sales on their business.

1. Relaxing Claim and Reimbursement Policy

We are temporarily relaxing claim windows for different types of reimbursements that our sellers file for. This has been done to ensure that reimbursement claims are not denied if you miss the regular claim windows due to the disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

2. Relaxing Account Performance Metrics There are performance metrics (like cancellation rate) that are important for our sellers to maintain good account health. We will not consider any negative impact due to this pandemic on our sellers’ accounts during evaluation. The decision is made to protect their accounts from the effect of the disruptions caused by the pandemic. We are also working to relax our policies around order cancellation and returns to better support our sellers through this period.

Rewarding Our Sellers

To fulfill the current requirements of essential or priority products, we have started a program called the ‘Priority Wish List’ program. Its aim is to encourage and reward our sellers for bringing in more high priority products into Amazon Fulfillment Centers. The program is applicable until the end of May 2020. Our FBA (Fulfillment By Amazon) sellers will receive SRP (Seller Reward Points) credits for every unit of priority products sold through the Fulfillment Centers (FCs).

Under this initiative, we are offering incentives for each high priority ASIN (Amazon Standard Identification Number) sold through these FCs. ASIN is a unique identification number assigned to each product for identification. As per this program, our sellers receive:

a.) An incentive of INR 23 for products with ASP (Average Selling Price) of INR 0 to 250
b.) An incentive of INR 15 for products with ASP of INR 250 to 500
c.) An incentive of INR 35 for masks and sanitizers

Recommendations for Our Sellers

With the focus on providing goods to the customers, we are helping our sellers to resume their operations. Creating different zones has helped many of our sellers to offer their services and deliver orders. There are also several physical stores that have registered themselves with Local Shops on Amazon. These stores are helping more customers locally, with their quick deliveries. But the regulations are different in all these zones. To enable smooth operations, we have set certain recommendations for our sellers.

Here is a quick summary of how we expect the business to function in different zones.
Green Zones
Orange Zones
Red Zones
Containment Zones
Customer orders
Customers can now place pre-paid orders on all products (subject to local regulations)
Customers can place pre-paid orders on all products (subject to local regulations)
Customers can now place pre-paid orders on all products (subject to local regulations)
No orders accepted
ATS (Amazon Transportation Services)
We will pick up all products. Some pickups may be delayed due to the on-ground situations
We will pick up all products. Some pickups may be delayed due to the on-ground situations
We will pick up all products. Some pickups may be delayed due to the on-ground situations
We will be unable to pick up any products
Fulfillment Center
Accepting inventory of all products. Inbounds by PCP may be delayed as per the on-ground situations
Accepting inventory of all products. Inbounds by PCP may be delayed as per the on-ground situations
Accepting inbounds of all products. Inbounds by PCP may be delayed as per the on-ground situations
Not applicable

A Gesture for Our Sellers

Our sellers and their well-being are always on top priority for us. We have taken these necessary measures on time to reduce the impact of lockdown on our sellers. We are doing our best to help them sail through this difficult time and enable their business on Amazon. Giving relaxations, rewards, and providing additional facilities is a way of showing gratitude to our sellers’ services and contributing to their lives during this uncertain time.

Please reach out to us for any other assistance.
Disclaimer: Whilst Amazon Seller Services Private Limited ("Amazon") has used reasonable endeavors in compiling the information provided, there is no assurance as to its accuracy, completeness or usefulness or that such information is error-free. Amazon hereby disclaims any and all liability and assumes no responsibility whatsoever for consequences resulting from use of such information. Information provided may be changed or updated by Amazon at any time, without prior notice, at Amazon's sole discretion. Any copying, redistribution or republication of the information, or the content thereof, without prior written consent of Amazon is strictly prohibited. You agree to use the information, at your own risk and expressly waive any and all claims, rights of action and/or remedies (under law or otherwise) that you may have against Amazon arising out of or in connection with the use of or reliance upon such information.
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