Amazon puts stocking key health, household products on top priority amid coronavirus outbreak
Amazon says it is temporarily prioritising products such as household staples and medical supplies for customers.
Amazon has begun prioritising shipments of household staples, medical products and related items to its warehouses following a massive demand for these products due to the coronavirus outbreak. The prioritisation, though temporary, will affect sellers who are shipping products not related to the pandemic.
According to a CNBC report, Amazon's new policy is aimed at third-party sellers who offer their products on the US and Europe versions of the e-commerce platforms. These sellers may see a delay in shipments of their products as well.
"With this in mind, we are temporarily prioritizing household staples, medical supplies and other high-demand products coming into our fulfillment centers so we can more quickly receive, restock and ship these products to customers," an Amazon spokesperson told the publication. "We understand this is a change for our selling partners and appreciate their understanding as we temporarily prioritize these products for customers."
The move comes at a time when the e-commerce companies are under immense pressure to meet a big spike in demand for health related products. This has also resulted in some sellers trying to artificially inflate prices of these important products. Amazon has already warned of "appropriate actions" against third-party sellers involved in price gouging.
For Amazon, there are multiple challenges. This includes meeting the consumer demand as well as keeping its staff at warehouses and other workplaces safe from the coronavirus. Amazon has already asked its some employees to work from home.
"We are giving our support to the employees that are currently in quarantine," Amazon said in an emailed statement in response to the Spain crisis where three employees at two warehouses tested positive for coronavirus.
"The security and safety of our employees is our main concern and we are following the directives of the local and international health authorities, and we have applied a series of preventative health measures in our centers across the world," it added.