Skip to main content

It’s officially here and it’s crippling businesses everywhere. That’s right, Coronavirus is here, it has made its mark, and it will definitely change a great deal of things long after it’s gone.

What was once included in headlines about China has now spread across the world and is affecting everything and everyone, from business owners to customers. The novel COVID-19 virus has likely changed the way we consume products on a global scale forever. Every day, more and more factories and retail stores are shut down because of state-imposed quarantine, and many people opt to stay home and purchase their goods online in order avoid going out and interacting with hoarders who are eating each other alive over toilet paper! This puts a heavy pressure on Ecommerce platforms such as Amazon, Walmart, Jet, and others. Can these marketplaces handle the ever-rising pressure? Let’s find out!

Amazon Fights Back:

Amazon has definitely not been immune to COVID-19. Workers from at least 8 US Amazon warehouse locations came down sick with the virus, forcing Amazon to put workload on hold until the areas were properly disinfected. It has also recently come under fire from employees and media alike for not maintaining proper hygiene procedures, especially in Italy which currently is the hardest-hit country in the world. While it is dealing with the virus in warehouses, there is also the war against “price gougers” who are benefiting from the mass panic and are reselling essential products at insane prices on the platform. The Guardian reported thermometers being sold on the platform for $180 dollars as opposed to the usual $40.

That being said, Amazon is not being idle. It has already begun to revamp its warehouses, adding 100,000 new ones to meet shipment requirements. It has also doubled the salary for warehouse workers, giving the sick ones a two-week paid rest period. The intake of items it considers non-essential has been ceased to make the delivery of essential items easier.  Funds have been set in place both for Amazon workers, as well as smaller business which are currently struggling to stay afloat. Jeff Bazos has already made comments on working in conjuncture with WHO on preparing test kits and potentially delivering them globally. Amazon is also not tolerating any rogue sellers and is cracking down on anyone who raises prices for essential products. It is also asking its customers to be vigilant and report these cases to the platform.

Walmart Launches Defensive Measures

Walmart also seems to be following suit. Physical stores aside, it is cracking down on anyone who violates pricing laws on its online platform. It recently announced the following on its website:

“Violations of our seller pricing policy and seller prohibited items policy will not be tolerated and will be resolved quickly.”

Moreover, it placed a quantity limit on high-demand products to prevent bulk-buying by panicking customers.

As a major player in physical retail, Walmart, like Amazon is taking extra care of its employees, granting them paid leave should they feel sick or under the weather. It has also announced that it will support affected employees financially if need be. Furthermore, it has imposed strict travel regulations on its employees. As for customers, it is urging the use of and pickup service.

As the virus is forcing businesses to close down, it is up to Ecommerce to carry the burden until the tides are calm again. Amazon, Walmart, and other online marketplaces strive to sustain consumer needs in the middle of panic and economic instability.

Leave a Reply