As Amazon prioritizes groceries and health items, vendors and third-party sellers face uncertainty
While initial reports and social media buzz made it seem like that the company was suspending all deliveries outside of these core household categories, that’s not quite accurate. Instead, Amazon told vendors and third-party, independent merchants that they will only be permitted to ship new, high-demand items (like groceries and baby products) to Amazon’s warehouses until April 5.
These sellers can still sell and ship discretionary items directly to customers if they choose to do so. On short notice, however, that can be quite a challenge for a small business to navigate. For example, not all sellers will have materials, boxes, or enough labor to fulfill their usual rate of orders. Will this lead to a shortage of items that aren’t currently in high demand ? That’s unclear, but it seems possible. Given that Amazon is an absolute giant in the e-commerce space, independent sellers may be at a loss for easy transitions to take their business elsewhere.
If independent sellers may take a financial hit, why go this route? According to Amazon, the move is to ensure it “can more quickly receive, restock and deliver” high-demand “products to customers.” Basically, with so many people (understandably) shifting to online orders, employees can only do so much at a time. Amazon is hiring 100,000 more workers for warehouse and delivery roles to meet this uptick in business, but that’s seemingly not enough to keep everything moving as usual.