The sudden outbreak of COVID-19 has impacted all of us, with new updates every day. At Sellwin, our goal is to help agencies and clients stay informed about the world of e-commerce and make strategic decisions about their business. As we all move forward together through the uncertainty of this time, we will use this space to keep track of announcements from the press and our marketplaces partners.
- 5/13 – Amazon announces a new tablet, the Fire HD 8, as a large portion of the world continues to quarantine at home. The tablets will begin shipping on June 3rd and the entry-level model costs $90.
- 5/11 – Speculation arises about whether Amazon will buy AMC theaters. This would be a game changer for movie studios since Amazon obviously would prioritize its own films and own a larger brick and mortar footprint for its retail products.
- 5/11 – Amazon working on a virus-killing robot per 60 Minutes. This demonstrates one of many of Amazon’s measures to combat Coronavirus, including COVID-19 testing, AI, and contact tracing.
- 5/4 – Tim Bray, a senior Amazon executive, quits over firings of employees who protested, sparking further public backlash of Amazon’s treatments of warehouse workers.
- 5/1 – Amazon, Instacart and Target employees organized May Day protests for their respective companies to provide better benefits through the COVID environment. These retailers continue to claim that they’ve made significant investments for worker protections, but protesters argue that such provisions are temporary and PPE is not guaranteed.
- 4/30 – Amazon reports their earnings after the bell, completely outperforming expectations with a 26% revenue increase year-over-year, reaching $75.5 billion from January to March 2020.
- 4/27 – Amazon announces that they will be screening the film lineup for SXSW 2020. The festival has otherwise been cancelled.
- 4/23 – Amazon grants $2.5 million to Columbia University for COVID-19 plasma therapy study.
- 4/18 – FBA update: Amazon is catching up to demand and making more products eligible for shipment.
- 4/16 – Amazon cancels Mother’s Day and Father’s Day promotions, removes the “Deals” page, and disables certain recommendation banners, encouraging people to buy less for the first time ever.
- 4/16 – Jeff Bezos publishes his annual Letter to Shareholders, which details the efforts his company is taking to address the COVID-19 crisis, including the launch of employee testing centers.
- 4/15 – Amazon closes some Whole Foods locations and LA grocery stores to function as “dark stores” (warehouses)
- 4/13 – Amazon begins waitlisting new Fresh and Whole Foods delivery customers in order to catch up with growing grocery delivery demand. On the same day, Quartz reports that Amazon Fresh orders have grown by 323% YOY in March, rapidly increasing since the start of 2020.
- 4/13 – Amazon starts accepting shipments from “nonessential” 3P sellers again
- 4/13 – Amazon opens an additional 75K roles, now marking an investment of half a billion in labor since the crisis started. The company reports that the initial 100K open roles have already been filled.
- 4/3 – Amazon Prime Day is suspended until at least August according to Reuters, who estimates that Amazon will see a potential $100 million hit from excess devices it might now have to sell at a discount.
- 3/24 – Amazon Vine Program and coupon offers are temporarily suspended, effectively slowing the flywheel effect on sales.
- 3/23 – Amazon publishes a blog post detailing their efforts to fight price gouging on the platform.
- 3/21 – Official Amazon press release announces that they will be temporarily prioritizing essential items for shipping in response to the crisis: