Like every month, Amazon has provided us with a lot of exciting news this time. Here are the most interesting things that happened on Amazon during February (and early March) 2020. Naturally, we will begin with the Covid Virus, which is on everyone’s mind.
1. A small bottle of hand sanitizer for $400 ???
Sellers on Amazon are taking advantage of the situation and offering small Purell Hand Sanitizer bottles, usually priced $10 for $400!
The press is fuming, and Amazon responds by blocking over a million products that displayed false claims regarding Covid. It took off shelves 530,000 products defined as high-priced and suspended around 2500 seller accounts that drove up prices to respond to the virus and defied Amazon’s policy.
Amazon actively monitors the prices on the platform and employs Amazon Marketplace Fair Pricing Policy to remove sellers deemed “bad actors” from the platform.
2. Three days ago, Amazon requested that all workers in the Seattle area work from home till the end of March, after a worker in the region has tested positive to Covid.
3. Americans are panicking, and Amazon fails to make same-day and next-day delivery times.
The Coronavirus and the surrounding panic have caused a sudden surge in demand and left Amazon unable to deliver products in promised times. The Prime Now website displays a message about limited availability in certain areas, and the web is already filled with clients’ complaints.
4. The first Amazon Go Grocery Stop opens in Seattle and allows checkout-free shopping.
The first big shop to use Amazon’s cameras and sensors technology opened in Seattle, offering over 5000 different products. The store also provides individually priced fruit and vegetable without weighing. Customers simply put the chosen items in their carts, and Amazon’s technology prices them accordingly. Installed cameras can monitor any motion and track what’s missing on shelves and what was returned if the client changes their mind so that you can have a natural shopping experience.
In addition to the premium Wholefoods chain, Amazon Go stores, and the innovative Amazon Go Grocery shops, Amazon plans to launch another chain in Los Angeles. The designed Amazon Branded Grocery Store will offer a more traditional approach and be branded as more low-brow.
Amazon’s advantage is all the data it already has about the online shopping habits of every area and customizes offline stores.
5. Bezos donates $10B to fight climate change.
Jeff Bezos has pledged to donate $10b to fund research, activities, and non-profits to protect the environment and reduce our effect on the world climate. The donation comes after his company faces a lot of criticism, including from former employees on their contribution to air pollution and global climate change. The initiative is called Bezos Earth Fund.
“I want to work alongside others both to amplify known ways and to explore new ways of fighting the devastating impact of climate change on this planet”
6. Amazon deliveries will soon arrive in electric vehicles.
Amazon is one of the largest investors in Rivian – a maker of electrically powered cars. Amazon had already placed an order for 100000 electric delivery vans that are expected to enter use in 2021.
Watch the campaign promoting the decision..
7. Amazon Care – the first virtual clinic for Amazon employees and their family members, has begun to operate in Seattle.
The clinic is available 24/7 and combines Amazon’s existing technological abilities with providing healthcare for employees and their families. The service includes an app where you can chat with professionals, video calls, home visits from nurses, and drug delivery. At a time of growing concerns about the Covid virus, digital first response can indeed be very suitable. Amazon is making significant strides in healthcare, and it’s pretty clear that this is a direction where it sees a lot of potentials.
8. Surprise – Amazon opens new 4-star stores in 17 malls across the US
The e-commerce giant is opening more and more physical stores. And this time, its 4-star stores that offer a wide range of products rated higher than 4 stars on Amazon. The products are displayed in the store with their online reviews. The stores will open in successful malls that are now changing their functions and offer more entertainment and experiences. Amazon’s strategy to open diverse stores with an interactive experience merges well with the new direction in which malls are heading.
9. What’s going on in Europe? New fulfillment centers in Italy and a Business Prime service in Spain.
Due to growing demand and desire to broaden selection, Amazon will open 2 more storage centers in Italy, opening 1400 new jobs.
Amazon Prime Business – A new service for business clients in Spain
10. A patent filed by Amazon and revealed in the last month unveils an intriguing way to launch objects. The patent mentions satellites, which can refer to Amazon’s desire to launch its own satellites and provide internet to the world. A little backstory: in December 2019, Amazon announced it planned to build satellites in 2020. The so-called Project Kuiper is supposed to launch 3200 satellites and provide a low-cost internet connection. It is also competition for Elon Musk’s SpaceX project.
Amazon responds, saying that they file multiple patents like other companies, and not all of them are linked to specific projects.
Image: UPSTO / Amazon
And last but not least
Podcast lovers: the season-ending of the Commercation podcast by Timpr Gordon includes an interesting panel titled “Amazon is here”. It’s interesting to hear what central figures in Israeli e-commerce think:
And – Passover is around the corner. It’s interesting to see whether Amazon will continue free delivery to Israel given Covid and the US’s high demands.
Thank you to everyone who made it this far and Thanks Edge by Ascential for publishing the most interesting things about Amazon for each month.
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