COVID-19 is continuing to cause unforeseen impacts globally. On March 17th, Amazon announced that they have temporarily disabled the ability to create shipments for products outside of the following categories:
- Baby Products
- Health & Household
- Beauty & Personal Care
- Industrial & Scientific
- Pet Supplies
As of today, this decision will be in effect through April 5, 2020. This new policy applies to all US and EU sellers, including both third-party sellers (3P) and Amazon Retail (1P).
Why is Amazon Restricting Product Categories?
According to Amazon, this decision was made due to the sudden and dramatic increased demand for medical and household products caused by the COVID-19 outbreak. To reduce out-of-stocks and shipping delays for these high-demand products, Amazon will prioritize the above categories and will no longer accept new shipments to its fulfillment centers from other categories.
How are Products Already at Amazon Impacted?
According to Amazon, shipments created before March 17th, 2020 will still be accepted at Amazon fulfillment centers. Additionally, products not in the above categories will still be processed as normal if they are already in an Amazon fulfillment center.
How Can Brands Fulfill Non-Exempted Products?
Amazon’s new, temporary policy could have a severe impact for many businesses. To mitigate these risks, brands in impacted categories may need to seek out third-party logistic providers (3PLs) to ensure product reaches their customers. For example, Kaspien partners with Deliverr, a multi-channel fulfillment provider, for non-FBA channels, and we will be able to adjust our Amazon fulfillment strategy to support impacted brands during this time.
What Can Brands do During this Restriction?
Being unable to send inventory to Amazon for two weeks may range from a potential risk to a near-certain sales loss. Depending on the urgency of your situation, here are a few steps Kaspien is taking that you or your sellers may take while this policy is active:
- Diligently monitor your stock levels to determine if replenishment is necessary before this policy lifts. Continue constant monitoring throughout the next two weeks.
- If you can and are willing to ship direct to consumer, begin setting up the proper communication for that scenario. Kaspien will be assisting our partners with this effort.
- If you do not have direct to consumer capabilities, you may need to work with third-party logistics (3PL) network to store and ship your products directly to consumers.
- If you have your own Amazon Seller Central account that is affected, set up dropship capabilities to fulfill customer orders throughout this restriction period. Kaspien will be assisting our partners with this effort too.
Ongoing Turbulence Caused by COVID-19
We recognize the severe impact this could have on your online business, and we are here to support you every way we can. If Amazon’s policies and procedures continue to change during this time, please note that Kaspien has strategically built our business with key diversification, leveraging our tools and business partners to provide you with continued support during changing times. If there is anything else we can do to support you or any questions we can answer, don’t hesitate to reach out.