Amazon: Our COVID-19 Infection Rate 42% Lower Than General Population

| Mike O'Brien

Amazon said 19,816 of its 1.4 million U.S. frontline workers tested positive for COVID-19 from March 1-Sept, 19, adding the figure is 42% below the general population rate of 33,952 based on data from Johns Hopkins. This runs counter to claims of protesters about widespread infection rates in Amazon’s facilities.

Bezos Says Amazon May Test All Employees for COVID-19 Infection

| Mike O'Brien

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos addressed the company’s response to and operations during the coronavirus outbreak, saying they’re doing all they can to keep workers safe amid reports of growing positive tests, a worker death and walkouts. Bezos also discussed possible company-wide COVID-19 testing, a process that is taking top priority.

Amazon to Halt Shipping Service for 3P Sellers Due to Coronavirus Demand

| Mike O'Brien

Amazon plans to halt its Amazon Shipping service that competes directly with FedEx and UPS, the Wall Street Journal is reporting, diverting workers to over-maxed fulfillment operations for its own business. Amazon Shipping is only active in a few cities. The company is working with shippers to limit the amount of disruption.

Amazon Adjusted Buy Box Algorithm, Rewarding Merchant Fulfilled Orders

| Mike O'Brien

Amazon has recently adjusted its “buy box” product search algorithm to favor items that can be fulfilled and delivered faster by sellers themselves over Prime eligible products offered through Fulfilled By Amazon, which are taking weeks vs. days, experts say. The change was noticed last week by sellers using Merchant Fulfilled Prime.

Prime Day Delayed Until At Least August Due to Coronavirus Issues

| Mike O'Brien

Amazon is pushing Prime Day from mid-July to sometime in August or later, Reuters is reporting, due to the ongoing coronavirus outbreak, further impacting already distressed third-party sellers as restrictions on processing nonessential orders through Fulfillment by Amazon are just now being eased.

Amazon Competition, Data Privacy Top 2020 Ecommerce Priorities

| Douglas P. Clement

Competing with Amazon, addressing privacy issues linked to collection of data by third-party technologies and improving site speed to boost sales are top priorities identified in a new study from ecommerce platform provider Yottaa. The report suggests Prime-style free same-day shipping will become widespread among brands in 2020.

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Walmart+ Is Coming to Compete With Amazon Prime

| Douglas P. Clement

We had just heard about Walmart’s new fulfillment service competitive with FBA, when we learned the retail giant was launching a membership program a la Amazon Prime. Recode reported Walmart will begin testing the membership program as early as March, initially as a rebrand of same-day grocery service Delivery Unlimited.

Amazon Cutting Out Delivery Contractors It Says Don’t Pass Muster

| Mike O'Brien

Amazon is severing delivery contracts in five states, affecting about 1,300 drivers, eliminating partners it says aren’t meeting delivery standards, according to Bloomberg and other reports. Two years ago, Amazon began a program to help entrepreneurs start up delivery businesses, creating less of a need for the existing contractors.

6 Tips for Thriving in a Saturated Amazon Marketplace

| Kunal Chopra

Amazon is the world’s most valuable brand, with an estimated 38% of U.S. ecommerce sales, forcing business owners to create a brand presence there. Unfortunately that popularity makes it harder to capture consumers’ attention. These 6 tips will help marketers grow your company’s ecommerce business on Amazon’s marketplace.