Anyone who's ventured out in the grocery stores in their local area recently has probably seen the same thing: many of the everyday items that we normally purchase without thinking about it are out of stock. Particularly difficult to find are things like toilet paper, household cleaners, and hand sanitizers. Not surprisingly, many of those same items at Amazon are out of stock as well. Amazon has said that it's out of stock on many household items, and consumers should be prepared for delayed deliveries due to heavy coronavirus demand.
Amazon says that shipping times are slower due to the high demand from online shopping. Amazon has directly blamed a "dramatic increase in the rate that people are shopping online" for the increased delivery time. The online retailer says that it is working around-the-clock with selling partners to ensure the availability of products and to bring on the additional capacity to deliver orders. Amazon is also working to shore up its supply chain with factories in China and other parts of the world currently off-line.
Amazon has said that it believes its role serving customers in the community during this time is critical and that it wants to make sure people can get the items they need when they need them. One crucial thing Amazon is doing is working to ensure that its third-party sellers don't artificially raise prices on basic needs products during the pandemic. The company has "blocked or removed tens of thousands of items" in line with its long-standing policy and that it's actively monitoring listings to remove offers that violate its policy.
Amazon is also enhancing daily cleaning procedures and implementing additional nightly cleaning in its physical retail stores. Prime Now, Amazon Fresh, and Whole Foods Market delivery customers have the option to select "unattended delivery" during checkout if they don't want to come in contact with the delivery agent. All orders that don't contain alcohol are eligible for unattended delivery. Amazon also promises that it's working to ensure its Amazon Web Services customers have the tools and support they need to keep businesses operating efficiently.
The online retailer has also taken the same tactic that most other companies are doing and encouraging employees and partners who can work from home to do so. All employees who are diagnosed with coronavirus or placed into quarantine will receive up to two weeks pay. That is in addition to unlimited unpaid time off for our hourly employees through the end of March.
One bright spot during the coronavirus outbreak is that ISPs are dropping data caps for many customers. Some believe that this could spell the end for data caps and overage charges for good.