Helping small and medium businesses through COVID-19
For more than six years now, we at Amazon India have operated with a focus on enabling every motivated seller anywhere in the country to reach customers across India and every country in the world. As a marketplace, our approach in India has been centered on what our sellers need and we have introduced initiatives that benefit and empower them. Today we have more than 600,000 sellers and a significant number of these sellers include micro-entrepreneurs as well as small and medium businesses as well as women sellers, artisans and weavers and many more. All of them have together enabled us to offer our customers a rich selection having millions of products. In a way, they have been key to our vision of transforming the way India buys and sells.
Today, it is not business as usual
Today, the world faces a challenge like never before, a calamity that has affected human life and is also impacting businesses everywhere including here in India. The challenges are even more acute for small and medium businesses. We have always focused on working backwards from sellers’ needs. But today, more than ever, we feel that we have to support and stand with our seller partners especially the SMBs to help navigate the economic challenges that have arisen from the spread of COVID-19 pandemic. The truth is that this isn’t business as usual, it’s a time of great stress and uncertainty. It’s also a moment in time when we realise that the work we are doing is most critical since we are an integral part of the solution.
With the nationwide lockdown and restrictions on movements of goods and people; customers are counting on us like never before and are increasingly recognising e-commerce to support their social distancing and self-quarantine efforts. Our top priority at this time is delivering products that customers need the most and we are working with our seller partners to stock, supply and deliver high priority items like food, grocery, medical supplies and health care products. Like I said, this is an equally challenging time for our seller partners and it impacts their business – especially the SMBs. We realize this and are taking several measures to help and support them navigate through this tough situation we are all in.
Fee Waivers and Refunds
1. 50% waiver on Selling on Amazon (SoA) fees
We understand that the disruption brought in by COVID 19 has impacted the smaller business more. To help the micro-entrepreneurs and other SMBs with their cash flow, we are waiving off 50% of the SoA or the ‘referral fee’ till 30th June 2020. This initiative stands to benefit tens of thousands of sellers on Amazon.in. This is a fee that all sellers pay for selling their products on Amazon. This fee is a percentage of the total sales price that is paid by the buyer. The SoA fees vary for different categories but is applicable for all sellers. This waiver will apply to all sellers whose average GMS (Gross Merchandise Sales) for the Jan and Feb 2020 was INR 10,000 and below.
2. Waiver on Storage Fees
We are also waiving off storage fees for all products at our Fulfillment centers till May 17th. This will benefit sellers who use our FBA services and store their inventory in our infrastructure. Similarly, for sellers who have stored their inventory with us on a long term basis or need to store the other lower priority items at our Fulfilment Centre until further notice on the lockdown; we have decided to remove Long Term Storage Fee at our Fulfilment Centers from March 1st to May 17th. This also includes inventory that might get delayed/returned because of the ongoing nationwide lockdown and restrictions on the movement of goods and people.
3. Refund of referral and fulfillment fees for cancelled orders
As we prioritize delivering high priority products to our customers including food, groceries, medicine and healthcare items, we have had to cancel orders containing lower priority items. We understand that this is a change for our sellers’ business. To help reduce the impact of these cancellations on our seller partners, we are refunding of all fulfilment and referral fees.
Relaxing our policies to help our seller partners
1. Relaxing Claim and Reimbursement Policy
We are temporarily relaxing claim windows for different types of reimbursements that our seller partners file for. This has been done to ensure that reimbursement claims are not denied if they miss the regular claim windows due to the disruption caused by COVID 19.
2. Relaxing account performance metrics
We are also taking steps across the board to mitigate any negative impact on sellers’ performance metrics in the current situation. While evaluating their performance, we will not consider any negative impact due to this pandemic on the sellers’ account health. We are also working to relax our policies around order cancellation and returns to minimize to better support our seller partners through this period.
Rewarding our seller partners
1. Priority Wish list program (till end of June 2020)
This program is to encourage and reward our seller partners for bringing in more and more high priority products into our fulfilment centers. As part of this initiative, FBA (Fulfilled by Amazon) sellers will gain SRP (Seller Reward Points) credits for every unit of priority products sold through the fulfilment centers. These priority items include products from food, groceries, medicines and health care categories. For every high priority ASIN sold through FCs, sellers to get the following incentives. This is applicable till the end of June 2020.
- ASP INR 0 to 250 – INR 23
- ASP INR 250 to 500 – INR 15
- For masks and sanitizers – ASP 0 to 500 - INR 35
We will continue to support our seller partners
As we live through these times, we know that we have an important role to play in serving our customers and also supporting our seller partners. We want seller partners to know that we are doing our best to help them get through this and will continuously work towards enabling their business on Amazon.
We sincerely hope that these initiatives and our support in a small way will be of help to our seller partners especially the SMBs and micro-entrepreneurs who have been the backbone of the Indian economy and our marketplace.
As you pledge to #StayHome to protect all of us, we pledge to come #TogetherForIndia and brave this crisis.