Amazon has stated that the company plans to temporarily stop accepting any new grocery delivery orders amid increased demand in the US. The Seattle-based e-commerce giant will start putting new grocery orders on a wait-list starting Monday, next week.
Amazon will also limit the working hours at it's Whole Foods stores from Monday. This will allow them to prioritize deliveries for existing customers who have been buying food online.
However, Amazon expects to ease these restrictions in due course. The company seeks to add to their delivery capacity in the coming weeks.
WHO has declared the coronavirus (COVID-19) spread as a pandemic. Therefore, most cities have shut down hotels, schools and offices, asking people to stay indoors as much as possible.
As the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic spreads, most cities are on lock down. To try and slowdown the spread of COVID-19, people are staying indoors to maintain social distancing.
Hence, as more and more people are forced to stay indoors, Amazon is seeing a huge surge in demand for online grocery deliveries. As per Amazon, the demand has surged by more than 60 percent during this coronavirus outbreak.
Amazon's online grocery orders are serviced through their own warehouses and through Whole Foods stores. Shoppers can place their orders either through Amazon Fresh or Amazon Prime Now.
A shopper would need to subscribe to Amazon Prime for US $119 a year and gains access to Amazon Prime Now, among other benefits.
Typically, a shopper has the option to select a delivery window while placing their orders. However, Amazon Prime subscribers have been complaining about a lack of delivery windows on Amazon Fresh and Amazon Prime Now.
Amazon takes steps to meet increased demand amid COVID-19 outbreak
While this demand is unprecedented, Amazon has been working behind the scenes to meet customer needs.
Whole Foods stores offering grocery pickup have been increased to more than 150 locations. These were originally around 80 when the pandemic had started.
Amazon is also planning to shorten the public hours at Whole Foods for in-store shopping. The company plans to use the remaining hours to speed up deliveries for the online orders.
Amazon has also stated that they would hire and increase worker head counts to expand capacity.
Additionally, Amazon will launch a new feature using which shoppers can secure a virtual "place in line" for the delivery windows. These delivery windows will be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis.
The company also intends to offer a higher pay to its warehouse workers to entice them to work for their grocery delivery service as well.
Amazon had acquired Whole Foods in August 2017 for a whopping US $13.7 billion. The investment seems to be paying off as Amazon is leveraging both, Whole Foods and their online presence, to meet increased customer demand amid this crisis.