MGR eCommerce Edge Weekly | March 17, 2020
Top News This Week
The Only Story That Matters Right Now is COVID-19, We’ll Be Covering it From the eComm Angle.
Amazon suspends all shipments to FBA warehouses for non-essential items.
Amazon is currently overwhelmed with orders and cannot currently handle the load. This week alone they are hiring over 100,000 temp workers to help in their warehouses.
Until April 5, only household or other essential items will be accepted into FBA centers. If you have current inventory with FBA that will still be fulfilled. Self-fulfilling orders is still of course and option for all sellers.
China is re-opening factories and intends to have production back to pre-virus levels soon.
For those who rely on China for manufacturing this is great news, although we encourage everyone to learn from this crisis and work to distribute/have back up plans for manufacturing so that you do not rely on just one country.
Keep in mind that disruptions in the China supply chain can/likely will be caused by trade disputes again in the future, so don’t expect them re-opening factories now to be an ‘all clear.’
US Officials expected to announce small-business aid plan tonight for all companies with fewer than 500 employees.
Details are not available yet as of the writing of this newsletter, more will be revealed soon.
Shopify has compiled a directory for all businesses globally to see their country’s current aid packages (Updated daily). See if there are any your company can qualify for >
Silver Linings: While COVID-19 Will Be Devastating for Many, it Will Boost eComm Sales
Amazon can’t keep up with orders, food delivery apps don’t have enough drivers, and many eComm brands are seeing huge upticks in sales.
While the Coronavirus outbreak will hurt the physical economy, it will also likely accelerate the digital one. As people across the globe are forced to stay home, they are turning to eComm for their purchasing needs in droves.
In the US in 2019, eCommerce still made up less than 15% of consumer sales. This quarter that percentage will see a massive jump, far more than initially foretasted. The main question is whether that jump will be sustained once consumers’ quarantine period is over. We think it will.
Other Notable Links:
1. OpenTable released restaurant occupancy data for this past week, it’s looking grim – VOX
2. Universal is making its movies currently in theaters available for streaming as box office sales plummet – SLATE
3. What Goldman Sachs is telling its clients about the reality of the situation – FORBES
TL;DR – They are estimating about half of all Americans will contract COVID-19 and the death rate will be roughly 2%.