Coronavirus: Amazon India prioritises critical products; stops taking orders for lower-priority products

Amazon will prioritise providing household staples, packaged food, healthcare, hygiene, and personal safety products. Customers with pending orders on 'low-priority products' can cancel their orders, and receive a refund for prepaid items.

As the country enters into a frenzy of panic buying, ecommerce and tech giant Amazon India on Tuesday said that it is working to provide the products and services most demanded by customers and communities. In this effort, Amazon has temporarily stopped taking orders and disabled shipments for low-priority products.

Regarding the pending orders on low-priority products, Amazon said customers can cancel their orders, and receive a refund for prepaid items.

According to the ecommerce giant, ‘currently critical’ products which they will continue to provide include household staples, packaged food, healthcare, hygiene, and personal safety items, among other things listed as high-priority products.

As the efforts to contain the spread of COVID–19 continues, Amazon assured its focus on doorstep delivery, especially to the most vulnerable, including the elderly and those without access.

As the World Health Organisation (WHO) and national and local leaders urge people to quarantine amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the company claimed that its customers are counting on its service ‘like never before’ in their efforts to self-quarantine and socially distance themselves.

The development was soon followed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s announcement of a 21-day nationwide lockdown when only essential services will operate.

While Amazon stated that changes are in effect until further notice to resume normal operations, the ecommerce platform clarified that it will follow all the guidelines from the Centre and state governments in this matter.

Amit Agarwal, the head of Amazon India, took to twitter and thanked the central government for recognising services rendered by ecommerce platforms. He stated that the top priority is to flatten the curve of coronavirus cases.

Amazon stated, “We continue to work with concerned government authorities to ensure on-ground support that will enable us to offer a more expanded selection to fulfil customer needs.”

Also addressing the plight its sellers, Amazon added, “We recognize these are hard decisions that may impact some of our sellers’ business - we appreciate their understanding and continue to work for ways to enable small businesses to meet customer requirements during this time.”

(Edited by Kanishk Singh)


Updates from around the world