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Coronavirus

The reason Amazon wants you to shop less (yes, really)

Of all the essential businesses still open during COVID-19, Amazon is the reigning king. With so many people indoors nowadays to protect themselves, online shopping has become the preferred option for stocking up on supplies. It makes sense when you consider how easily the novel coronavirus can spread.

As a result, Amazon has been busy — extremely busy. So busy, in fact, that it had to hire more than 100,000 new workers just to meet the insane demand for must-have supplies. Tap or click to see open jobs at Amazon, along with other companies still hiring.

Amazon has been doing so much business that it is now attempting to scale back by canceling Prime Day, holiday incentives and even its recommendation algorithm! Why would the world’s most valuable company want to make less money in a time like this? Did Jeff Bezos run out of room in his vault? The answer will surprise you.

‘I have too much money now!’ – Jeff Bezos, probably

Nobody is 100% sure just how much Amazon’s fortunes have grown in the last few months, but the company is one of the few still performing quite well in the stock market. On Tuesday, April 14, the company’s share price rose up 5.3% to reach a new record high.

As an 11% stakeholder in the company, that means Jeff Bezos’ wealth has also increased. His personal worth is now valued at $138 billion, which shows an increase of $24 billion during the coronavirus crisis alone.

With such staggering gains, it’s no wonder that Amazon is scaling back operations to focus on fulfilling orders for essential goods. According to reports from The Wall Street Journal, Amazon is now conducting a delicate balancing act to ensure that goods are shipped in a timely manner while avoiding bottlenecks caused by surging demand.

Discouraging shoppers to help other ones

Since March, Prime subscribers have seen their guaranteed shipping times go up in smoke, with some orders that would have taken days in previous months now taking weeks to arrive. Recently, however, Prime members in Europe and the U.S. are starting to see shipping estimates drop back to as little as two days.

This is because Amazon is willfully and intentionally encouraging customers to buy less than before. The company has drastically slashed its advertising budget with Google in an attempt to slow traffic to its platform, which sources at Amazon believe is contributing to shipping and logistical bottlenecks.

That’s not the only thing being cut at Amazon, though. Promotions like Prime Day, Mother’s and Father’s Day sales and general coupons are on hold throughout the platform. To meet demand, Amazon wants to appear less competitive than other retailers, and removing incentives appears to be a good starting point.

These moves don’t come without consequences. Reports suggest that Amazon anticipates losing anywhere from $100 to $300 million in device sales alone from cutting Prime Day. Tap or click here to see how your Echo device can triage your COVID-19 symptoms.

While moves like this would be suicidal for other businesses, the staggering gains by Amazon and Bezos show the company is in a position to pull it off.

In the meantime, you can breathe a sigh of relief that regular shipping times are slowly returning to normal. But keep in mind, the stuff you’re looking for might not be in stock just yet. Hopefully, with people buying less, that won’t take very long either. Tap or click here to see how you can track in-stock items from your favorite e-tailers.

The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health provider regarding any questions you may have regarding a medical condition, advice, or health objectives.

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