Amazon has been raking in the dough during the pandemic (with sales surpassing $96 billion in Q3 this year), but that doesn’t mean its holiday shopping season will be smooth sailing for customers.
During its Q3 2020 earnings call Thursday with investors, an Amazon spokesperson dropped the hot tip that holiday shoppers should “order early this year.” Gulp!
The advice came in response to a question about how Amazon and its third party shipping partners have been handling the increased demand for online orders, at the same time that they’ve had to take COVID-related safety measures, in some instances reducing capacity. Even though Amazon and its partners are ramping up for the holiday season, speedy Prime deliveries might still be difficult. Which means people planning to do holiday shopping on Amazon might not want to leave things to the last minute.
During the first few months of the pandemic, customers experienced shipping delays thanks to low inventory, high demand, and challenges keeping Amazon warehouses and fulfillment centers up and running while also (sort of) attempting to keep employees safe. Amazon said it has already spent $7.5 billion for COVID-related measures like workplace changes and personal protective equipment, and expects to spend $4 billion more in Q4.
However, Amazon said that its decision to increase its in-house delivery services throughout the year was a lucky one, as third party delivery partners were struggling with capacity. In the coming months, it’s building out its delivery infrastructure and workforce even further. So while it is preparing for a shopping deluge, it’s probably best not to take any chances if the people you are gifting presents to this December are prone to crying.