Prime Day has just been announced. Against the COVID backdrop, what’s different from an Operations standpoint?
We continue to remain focused on safety of our customers, associates and sellers and building a fast resilient network that enables the widest selection and fastest deliveries in the country. As India is gearing up for Prime Day this year, we scaled up the network by adding tens of thousands of sellers, and have invested in building the infrastructure - all this in spite of the challenges posed by the pandemic, This is also the peak wherein, while maintaining social-distancing norms, our Operations will scale up processing capacity. We have successfully brought in the desired levels of inventory for the event and are fully geared up for delivering a successful Prime Day for our customers.
Due to the large influx of orders that will take place on Prime Day and working with frontline workers – what are the steps taken by Amazon to keep them safe so that they can deliver items safely?
Now more than ever, Amazon's fulfilment, delivery, and physical store networks play a critical role in serving customers. In these unprecedented times, we remain committed to the health and safety of our employees, partners, and the customers we serve.
“In spite of the challenges posed by the pandemic, we have scaled up the network by adding tens of thousands of sellers, and have invested in building the infrastructure.”
We have adjusted our practices within our buildings through physical, virtual, and new formats for internal communications. With guidance from local authorities , and the World Health Organization (WHO), we've implemented a series of preventative health measures at our sites around the world to help keep our employees, partners, and customers safe. These include temperature checks, personal protective equipment, increased frequency and intensity of cleaning at all sites, maintaining safe distance at work, raising awareness among our associates and detailed procedures for our network of delivery partners that are focused on their health and safety, and that of our customers.
Amazon has also extended the ‘Amazon Relief Fund’ in India to associates part of the Delivery Service Partner Program, Amazon Flex program and it’s trucking partners providing middle mile logistics support in the event of financial hardships. This fund can be utilized by qualifying individuals who have been quarantined or diagnosed with COVID-19.
“In these unprecedented times, we remain committed to the health and safety of our employees, partners, and the customers we serve. ”
For all those individuals living in a containment zones but those who really want to shop this Prime Day...how will the deliveries work?
If anyone is a containment area, they can order their favorite items both with Prepaid and Pay-on-Delivery options and receive them at the periphery of the Containment zone in a safe manner. Once our delivery associate reaches near the containment zone, the associate shall call and request the cutomer to come at the periphery of the containment zone where package shall be handed over without any contact, maintaining 2 meter distance.
“If anyone is a containment area, they can order their favorite items both with Prepaid and Pay-on-Delivery options and receive them at the periphery of the Containment zone in a safe manner.”
In some of the gated societies which are designated as ontainment zones, we have set up pick-up points – from where the customer can collect his/her Amazon package at their time of convenience. The package shall be delivered to the pick-up point and they will receive an e-mail/SMS notification after which they can collect the package from the pick-up point maintaining 2 meter distance.
What are various payment options a customer has in such a scenario?
Though we strongly encourage the use of Digital Payment methods, in the case of Pay on Delivery, the DA will send the customer a link by SMS through “paylink”. The customer can open this link and pay digitally using UPI/ credit/debit cards. That said, the customer would still have an option to pay via. cash, maintaining 2 meter distance without any contact and the DA will help customers with this.
With all these measures in place for safe deliveries, can you take us behind the scenes of a Fulfilment Centre and tell us how the Associates are being prepped for Prime Day?
Prime Day is all about making our Prime members feel valued and we utilize this opportunity to share and discover joy with our associates. Our FC network is all geared up for delighting our customers and bringing smiles to our associates on Prime Day.
As a part of Prime Day preparations newly hired associates are currently getting trained on operational efficiency and getting assimilated in Amazon culture without comprising on safety and quality. During Prime Day we will drive engagement initiatives with our associates, but in a safe manner. It is also an opportunity to recognize the efforts of all the teams which contribute to making the event a success.
This year we are going virtual which means that associates will be able to participate in games and activities through their mobile phones themed around safety, positivity and pride in rebuilding India. Initiatives such as associate audio bytes on radio, a ‘new-normal’ campaign with a superhero theme, a fun-mobile photo application and Customer-delight testimonials will be used to communicate with and engage associates.