Weekly Amazon Seller News – November 17, 2020

Every week, our team of experts round up the most important news for Amazon business owners. Here are all of the bite-sized news nuggets for the week of November 17th, 2020.
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“Amazon reveals week-long Black Friday sale” (Source: abc)

  • Amazon will officially launch its Black Friday 2020 sale on Friday, Nov. 20 and they will be offering a week’s worth of deals through Black Friday, Nov. 27. 
  • From Nov. 26 through Nov. 30, there will also be holiday deals from Amazon’s small business partners, including up to 20% off from Amazon Handmade Makers. 
  • The coronavirus pandemic has forced shoppers and retailers to rethink their holiday shopping strategies and has most major businesses offering a variety of early Black Friday sales throughout the month of November.
  • Retailers and carriers have also been preparing for an online holiday shopping surge that could tax shipping networks and lead to delivery delays. 
  • FedEx and UPS are ramping up their holiday hiring while expanding their weekend operations and asking retailers to use their shipping network when there is more slack.
  • Currently, Amazon delivers more than half of its packages itself, but it still relies on other carriers to get orders to shoppers.
  • On top of this, remember that Amazon’s returns window has been extended through Jan. 31, 2021, for most items purchased before the end of the year. 
  • Read the full article here

 

“Amazon Blocks FedEx Ground for Seller Fulfilled Prime” (Source: eCommerce Bytes)

  • Amazon is blocking FedEx Ground for certain Seller Fulfilled Prime (SFP) orders during the holiday shopping season. 
  • Amazon recently sent out an update on recent changes by FedEx to their transit times that are in effect from November 2, 2020 to January 3, 2021.
  • As a result, FedEx Ground and FedEx Home Delivery will not be available for Seller Fulfilled Prime shipments when these services do not meet the Prime promise. 
  • The Seller Fulfilled Prime team said that if you do not see these services in Buy Shipping, you’ll need to select a shipping option that’s able to fulfill your Prime orders.
  • Amazon instituted a similar block last year from mid-December through mid-January, had cited “a decline in FedEx performance heading into the final holiday push” as reason for the policy.
  • This year, a FedEx spokesperson said it was temporarily extending FedEx Ground Peak transit times in certain lanes beginning November 2. 
  • They say this will provide increased flexibility allowing FedEx to optimize the use of their capacity and best serve the needs of all customers during this busy time. 
  • The changes will be communicated on a customer-by-customer basis as appropriate, but FedEx says that the temporary extension of FedEx Ground transit times in certain lanes does not impact an SFP merchant from choosing FedEx Ground if the Prime badge isn’t present.
  • Read the full article here

“Amazon FBA Brexit Webinar 1 pm Tuesday, November 17th” (Source: Tamebay) 

  • Join Amazon this Tuesday for a webinar to help you get ready for Brexit and prepare for selling across the EU/UK customs border using Fulfilment by Amazon.
  • On the 31st of January 2020, the UK left the EU and entered a transition period where existing arrangements are being kept in place until December 31st, 2020. The UK is due to formally leave the EU’s Single Market and Customs Union from January 31, 2021.
  • This Webinar is designed to help Selling Partners who use Fulfilment by Amazon (FBA) for their European orders, to prepare for Brexit.
  • A panel of experts will be providing practical guidance on how to handle your FBA orders and what you need to do to prepare for a customs border. Presenters will include James Wilson (Director, UK Seller Services).
  • The webinar takes place today (Tuesday November 17, 2020) starting at 1 pm. You can register now to join live when the webinar starts.
  • Read the full article here

 

“New Amazon Guidance Misses the Point Say FBA Sellers” (Source: eCommerce Bytes) 

  • Amazon issued new guidance to help sellers address product condition issues, telling sellers who use its FBA fulfillment service that customers who file complaints about product condition frequently point to “scratches and scuffs, previously opened packaging, signs of damage, and items not working.”
  • Some of Amazon’s advice to maintain great account health for sellers included suggestions like: describe your products accurately and select the correct listing condition according to Amazon’s Condition guidelines.
  • Improve your quality control processes and inspect your products regularly to ensure that they match the description in your listing and function as expected. 
  • Implement packaging improvements to prevent minor damage during storage and shipping, keeping in mind the unique features of your products.
  • Sellers responded by asserting that many issues could be avoided if Amazon gave more control to sellers in how returns are handled.
  • One idea was for Amazon to allow sellers to have the option of shouldering the burden of returned FBA orders by issuing the return label to the customer, but utilizing seller warehouses instead of the FC to decrease the cost to the FCs (labor, material, storage) and put the onus on the merchants to self-certify their returned products.
  • Read the full article here

 

“Amazon jumps into the pharmacy business with online prescription fulfillment, free delivery for Prime members” (Source: CNBC) 

  • Amazon is making its biggest move yet entering the pharmacy business with a new offering called Amazon Pharmacy.
  • Pharmacy allows customers in the United States to order prescription medications for home delivery, including free delivery for Amazon Prime members.
  • The pharmacy space is notoriously complex and competitive in the U.S., and Amazon Pharmacy is built in part on PillPack’s infrastructure, including its pharmacy software, fulfillment centers, and relationships with health plans.
  • Amazon Pharmacy threatens the dominance of traditional pharmacies like CVS and Walgreens, as well as other large retailers that offer pharmacy services, including Walmart.
  • Customers over the age of 18 will have access to the pharmacy service this week in 45 states. Doctors can send prescriptions directly to Amazon Pharmacy, or patients can request a transfer from an existing retailer, like CVS or Walgreens.
  • Amazon says it has tools to verify that a physician legitimately ordered each prescription, and to tamp down on potential fraud.
  • Amazon does not currently have any brick-and-mortar pharmacies. But in the future, the company could add pharmacies to Whole Foods and its chain of Amazon Fresh stores.
  • Read the full article here

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