Amazon India announces measures to help SMBs amid COVID-19

Amazon India on Saturday announced a slew of measures, including waiver in various fees paid by sellers, to help small and medium businesses amid the deadly second wave of the COVID pandemic.

The e-commerce major said it is waiving 50 per cent of the ‘sell-on-amazon’ or ‘referral fee’ from May 1-31 for a section of sellers and will reimburse storage fees and long-term storage fees charged for keeping sellers’ products at its warehouses for merchants based out of non-serviceable pin codes.

“We understand this situation is impacting small and medium businesses (SMBs) the most and we are taking a host of measures to help our sellers navigate the economic challenges caused by the pandemic,” Amazon India Vice President Manish Tiwary said in a blog post.

Amazon India has over 8.5 lakh sellers on its platform.

It is temporarily relaxing the claim windows for various types of reimbursements that the sellers file for 30 days, the e-commerce firm said.

The company said it is also taking steps across the board to mitigate any negative impact on sellers’ performance metrics due to defaults caused by the pandemic and the resulting restrictions, on the sellers’ account health.

“We are also working to relax our policies regarding late shipment rate, order cancellation and returns to better support our sellers during this period,” the blog said.

The record number of COVID-19 cases daily in the second wave has stretched the healthcare infrastructure of the country.

Many states have announced lockdowns and curfews to tackle the situation, impacting businesses.

Most states have allowed e-commerce companies to operate and allowed delivery of only essential items like grocery and medicines.

In its SMB Impact Report 2020, Amazon India had noted that it works with more than 10 lakh small and mid-size business (SMBs) including sellers, delivery and logistics partners, neighbourhood stores, enterprises, developers, content creators and authors in the country. PTI

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