retail news in context, analysis with attitude

Bloomberg reports that Amazon is promising that " the one- and two-day delivery times that shoppers have come to expect should gradually return in coming weeks as the online retailer catches up from a demand surge tied to the coronavirus outbreak."

The story says that "the company on Sunday lifted restrictions on the amount of inventory its suppliers can send to Amazon warehouses and is shortening delivery times - which had stretched for weeks for some products since the outbreak began - back to days."

According to the piece, "Quick delivery is central to Amazon’s customer promise, helping it attract more than 100 million people who pay monthly or yearly dues for Prime memberships. Prime members spend more on the site than non-Prime members, making it critical for Amazon to get its delivery times back to normal especially as retail stores begin reopening and shoppers have more options."

KC's View:

The metaphor that I've been using - and most people to whom I've spoken seem to agree with it - is that placing an order on Amazon and not getting it in a day or two is like turning on the faucet at the kitchen sink and finding that there is no water.

The good news for Amazon is that it has become so ambitious, aggressive and ubiquitous that people turn to it for almost everything, but it also has given it the patina of almost being like a public utility.  That's a lot of responsibility … and it puts Amazon in a position that people expect more of it.