How Amazon tried to get shoppers to buy less so it wouldn't get overwhelmed in early days of coronavirus crisis
Amazon has seen a huge surge in sales as people shopped from the safety of their homes during the coronavirus pandemic, but orders faced heavy delays as the e-commerce giant struggled to keep up.
In order to catch up, Amazon tweaked its online shopping experience to accomplish something extremely unusual: get shoppers to order less.
For weeks, Amazon stopped coupons, product recommendations and promotional deals. Mother's Day items weren't displayed on the homepage and Prime Day has reportedly been postponed indefinitely. It slowed down advertising, reviews, and its affiliate marketing and Fulfilled by Amazon programs, while placing strict limits on incoming inventory.
"They didn't have a choice but to slow down traffic, to turn off a lot of the features that were driving additional revenue and sales so that they could do their best to to supply families in need right now with these essential goods. I think that the other choice that they had would be to shut down. But I mean, Amazon became sort of an essential service for the country during this time," said Jason Boyce, founder of Amazon seller consultant group Avenue7Media.
Now, Amazon has started to turn these features back on, and delivery speeds are returning to normal.
Watch the video to learn all the ways Amazon tweaked its online experience to encourage shoppers to buy less so it could return to one-day Prime shipping sooner.