Amazon Says Biggest Impact of Coronavirus on Its Business Globally Has Been in India
Amazon has seen the biggest impact of the COVID-19 spread on its business internationally in India, Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Brian Olsavsky said during its first quarter earnings call on Thursday. The US e-commerce giant that has a strong presence in the country is facing a tough time due to the national lockdown that has temporarily contracted its business to essential items such as home groceries. The coronavirus outbreak has also impacted the delivery fleet of Amazon and other online marketplaces in the country.
“I think the biggest impact internationally has been in India, where of course, we, similar to other companies in India, are now only fulfilling our essential goods such as grocery,” said Brian Olsavsky while answering a question on the difference in behaviour that Amazon has seen globally due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Amazon and arch-rival Flipkart are currently struggling to generate sales through their online marketplaces due to the lockdown that is in place until May 3. The initial phase of the lockdown, which was imposed on March 24, completely halted the operations for online marketplaces as authorities closed warehouses and forced delivery fleets to stay at home. Things got a little easier in the following days. However, since the government has restricted their operations just to essential items, both Amazon and Flipkart aren’t yet able to sell large-ticket products online.
The government did show signs of giving e-commerce companies some relaxation earlier this month, though it u-turned and retained the earlier restrictions. However, both Amazon and Flipkart urged the government to ease sales of non-essential items during the lockdown. The companies also agreed to follow the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) drafted by the government to ensure safe e-commerce operations through their platforms.