As the COVID-19 pandemic spreads across the world at lightning pace, nation after nation has ordered citizens to remain at home, schools to close and all non-essential businesses . The result is millions of people are sheltering at home , unable to go to the gym, plan a trip to the cinema, enjoy a meal at a nice restaurant or meet up with friends.

For many businesses, including department stores, bars, cafés, art galleries and hotels, the impact of coronavirus isolation has been devastating. Figures released by GlobalData suggest the fashion industry, for example, will see a 20.1% decline in sales, equal to £11.1bn in lost revenue. The Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) is expecting $820bn in lost revenue, while in the USA, one in ten American workers has applied for unemployment benefits in the last three weeks.

Amazon has bucked this trend. The marketplace has announced that it has created 100,000 new jobs, with more than 80,000 people recruited since the 16th of March. The roles are both full time and part-time and cover critical picking, packing, shipping and delivery functions.

There have been reports that Amazon has also enacted mandatory overtime for some workers at its warehouse hubs, as the volume of goods flowing in and out reaches record volumes. The retail giant has pledged to pay its existing staff an additional £2 / $2 / €2 per hour at least until the end of April. This move is expected to cost the firm around £285m.

The surge in eCommerce

With staying in now a necessity, rather than a personal choice, millions of shoppers are turning to the Internet – and Amazon in particular – to obtain goods for business and leisure. According to ACI Worldwide figures, online retail sales recorded a 74% growth in average transaction volume in March. It’s a good bet that a hefty chunk of those transactions took place on Amazon.

Even consumers that wouldn’t usually shop online, or would do so infrequently, have had no choice but to change their retail habits and that is obviously good news for Amazon.

In the UK, 18% of consumers recognise that they have shopped more online since the emergence of coronavirus. In China, 50% of shoppers have started to order online more frequently while 31% of Italians say the same. 55% of Indian consumers and 57% of shoppers in Vietnam say that they too have upped the number of purchases they make online as a result of coronavirus fears and isolation measures.

Amazon says that demand had continued to increase, leading to the need for extra shifts and additional workers. In its COVID-19 statement, it explains that it is working to prioritise certain orders including, “…items such as food, health and personal care products, items needed to work from home, books and toys for children.”

Amazon says that demand had continued to increase, leading to the need for extra shifts and additional workers. In its COVID-19 statement, it explains that it is working to prioritise certain orders including, “…items such as food, health and personal care products, items needed to work from home, books and toys for children.”

The increase in demand may have some impact on shipping times as it focuses on the priority items and works to maintain staff safety.

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George
George
George is the Founder of Clear Ads Ltd. Clear Ads Limited was first set up in January 2011 with the soul purpose of helping small and medium sized companies advertise through Google Adwords. Over the last few years through word of mouth, our account managers have managed to help over 200 different companies gain better exposure to their website through Google Adwords.

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