Coronavirus Winter changes for Amazon FBA in Europe

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Since the Coronavirus pandemic hit, Amazon have had to make fast adjustments which initially included pausing incoming FBA shipments, extending delivery dates for stock already in FBA and pausing removal orders. Things are getting back to normal but the first Coronavirus Winter is fast approaching and Amazon are all too well aware of the impact restrictions had on your business. All the smart money is sadly on the virus spreading again in a second peak and so a Coronavirus Winter is a high likely scenario – although the government are against a second national lock down, local lock downs will become the norm.

Amazon have already hired more employees and invested billions of dollars in COVID-related initiatives to help meet increased customer demand and protect the health and well-being of employees as they pick, pack, and ship your products to customers.

Even though it’s July, Amazon are preparing early for the holiday season to meet sustained increased demand across Europe. They say that they have already reduced their own Retail product ordering to accommodate more of your products and help you continue to see sales growth.

To ensure Amazon are prepared for a Coronavirus Winter, the following changes will impact your business:

Amazon Coronavirus Winter Preparations

  • Inventory Performance Index threshold change

    To ensure all products have space available during peak, Amazon are changing the IPI minimum threshold requirement to 500. Sellers below 500 will be subject to limits effective from the 1st of September 2020 through to the end of the year.

    It was only in May that Amazon increased the IPI minimum threshold requirement to 400 (previously it was 350), so this is a change you want to be aware of.

    Amazon say that the majority of sellers will not be impacted by this change. They add that most sellers with IPI scores below 500 will have more storage space than they used last year.

    You can improve your IPI by following the guidance on improving sell through or reducing your excess and stranded inventory shown in the Inventory Performance Dashboard.

  • Quantity limits

    To maximise selection for customers during peak, Amazon are introducing ASIN-level quantity limits on products in FBA. Most products will have enough space available for more than three months of sales.

    This is a killer for many merchants as it means you have to check on a line by line basis how much inventory you can send in to Amazon. Gone are the days when you receive a shipment from your manufacturer and flip the entire lot into FBA. This restriction will be even more critical for overseas sellers or those who routinely ship direct from the manufacturer into Amazon’s warehouses.

    You can view quantity limits for your products on the Restock Inventory page and the Restock report. We will continually review this and, when possible, make adjustments to allow for more of your products.

  • Free removals promotion

    To help you avoid storage fees for products that have not been selling and create room for more productive inventory, Amazon are offering a free removal fee promotion for a limited time. Amazon will waive your fees for any removal order submitted for inventory in FBA. This promotion is no live although they haven’t stated an end date.

    To create a removal order, visit Inventory Age page and choose “Create removal order” from the menu next to any FBA item in your inventory. For further guidance, you can review frequently asked questions on this Help page.

“While no one has a perfect playbook for how to respond to COVID-19, our commitment to supporting your business has never been more steadfast. We will continue to make adjustments to best support your business and keep you informed along the way. We appreciate your partnership as we improve the efficiency of our fulfilment network to prepare all selling partners for a successful peak season.”
– Amazon

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