Amazon Experiences Technical Setback For Grocery Orders Amid High Coronavirus Demand

With worried consumers putting pressure on the eCommerce company’s abilities, Amazon experienced a technical problem impacting grocery orders via Amazon Fresh and Whole Foods offerings. The services have turned into a way for consumers aiming to steer clear of stores amid the COVID-19 outbreak to receive needed household supplies, Bloomberg reported.

A spokesperson for the eTailer said in a statement, as noted by Bloomberg, “As COVID-19 has spread, we’ve seen a significant increase in people shopping online for groceries.” The spokesperson continued, “Today this resulted in a systems impact affecting our ability to deliver Amazon Fresh and Whole Foods Market orders tonight. We’re contacting customers, issuing concessions, and are working around the clock to quickly to resolve the issue.”

On March 2, Amazon had cautioned consumers that spiking demand was overpowering its capacity to bring items to consumers. Some consumers complained on social media with hashtags #coronapocalypse and #panicbuying.

Panic buying, for its part, has cleared out store shelves and is also impacting the delivery abilities of Amazon. The eTailer’s staff around the country reportedly experienced lengthy queues to get into delivery stations and extra time required to receive products.

A Washington state resident and Amazon Prime subscriber said per the report that he is mulling getting rid of his membership as he hasn’t had the ability to depend on it for needed items such as garbage bags, bottled water and laundry detergent as of just after the outbreak started in the Seattle area.

In separate news, Costco CFO Richard Galanti said on a recent earnings call that the procurement team of the merchant is  “working, in some cases, around the clock to procure supplies for both existing suppliers and from other sources where possible” to keep meeting demand  as shoppers go to the warehouse club to keep their pantries stocked with the coronavirus outbreak.

The increased demand, along with problems getting a hold of inventory from Chinese suppliers, has reportedly made the merchant run out of merchandise daily, per a report earlier in the month.



The How We Shop Report, a PYMNTS collaboration with PayPal, aims to understand how consumers of all ages and incomes are shifting to shopping and paying online in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Our research builds on a series of studies conducted since March, surveying more than 16,000 consumers on how their shopping habits and payments preferences are changing as the crisis continues. This report focuses on our latest survey of 2,163 respondents and examines how their increased appetite for online commerce and digital touchless methods, such as QR codes, contactless cards and digital wallets, is poised to shape the post-pandemic economy.