Amazon in the US is informing third-party sellers that it is lifting shipment restrictions on non-essential goods, as demand pressure triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic is beginning to ease. The retailer has also restored featured deals, coupons and product recommendations that had previously been removed in order to limit additional purchase volumes.
Meanwhile the Prime Pantry service is back online and the waiting list has been removed for shoppers signing up to Amazon Fresh in most cities. Next-day delivery is also back available in some US states. The temporary changes that are now being reversed had been triggered by unprecedented demand, as consumers moved shopping baskets online in a social distancing environment, as well as limited logistics, warehousing and fulfillment capacities.
As Amazon moves back towards a new post-pandemic normal and invite-only restrictions are removed from food ecommerce services, CPGs should expect imminent demand growth that will shift more grocery volumes online among Prime members. We now expect Amazon US to grow by 25.5% this year, compared with our pre-COVID forecast of 17.3%. Outside Amazon, CPGs should firm up partnerships with omnichannel transformation leaders such as Walmart, Kroger, Target, as well as fast-expanding delivery intermediaries like Instacart that will rapidly consolidate online demand among many of America’s regional and medium-sized grocers.
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