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Amazon Prime Day may disrupt ecommerce deliveries

By Chris Dawson July 4, 2018 - 10:39 am

With Amazon Prime Day running for 36 hours across the 16th and 17th of July, it is likely to disrupt ecommerce deliveries for many retailers, not just those selling on Amazon.

Amazon have a massive pulling power for consumers and there is very little doubt that with over 1 million deals around the world that it will be a massive day for the marketplace and their merchants. It will also be a stress test for Amazon Logistics, which Amazon have recently announced will be massively expanded in the US with a recruitment program to encourage new courier companies to start up specifically to serve Amazon.

What we’re likely to see, which has happened to an extent in previous years, is that Amazon will run out of delivery capacity with their own couriers. Deliveries will be late and this includes deliveries for products which aren’t part of the Prime Day deals.

Amazon will then use their carriers for overspill deliveries – the likes of DPD, myHermes, Yodel and Royal Mail. This isn’t Amazon’s preferred choice as they like to fully control the delivery experience with their own carriers.

What Amazon’s overspill will mean is that other couriers are likely to also be exceptionally busy. Even if Amazon accept that some deliveries will arrive late, breaking their next day promise, by flooding the carrier market it’s possible that this will impact retailers and marketplace seller deliveries too.

Amazon are likely to have given pretty accurate estimates to carriers on their expected volumes, but these types of sales events generally either end up being a damp squib or a runaway success and Amazon’s history suggest it’ll be yet another record sales day. If it’s too successful then they will be pressuring carriers to accept additional volumes and at times company politics can overrule rational decisions.

What happens if a carrier accepts too many parcels is that delivery promises are broken and they try to restrict parcels from their other customers who in turn resort to their own back up carriers causing a ripple effect throughout the entire industry and, if it happens, it is this that will impact just about every online retailer in the country and of course also the US and other territories where Prime Day is a big event.

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