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Amazon India announces steps to help small businesses amid COVID-19

Amazon India has announced several measures, including a waiver in multiple fees paid by sellers, to support small and medium businesses amid the second wave of the COVID pandemic.

The e-commerce giant stated it is waiving 50 percent of the ‘sell-on-amazon’ or ‘referral fee’ from May 1-31 for a section of sellers and will refund storage fees and long-term storage fees for keeping sellers’ products at its warehouses for merchants based out of non-serviceable pin codes.

in a blog post, Amazon India Vice President Manish Tiwary said, “We understand this situation is impacting small and medium businesses (SMBs) the most and we are taking a host of measures to help our sellers navigate the economic challenges caused by the pandemic.”

Amazon India has more than 8.5 lakh sellers on its platform.

It is temporarily loosening the claim windows for several kinds of reimbursements that the sellers file for 30 days, the e-commerce firm said.

The company said it is also taking measures across the board to decrease any negative impact on sellers’ performance metrics due to errors caused by the pandemic and the resulting limitations, on the sellers’ account health.

“We are also working to relax our policies regarding late shipment rate, order cancellation, and returns to better support our sellers during this period,” the blog said.

The number of COVID-19 cases every day in the second wave has strained the healthcare infrastructure of the country.

Several states have announced lockdowns and curfews to curb the situation, affecting businesses.

Most states have authorized e-commerce companies to run and enabled the delivery of only essential items like groceries and medicines.

In its SMB Impact Report 2020, Amazon India had remarked that it works with over 10 lakh small and mid-size businesses (SMBs) including sellers, delivery and logistics partners, neighborhood stores, enterprises, developers, content creators, and authors in the country.

The second wave of the pandemic has not only strained the healthcare infrastructure of the country but has also severely impacted small businesses. Amazon India’s move will help these businesses to sustain themselves in these difficult times.

Shishir Gupta, Founder and CEO, StartupLanes

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