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Amazon India steps up to help small businesses amid Covid surge

Amazon India has over 8.5 lakh sellers on its platform.

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New Delhi: As the country battles the devastating onslaught of the novel Coronavirus, Amazon India has rolled out a slew of measures for small and medium businesses to help them wade through the crisis.

The e-commerce major said it will waive 50 per cent of the 'sell-on-amazon' or 'referral fee' from 1-31 May for sellers who have had an average monthly gross merchandise sale (GMS) of Rs 10,000 or below across January, February, and March 2021. It will also reimburse storage fees and long-term storage fees charged for keeping sellers' products at its warehouses for merchants based out of non-serviceable pin codes.

“Never has it been more important to stand with small businesses and we wanted to do our part to help our sellers tide through these tough times. We hope our initiatives, which include fee waivers, policy relaxations, and vaccination support, will be of help to our sellers at this time,” tweeted Amazon India vice president Manish Tiwari.

Amazon India has over 8.5 lakh sellers on its platform. It has recently announced its decision to cover the Covid2019 vaccine costs for its eligible sellers and their dependents.

The etailer said it will temporarily relax the claim windows for various types of reimbursements that the sellers file for 30 days. It will also take steps to mitigate any negative impact on sellers' performance metrics due to defaults caused by the pandemic and the resulting restrictions in several states, 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," said Tiwari in a blog post.

India on Sunday recorded a massive surge of 3.92 lakh new Covid2019 cases and as many as 3,689 deaths from across the country. While the government has announced the beginning of phase-3 of the vaccination drive, the process remained suspended in several states due to a shortage of vaccines for the 18-44 years age group.

Amazon India said the lockdowns and curfews announced in different states to tackle the situation continues to impact its businesses, even though the e-commerce companies have been allowed to operate. The government has allowed the delivery of only essential items like groceries and medicines.

Amazon India works with more than 10 lakh small and mid-size businesses (SMBs) including sellers, delivery and logistics partners, neighbourhood stores, enterprises, developers, content creators, and authors in the country.

“Our number one priority right now is to help save lives and extend support communities across the nation including our employees, sellers, delivery associates, other partners, and their dependents in this time of crisis,” said Tiwari.

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