Coronavirus: Amazon to put new customers on waitlist as online food delivery orders surge

Amazon has boosted order capacity by 60% and is adding more but is still struggling to meet demand of millions of Amazon Prime subscribers

New grocery shoppers at Amazon will have to wait. Escalating demand for online food delivery owing to the spread of coronavirus has forced Amazon to create a waitlist for new shoppers. Amazon is also planning to cut shopping hours at a few Whole Foods stores so that existing customers can buy food online during the coronavirus outbreak.

E-commerce companies like Amazon have been feeling the pressure of keeping the requests of online shoppers as orders continue to soar following the coronavirus outbreak. Amazon has also been recently increasing the number of Whole Foods stores offering grocery pickup to more locations.

Many new shoppers unable to place orders


Amazon on Sunday said that its new grocery delivery customers will be put on waitlist as it will prioritize orders from existing customers buying food online because of the coronavirus outbreak. Also, the e-commerce giant said that it will cut down shopping hours at some of its Whole Foods stores.

These are part of a string of changes Amazon is planning to make to its food delivery business. Many shoppers trying to place orders through Amazon Prime or Whole Foods found it almost impossible to find an open delivery and pickup spot. Amazon said that from Monday, new customers who want to avail those services will be required to "sign up for an invitation" to help the company manage the surge in demand.

Coronavirus outbreak makes Amazon re-strategize

An Inc driver stands next to an Amazon delivery truck in Los Angeles, California, U.S. REUTERS

Most customers unable to place orders found that it was because of unavailability of delivery slots. Amazon has been facing immense pressure with orders from online delivery soaring since the coronavirus outbreak. This has made the company realign a quite a few things in its food delivery business.

Among the many changes Amazon is planning to implement in the coming weeks includes giving delivery customers a "virtual place in line" to shop so the company can distribute demand. The company in a blog post said that in recent weeks it boosted order capacity by 60% and adding more. However, the company said that it is still struggling to meet demand of millions of Amazon Prime subscribers.

The company has also added roughly 70 new Whole Foods locations offering grocery pick up, bring the total to more than 150 stores. Amazon also said that in the coming days it will curtail shopping hours at a few Whole Foods stores so that employees can get more time to fulfill online grocery orders.

Amazon, which changed the entire retail ballgame after entering the grocery space with the acquisition of Whole Foods for $13.7 billion in August 2017, has some a long way. Amazon presently has 487 Whole Foods Stores across the United States but the recent surge in online orders due to the coronavirus outbreak has also made the e-commerce giant scramble.

Related topics : Coronavirus Amazon prime