Amazon India sets up ‘war rooms’ to handle Prime Day pressure

A poster at an Amazon Prime Day VR Installation in a mall in India
  • In an interview with Business Insider, Amazon India's Director & Head of Prime Akshay Sahi said that the Amazon offices turn into war rooms with the ability to pivot if things go wrong.
  • Teams start working 6-9 months prior to the event and sometimes, even before that!
  • With July being the monsoon season in India, there’s also a special emphasis on ensuring deliveries aren’t delayed because of rains.
Preparations of the ongoing Amazon Prime Day sale started at least nine months before the event. And what do they prepare for? A war-like situation, as during Prime Day, the Amazon office sets up war rooms.

“The concept of war rooms is associated with battles, but in reality there’s a lot of planning, coordination and the ability to pivot if things go wrong,” Akshay Sahi, Head of Prime, Amazon India told Business Insider.

They are also set to weather the monsoon problems. “We have built all contingencies and plan to deliver fast even if it’s raining in certain areas,” said Sahi.

Then, there is the prime rush. Most new prime members join right before the prime day sale. The teams also spend a lot of time forecasting what kind of event it would be, how many shipments they would have to deliver, what’s the speed customers expect etc. To make it all possible, Amazon invests heavily in building the logistics infrastructure to support it.

“Last year, we had 30 fulfillment centres, but now we have over 50. We have built the technology to enable more deliveries, like seller flex. Seller flex allows us to put technology in a seller’s warehouse so that it works exactly like an Amazon warehouse – we can move faster and it also allows us to add more selections,” said Sahi.

The major part are the deliveries, as customers expect instant gratification which Amazon wants to provide.

“We don’t do delivery just by ourselves. We partner with service providers who have built these small regional channels. First we get the right partners, train them and then also give them the right technology to ensure deliveries happen at the same speed,” said Sahi.

Space partners

Amazon also started the ‘I Have Space’ partner service where if those who have space can offer storage. In India, Amazon has over 20,000 IHS partners.

“Before Prime Day, we are talking to our IHS partners too, we let them know that huge shipments would be coming in,” said Sahi.

Amazon Prime has also flooded television and digital space with advertisements which the marketing teams have been working on for a long time. In the meanwhile, the Amazon Pay team too is working on bringing on payment strategies and offers.

Sahi said marketing, merchandising, customer experiences, deal making with brands, is all a part of the Prime Day event.

See Also:
Amazon Prime Day sale brings Diwali early for Indians, says India head
Amazon Prime Day’s best deals on smartphones and other discounts which non-prime members can avail of too
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