Prime Day in India gives a glimpse of how the pandemic changed Amazon's big event

Prime Day Logo
Prime Day Logo (Image credit: Amazon)

What you need to know

  • Amazon will host its first COVID-19 Prime Day later this week.
  • India's Prime Day will take place on August 6 through 7.
  • Thanks to coronavirus, the event will be very different.

The first-ever pandemic Prime Day from Amazon will take place in India later this week, and there are big changes afoot.

As reported by Bloomberg, the first-ever Prime Day since the start of the pandemic will take place from Thursday, August 6 through Friday, August 7.

Amazon Prime Day 2020: Potential dates, postponed sales & more

There are, of course, a few staple elements of Prime Day that remain unchanged. Prime Day will still be a bumper 48 hours of heavy discounts, new products, and more. Behind the scenes, however, things will be very different:

But in a profound departure from the past, the global retailer will have a virtual operations room instead of a real one, with thousands of employees coordinating the sale from their homes, and stringent hygiene protocols for its armies of packers, sorters, and deliverymen.

The report notes that India will be a test case for Amazon around the world, having been forced to postpone its U.S. Prime Day last month. Amazon Prime's India head, Akshay Sahi said:

"After a lot of conversations, we decided to go ahead with Prime Day. Life has to go on. Sellers have to get back on their feet."

India's Prime Day won't look much like recent years to customers either:

This year's Amazon event will be devoid of the usual Bollywood dancing and the endless supply of Indian street foods, foot massages, and costume parties. Instead, hundreds of employees will plan and coordinate the sale from home, their only respite virtual mood-boosters like standup comedy and selfie competitions.

For employees, all in-person training has been suspended, replaced with training through apps. Amazon has also ditched customary meetings at the beginning of shifts, and working patterns will be staggered to spread employees out. Amazon says it has made over a hundred process changes in its buildings, including rules about face coverings and temperature checks. According to the report, 10 new fulfillment centers have opened and more than 50,000 temporary workers have been hired to meet demand.

Stephen Warwick