Humans Step in to Help Make Prime Day Successful

On Prime Day, Amazon’s 85 million Prime members took advantage of discounts numbering in the hundreds of thousands across their site. Building on last year’s success, the day-long sale was extended to 30 hours this year, providing ample opportunity for the retail giant to rack up sales in a similar fashion to Black Friday and the Chinese Single’s Day.

This year’s sales are believed to have significantly surpassed last year’s estimated sales of between $500 and $600 million, and Amazon had all the pieces in place to meet the tremendous logistical challenge posed by the sale. While Amazon is known for its use of robots, it’s actually human labor that is making the difference as they contend with the high sales volume, and it comes in the form of independent gig workers and smaller subcontractors.

After being picked from the warehouse and packed up for delivery, the packages are off to cargo planes contracted by the firm, which will whisk them off to facilities situated near the final destination. From there, it will be delivered by a courier. In some cases, it will be brought to the consumer’s door by an independent gig worker who is taking on delivery tasks using an Uber-like app called Amazon Flex.

Flex Drivers Making the Difference

One driver who works as an Amazon subcontractor reports that delivery routes must be completed in the period of time Amazon specifies, and shifts are normally 12 hours long. While the routes are overall fairly easy, he says often has to take breaks that are shorter than the unpaid 30 minutes allotted for lunch in order to get through his route on time. This, he says, is particularly true around the holidays, and Prime Day was likely no different.

Another driver who picks up shifts on Amazon Flex reports that customers get a kick out of seeing their delivery person wearing the Amazon Flex badge and representing the company itself, which is one important way in which Amazon is building customer satisfaction.

This blog post was based off of an article from Wired. View the original here.

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