The Dynamics of Innovation Amid COVID-19
Exploring how innovation transforms industries, suggesting a strategic model to help brands and manufacturers adjust to ever-shifting market dynamics
The goal of Innovation is to create more effective processes, products, and ideas. Creating dynamic products can act as a catalyst that can enhance your business growth and can also help businesses adapt to a rapidly changing marketplace. COVID-19 has impacted millions of people and businesses around the world. Amazon is one of them. Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the company has had to prioritize essential products as a result of an increase in orders for household staples and medical supplies, as well as other high-demand products to more quickly receive, restock, and ship to customers. Amazon has temporarily disabled shipment creation stopping all non-essential item replenishment into their FBA centers. For the next several weeks Amazon will be prioritizing shipping out essential items to consumers.
Operating in an uncertain environment
Among the chaos, non-essential brick and mortar businesses have fallen off the map due to government-mandated shutdowns to reduce the spread of the virus. Many brands are leaning into winning eCommerce channels like Amazon to remain operational. With an increase in orders for essential products, Amazon is changing the rules of the game. Businesses need to consider fulfillment operational changes in their strategy. With strains on cash flow with non-essential Vendor Central (1P) setups, this could be an ideal time to reposition on the platform and consider making a transition to Seller Central (3P). Amazon has stopped PO’s for non-essential products delaying customer payments possibly until the middle of April.
Understanding market shifts and innovating to adapt
Optimizing your fulfillment strategy and focusing the marketing of products to potentially different verticals relevant to COVID-19 is critical in the new Amazon environment. For example, a brand that specializes in selling high-quality, low-priced wholesale products covering a wide range of categories and styles is now selling bulk hygiene kits to municipalities to support the safety of the homeless population. Another brand that specializes in selling innovative sanitation devices for sleep and respiratory therapy equipment is attempting to get quick FDA approval for using their product to sanitize N95 masks due to a shortage in supply.
Helping brands and manufactures pivot during this time of crisis
To best leverage Amazon it is highly recommended for businesses to re-evaluate not only their entire merchandising strategies but also their operation and fulfillment strategies. There is still an opportunity to take back control. During this time of crisis brands and manufacturers with non-essential products may need to pivot their strategy from FBA to Fulfillment by Merchant (FBM). The goal is to reinvigorate your business on Amazon and transitioning fulfillment operations will allow non-essential businesses to still be operational. This is the time to re-evaluate promotional and advertising strategies. This is the moment where brands need to consider potentially spending more or spending less and looking at pricing structures as well as areas to take market share from competitors while the market is down.
Times are challenging right now but, there is a light at the end of the tunnel. The most important thing to keep in mind is to avoid getting fixated on the ominous short-term circumstances presented by COVID-19. Non-essential brands still have an opportunity to make the most out of an unfortunate situation by tapping into long term opportunities in the present.
If you need a winning Amazon strategy or have any additional questions, please don’t hesitate to contact one of our Channel Key Amazon consultants. As a Full-Service Channel Management Agency, we are dedicated to helping you increase your sales. Talk to our Channel Key team.
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