We know that adapting your Amazon business in these trying times is your main concern. Amazon’s coronavirus restrictions have many sellers in a panic over how they can keep their numbers up.
The global pandemic is upending many companies, wreaking havoc on the global economy, and there is no playbook.
The coronavirus continues to affect the demand and supply logistics even off the marketplace. It has caused a sort of e-commerce crash, leaving Amazon sellers anxious, to say the least.
How can brands adapt to this quarantine economy?
Amazon wants to support its customers and inform the public the best they can on how to take proactive steps to secure their businesses and continue operations. Even in this time of crisis, entrepreneurs and business leaders can remain calm under pressure. Here are key insights to help conduct business as usual in the time of coronavirus.
The Amazon – Coronavirus Outlook
A recent survey reveals that the anxiety level of Amazon business owners is high in this volatile situation. Businesses are generally concerned about the future and some do not expect significant changes. Only a fraction of sellers and vendors are hopeful that the crisis can benefit their businesses. Most Amazon sellers and vendors expect that this hiccup will last for another three to six months and even longer. Many expect a long-term recession. Others, however, believe that the economy will slowly recover.
Demand, Supply, and Advertising on Amazon in The Time of Coronavirus
Some businesses emerged from the calamity despite the general decline in sales. Coronavirus-related eCommerce stores like online groceries and food manufacturers report a tremendous increase in sales.
People turn to online shopping to stock up their pantries and needs related to health and safety. This introduced consumers to many new brands and vice versa. However, with everything at a standstill, sellers experience a drop in supply.
They also see a negative effect on shipment. Even if prices are stable, products are not delivered because factories shut down. This, in turn, affects advertising.
Currently, businesses see a decrease in advertising sales. This decrease caused a number of advertising behaviors.
Almost half of sellers, decided not to change their advertising budget. Other sellers plan to decrease their advertising budget and a small percentage put their advertising campaigns on hold. If businesses are unsure of getting more inventory, they will not advertise especially if they feel they will be out of stock.
Amazon + Coronavirus: Adapting Your Business
Even if the situation looks bleak, all is not lost. While the impact of the pandemic on consumer preferences and demands may linger beyond the virus, things will return to a new normal. For sellers, now is the time to make adjustments in response to the shifts in consumer needs and shopping behaviors.
Conduct a Needs Evaluation
What is your ideal customer groups’ current situation?
Are they working on the front lines?
Were they furloughed?
Are they working from home?
What are their needs right now?
Once you better understand the needs of your customers, as a seller, you can evaluate your readiness to meet them.
Assess whether you have the inventory to support their needs or if you should pivot to better serve them.
Additional read: What Is CCinsight and How Can It Help Your Amazon Business?
Consumer lifestyles and shopping habits changed drastically. This is why businesses need to pivot and diversify product offerings to stay competitive. Some sellers add soaps and other hygiene products as well as medical supplies and self-care related products. Delivery models also changed. Curbside pickups, for example, became an option to avoid shipping and fulfillment altogether. Sellers also offer digital versions of products and services.
Shift to Alternative Providers
Before the coronavirus, a majority of sellers source their products from China. When things went south with COVID-19, sellers who did not find alternate suppliers experienced inventory shortages.
So, to adapt, have different options to lean on as the global supply chain evolves and settles.
Talking to your manufacturers about their stand on production. Be informed as possible about all the details of your supply chain so you can plan. This can help mitigate risks.
Explore FBM (Fulfillment by Merchant)
FBM is highly recommended now that inventory turnover is slow. This method is also for sellers who are able to mitigate the expenses involved in fulfilling their own products. FBM is also for sellers who want more control over their customers and if sellers established excellent customer service practices.
Switch Business Models
Business models such as wholesale, private label, and drop shipping are difficult to pull off in this outbreak. Because of this, sellers can introduce other business models to their current Amazon selling business such as Handmade, Online Arbitrage, Kindle Direct Publishing, and Manufacture your own Products.
Sellers can create seasonal gifts, toys, games, clothing, and accessories and ship them to consumers with Handmade on Amazon. Selling through online arbitrage is done by purchasing a product from a retail site and listing them on Amazon at a higher price. Kindle direct publishing, on the other hand, allows people with a knack for words to write books and publish them on Amazon through KDP. Authors can create both digital and print formats. There are no costs to get started.
Also, sellers can use 3D printers to design, print and sell their own 3D-printed goods through the Manufacture Your Own Pro they do almost all of their s ducts business model.
Sell on Additional Sales Channels
As businesses look to bolster their stores in this critical point, now is the time to consider selling products on additional marketplaces like Walmart or eBay. This way, sellers can have a diversified marketplace strategy to avoid pitfalls in unstable occurrences that come with relying exclusively on one selling channel. Amazon, Walmart, and eBay are three key marketplaces for a holistic e-commerce strategy. These are places where sellers get products fulfilled and where shoppers keep adding to their carts.
Pause Advertising Spending
If businesses are selling non-essential goods, reducing or suspending advertising spending during the crisis is recommended. Advertisers should monitor how they spend to make sure they are not wasting money in promoting goods that are no longer available. Retooling campaigns to promote wider brand messages can replace e-commerce ads. Brands can point people to their online videos and other digital spaces during these times when it is difficult to drive sales.
Give Special Offers
With layoffs, economic turmoil, and lockdowns, shoppers can be sensitive to price increases. It is a good idea to consider offering special discounts across your store or on high-demand items. Generally, consumer spending is down, so giving discounts will be a good way to draw shoppers back.
Update Product Pages
The C-virus caused supply chain issues. If sales are done on a per-product basis, sellers should keep product pages updated so customers will know what to expect. Inform your customers if shipments will take longer to reach the destinations or if some products are selling out. It is important to be transparent and provide as much information as possible. If you manage expectations, you will have satisfied customers even during a slow-down in service.
Create Valuable Content
Since people have no choice but to stay at home, they do almost all of their shopping online.
This is why content creation is crucial. Sellers can use this opportunity to provide valuable content to engage with their customers. This not only brings brand awareness but also drives sales. Such content is not only for your Amazon product listings. It can also be for your brand’s social media channels. Build a community – produce live videos, blog posts, stories, and other ways to expand your customer base. Shifting towards an at-home audience can improve sales.
Focus on Branding
While sales drop, it is a good time for sellers to focus on their brand and their brand’s overall message.
Learn how to optimize product listings and master the workings of pay-per-click. Work on becoming an expert in everything about Amazon so you are more than ready when things get back on track. Be ready for pent up demands. Amazon businesses should expect a huge resurgence once consumers begin to return to their routines of everyday life. So be prepared and work on being in a strong position to bounce back quickly.
According to Sellics, about 60% of sellers say that people in quarantine will be spending more time with online shopping to conform with social distancing.
Sales are way up. Some even lead to product shortages. Advertising is important now to get other brands and products in front of the consumer. The key is to utilize social media and be where consumers spend most of their time these days.
To thrive, business owners should double down on their online presence and digital marketing.
They should manage their expectations and keep focusing on creating alternatives to supply the demands of people who turn to e-commerce shops. There is a silver lining in the Amazon marketplace. People are still going to want and need to buy things during this lockdown. Seize the moment.