- Silvija Daniunaite
Retail in the age of covid-19: Why Team as a Service is the path forward on Amazon Marketplace
Throughout 2020, the retail landscape has undergone a historic transformation, and retailers both big and small have had to overhaul their entire businesses models to survive. Forced to close doors almost overnight, traditional brick and mortar stores were thrust into an entirely new playing field, and found themselves scrambling for ways to get online fast.
While e-commerce was already a big player before the pandemic hit, covid-19 has pushed it to the forefront. Looking to replace dried up revenue streams quickly, a growing number of retail companies turned to online marketplaces like Amazon to keep their operations afloat. Yet, many – especially bigger retailers – struggled to make the shift sustainable, and burned in the process.
Controlling nearly 50% of the e-commerce market share, Amazon Marketplace offers a whole world of opportunity, but only for those who know where to look and what to do.
With more and more retailers embracing new e-commerce sales channels, how has the transition been and why have so many stumbled along the way? And how can big retailers successfully leverage Amazon Marketplace to drive continuous growth and stay competitive amid the pandemic?
Leveraging e-commerce amid pandemic — easier for some than others
Social distancing and stay-at-home measures have accelerated the adoption of e-commerce, which has since become the engine driving many of the fundamental shifts within the retail industry.
However, technology adoptions that were expected to take years happened in just a matter of weeks, wreaking havoc on unprepared businesses and their bottom lines.
While many smaller retailers deployed off-the-shelf platforms like Shopify or Wix to get up and running relatively quickly, big retail companies suffered terribly from lack of quick-fix solutions to allow a quick and painless transition to the new e-commerce reality.
Difficulty moving their entire product offering on new e-commerce platforms coupled with lack of logistical infrastructure and resources further compounded the challenge.
While many of the bigger retailers were already expanding their e-commerce capabilities prior to the covid-19 pandemic, most still prioritized traditional in-store business models — while digitalization remained more of an outlier in the strategy. As a result, even with growing demand for e-commerce, most failed to adapt and embrace new sales channels on time to effectively scale up their operations online.
The turn to Amazon Marketplace was expected
Providing all the underlying infrastructure needed to set up shop rather easily, Amazon Marketplace offered enormous potential for any retailer to expand their global market reach and boost sales in an otherwise uncertain economy.
With consumers spending an estimated $11,000 per second on products and services, the e-commerce giant has become a literal lifeline for thousands of businesses looking to pivot their operations online fast.
But using Amazon Marketplace as a failsafe option during the pandemic didn’t come without its complications – especially so for big retail businesses managing large, dynamic inventories.
Setting up an Amazon Seller account is one thing, but listing, managing, updating, marketing, advertising, and selling a wide range of products on the platform is a challenging and time-consuming process. And if handled incorrectly, can also be costly one at best or fatal at worst.
Big retailers encounter major problems
Smaller retail businesses that turned to Amazon Marketplace once again fared better, because narrow product assortments could easily be handled manually.
But those with large inventories lacked comprehensive stock management solutions and needed more robust tools to ensure their wide-ranging product offering was optimized for performance and profitability. As the number of businesses transacting on Amazon Marketplace more than doubled throughout 2020, aggressive competition has further compounded the challenge.
On top of that, without a structured and reliable way to share data between existing business systems and their Amazon store, many bigger retailers found that managing large inventories manually within the extremely fast-paced e-commerce platform was simply impossible.
Integrating their existing IT infrastructure into Amazon Marketplace also proved more challenging and costly than most anticipated, and even a stack of expensive SaaS solutions wasn’t quite enough, because navigating the platform required specialized know-how and experience.
As a result, grappling with Amazon’s exhaustive list of policies and requirements, many larger retailers failed to successfully capitalize on this opportunity, especially as the platform became increasingly sophisticated and complex.
At a time when Amazon Marketplace has become more competitive than ever, businesses need to leverage new strategies and solutions to stand out from the crowd and ensure profitable growth.
Connecting the dots from your business to the Amazon Marketplace
Amazon Marketplace has evolved into its own intricate ecosystem that requires a full team of dedicated experts to manage your day-to-day business operations. Today, successful sellers need to evolve together with the ever-changing platform, or else they risk lagging behind.
Embracing SaaS solutions for increased speed and efficiency is a good first step. Yet, without holistic know-how of Amazon as a whole and the right infrastructure in place, wasted effort and additional overhead costs are both inevitable.
For big retailers with large, dynamic product offerings, shifting focus to both SaaS and TaaS (team-as-a-service) solutions is critical to ensure business continuity and profitable growth in an already saturated marketplace.
Plug your business into Amazon Marketplace worry-free
Combining decades of e-commerce experience with innovative state-of-the-art software, Dotcon builds your Amazon sales channel from scratch – and helps seamlessly integrate it into your business.
From account setup, management, and advertising right to product listing and optimization, Dotcon’s one-stop solution provides the kind of comprehensive support your business needs to take your Amazon sales channel to a whole new level.
Through streamlined processes and automated store management, Dotcon ensures that your channel complies with the latest Amazon guidelines, and is optimized for competitive performance and profitability at all times.