How Can Amazon Sellers Protect Their Business During Coronavirus
It is no secret that the impact of coronavirus on supply chains has been drastic, hurting a lot of businesses – big and small – worldwide, especially those who depend on China for sourcing. With Chinese workers forced to stay at home for extended periods of time, productions in factories are hold off, resulting into product shortages and shipment delays. In fact, thousands of Amazon sellers are struggling to source items into the country, as CNBC reports.
Although it is hard to predict when the disruptions over supply chains will end, there are some things Amazon sellers can do to keep up with the changing times brought by the coronavirus pandemic.
7 Practical Tips for Amazon Sellers During the Coronavirus Pandemic
1. Turn off Amazon Advertising
If you are running Amazon ads, it would be best to turn off promotions for your items that are out of stock. Likewise, turn off any ads you have for non-essential items. This is because Amazon has frozen non-essential FBA shipments from its third-party sellers so it can prioritize the high demand for basic necessities – such as food, medical supplies and household goods. Track your own spend and make sure you are not throwing away money promoting items that are not even available.
At the same time, cut back on discounts or raise your prices. It is better to sell fewer products at a higher price than to lose customers because you cannot accommodate their orders.
2. Know All Your Suppliers
Business Review shares a few ways to prepare your supply chain for
coronavirus. One of them is by knowing all your suppliers. Contact your most
important suppliers immediately and get a good understanding of their location
and how things stand there.
Map your upstream suppliers several tiers back. Otherwise, you will struggle to respond or forecast potential effects when a crisis occurs. It might be too late to develop relationships with your current and previous suppliers now. So, build honest relationships in advance with alternate key resources and suppliers. This way, you are prepared if another disruption erupts. It is also crucial to involve your suppliers when developing continuity plans.
Consider manufacturing and sourcing products outside of China. Top alternative supplier countries include Brazil, Chile, Mexico, Colombia, India, Thailand and Vietnam. While they aren’t as cheap as China, there are other advantages. For example, South American countries have low shipment cost, fair labor cost and shorter delivery routes. India, Thailand and Vietnam are not yet as badly affected by the coronavirus as China.
If you are looking for suppliers beside Alibaba, Linnworks offers a list of alternative options.
On the other note, SellerMobile Suppliers Analysis tool enables you to keep your supplier data protected and organized all in one place.
3. Maximize Digital Channels
With your Amazon ads turned off in the time being, digital channels are great avenues to get in front of your target customers. Revamp your social media pages, develop eye-catching, relevant content to gain customers’ attention. Use these platforms to communicate, educate, obtain information and understand your customers’ needs and pain points during these unprecedented times. Ensure your message is still out there and continue to add value.
When this is all over and the eCommerce industry is back to normal, business owners who continue connecting and engaging their audience will come out in a much better position than those who decided to stop communicating.
4. Consider Other Marketplaces
With the uncertainty surrounding coronavirus, many people around the world are in a quarantine mode, which means they are avoiding shopping malls, supermarkets and brick-and-mortar stores. More shoppers are staying away from physical retail and turning to online stores. Sell items under food, beverage, childcare and household supplies categories as they were found to have boost in sales since the pandemic arises. To give you some ideas, here is a list of top 50 search terms on Amazon from February 23 to March 14, 2020.
If you wish to continue selling on Amazon despite the suspension of product shipments, make sure to diversify your products and consider the following product categories:
- Health & Household
- Beauty & Personal Care (including personal care appliances)
- Industrial & Scientific
- Pet Supplies
Learn more about Amazon’s Announcement regarding suspension of nonessential shipments and what your options are as an FBA seller. If you have excess inventory on non-essential items, now is the best time to try other online marketplaces such as Walmart, Target, Bonanza, and Facebook Marketplace. This way, you can turn your extra inventory into profit and avoid hefty Amazon storage fees.
5. Focus on Improving Your Brand
While we have no guarantee when coronavirus will end, you can take advantage of this time to focus on your brand and overall message. Revisit your website, if you have any, and make sure that your brand is well presented.
Learn how to optimize your product listing. Get a solid grasp on PPC advertising. Check out our blog for some of the best tips and strategies we have for new and seasoned Amazon sellers alike. Master the ins and outs of the Amazon marketplace so when things get back to normal, you and your products are ready.
6. Do Not Stop Communicating
Continue communicating to your customers no matter what. It is very easy for Amazon sellers and eCommerce business owners to become apathetic to recent events, especially when listening to a lot of what is being said on media channels. Make sure you let your customers know what is happening around your business and what your plans are for the coming days, weeks or months. Practice transparency by publicly addressing common customer frustrations like delivery delays, stock outs, and internal sanitation procedures.
Here is where our Feedback Generator tool comes in. More than just automating feedback email requests, our Feedback Generator tool allows you to customize your emails so you can add a personal touch and reach out to your target customers at the right time.
7. Stay Updated
We can expect a lot of changes in eCommerce over the next few months but we are hoping the whole crisis will end soon. In the meantime, the smartest thing to do is to stay informed on the changes and act accordingly.
We wish everyone well during this time. If you need help streamlining your processes – be it your inventory, shipment, sales & profit monitoring or PPC advertising – SellerMobile got your back.