When the health crisis hit the world, only a few businesses excelled, while the others suffered terribly. Several countries went through strict lockdowns, which had a significant negative impact on local and global business. Only the health sector was prioritized by the government to fuel the production of safety and hygiene essentials. With about 3,000 sellers and an average of 1,400 new users joining the online platform every day, Amazon successfully delivered health essentials during the pandemic.
While it was a gratifying year for Amazon, as its sales continued to rise, the FBA sellers who were not involved in health care or essential products were dramatically affected. Tom Wang, a successful millionaire, shares his journey through the pandemic and how he saw the trends shifting for FBA merchants to keep their businesses afloat in unprecedented times.
Ever since the pandemic struck, air shipping rates have soared. This decline in businesses occurred due to prioritizing essential medical supplies and the lack of commercial flights to carry non-essential goods. This spike in air shipping rates forced sellers to either take lower margins (possibly a loss) or switch to cargo via sea. The latter would cause an extensive delay in shipping and caused a financial whirlwind for many sellers.
“Due to COVID, a lot of sellers, including my company and me, are facing issues. Our delivery dates have been shifted by a month due to the pandemic,” says Tom. Tom proceeds to explain why the pandemic was harsh on FBA sellers; it was the sudden, temporary ban on items in non-essential categories.
Many Amazon FBA sellers soon went out of stock. Then Amazon introduced a new system that limits the number of units you can bring into FBA. The new system was now challenging those already struggling with inventory management with Amazon. Many were forced to use a different fulfillment service. Some of them chose to fulfill orders themselves. But that doesn’t mean the opportunity is over.
Tom suggests two ways to beat the pandemic blues, each requires some strategizing and restructuring of your logistic plans. The first is called a “Blitz Strategy.” It’s a brief but intensive marketing strategy that focuses on a short-lived campaign. You have to basically target two weeks of sales and peddle yourself as fiercely as you can. It’s a hard but equally rewarding process that will help your sales during the pandemic.
The second one, as suggested by the millionaire, is to stretch sales to 30–45 days instead of setting a timeline of just two weeks. The latter approach is more practical, as we are not sure how long this situation will last, given the pandemic’s nature. In the meantime, you should keep analyzing keywords and stay on top of all trends. Watch out for any sudden shift in policies or government announcements, and spend more time creating a contingency plan.
We can now agree that, despite the hardships of selling on Amazon, it has also become more profitable as e-commerce expands and generates more profits than ever. Tom Wang also recommends becoming more equipped with skills and observing how the market is hustling and making the best of it. Since people’s requirements have changed, the search for relevant products has also changed drastically. However, the trends have shown that people have turned to Amazon during these challenging days and will continue to shop on it, thanks to the services of third-party sellers.