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Embracing disruption to save an eCommerce business

by | Dec 31, 2022 | Advertising, Content Marketing, Content Strategy, Digital Marketing, eCommerce, Marketing Strategy

Consumers are hooked on Amazon Prime. Many look to Amazon first when searching for a product. But what happens to an eCommerce businesses when Prime is no longer an option?

Our eCommerce client had this exact experience.

The impact of Amazon Prime changes on eCommerce businesses

In 2020, Amazon announced changes to its shipping policies for third-party sellers on its platform, which took effect in 2021. One of the main changes was the introduction of “Prime Free One-Day” and “Prime Free Same-Day” shipping options for eligible items. These changes were intended to improve the delivery experience for Amazon Prime customers, but they also had the potential to impact third-party sellers on the platform.

One negative impact of these changes on eCommerce businesses was the increased pressure to meet faster delivery times. In order to qualify for the Prime Free One-Day and Prime Free Same-Day shipping options, sellers had to meet certain requirements, such as storing their inventory in Amazon fulfillment centers and using approved carriers for delivery. This required some sellers to make significant changes to their operations and logistics in order to meet the new requirements, which resulted in additional costs and disruptions.

Our client was not able to retain Prime status, and their sales plummeted. And this at a time when eCommerce businesses were soaring. The COVID-19 pandemic, which began in 2020, had a significant impact on the global economy and resulted in widespread changes to consumer behavior and patterns of spending. One of the areas that saw significant growth during this time was the eCommerce industry, as more consumers turned to online shopping as a result of lockdowns, social distancing measures, and other restrictions on in-person activities. 

Initially, our client experienced this lift, but upon losing Prime status, everything changed. They needed to make a major shift to emphasize selling through their website. That’s where Seed Marketing Studio came in.

The role of staff and operations in eCommerce success

First, we looked at the roles and responsibilities of each staff member to determine who could most positively impact website sales. The answer was clear. The freelance digital advertising director who had been with their company for several years had the know-how and tools to change the tide. He just needed to be freed to do it. The marketing director was not familiar with any best practices in today’s eCommerce landscape, and change was needed there. The rest of the team could either facilitate or hamper advertising and marketing progress: it would all depend on their goals and focus.

Aggressive strategies and tactics upended well-worn ways of doing things and while the disruptions wasn’t easy, in the end, the businesses exceeded projected sales for the 2022 holiday season by a long shot.

Lessons from a successful eCommerce pivot

What are the lessons here? 

  1. Don’t allow your eCommerce business’s health to rely on a platform you can’t control. Our client’s reliance on Amazon could have been their downfall. 
  2. When a disruption interrupts your eCommerce business’s revenue stream, don’t point fingers and get mad. Look at your operations and figure out what went wrong. Stay curious and deeply investigate your own company.
  3. Once you figure out what went wrong, immediately and holistically transform your business, even if it’s uncomfortable for you and everybody else. Chances are that being comfortable is what allowed the problems to unfold.
  4. Embrace the disruption – ride that wave. Negative disruption can beget positive disruption, so don’t let yourself dream of the good old days. Don;t drown yourself in escapist fantasies. Get real now and save your business.  

Do you need help growing your eCommerce business?

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