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Coronavirus, Expert Edge and Amazon

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The health and safety of our employees and the success of our customers are of the utmost importance to us. As such, I wanted to send you a message outlining Expert Edge’s response to the current situation and offering some suggestions for strategies our customers might use to help navigate these unprecedented times.

Expert Edge – how we’re continuing to support you

Based on UK Government advice, we have decided to activate our Business Continuity Plan in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. This means that for a while, our employees will be performing their roles from home, instead of from our central office location. We’ll continue to monitor the situation closely and will be in touch with further updates on how we’re working as required.

We have also developed a series of frameworks to help you understand common problems and create a plan of action. Specifically, we can help you understand how to use pricing strategically on Amazon (AMZ), how to make stock allocation/management decisions and ways of evaluating your existing catalogue to find efficiency gains and/or growth opportunities.

Staying connected – how we’re setting up to provide service through the crisis

As a modern, digital business, we are well set-up to work from home and, culturally, we have always kept the flexibility and agility that’s been part of our DNA since the very first days of Expert Edge. All of our employees use laptops, and our comprehensive security measures work just as well in a home office as they do in our regular office. You should feel free to reach out to your points of contact as usual and, although we may need to limit face to face interactions, we use a full range of VC technology, including Skype, Google Hangouts, WhatsApp and Zoom to make communication as high quality and seamless as possible.

Amazon – what’s happening on the platform

The coronavirus outbreak will affect all types of businesses — no organization, even AMZ, will be immune to its impact. We appreciate you’ll be experiencing significant anxiety as you grapple with the effects on your business and we want to take a proactive role in helping you plan a response. Expert Edge is here to help.

You should make contact directly with your account team to discuss continuity planning, but some comments below that might be useful in the meantime:

  1. Online shopping is booming

    It’s important to remember that there are significant opportunities arising for businesses, despite the broader uncertainty. More customers are shopping from home in an effort to minimise contact with the broader population. This means your online channels are likely to have higher throughput, higher margins and lower risk than alternatives.

  2. Certain categories are emerging as ‘essential’

    Baby, Health & Household, Beauty & Personal Care (including personal care appliances), Grocery, Industrial & Scientific and Pet Supplies are seeing unprecedented levels of demand. Amazon has limited FBA inbound shipments to products in these ‘essential and high demand’ categories until at least 5th April. AMZ continues to fulfil all orders (regardless of category), meaning the customer is unaffected at the moment. They took this decision to prioritise “household staples, medical supplies, and other high-demand products coming into our fulfillment centers so that we can more quickly receive, restock, and deliver these products to customers.”

  3. There is more uncertainty to come

    Limitations on last-mile delivery, reduced availability of supply chain workers, purchase order volatility and endemic stock shortages are all contingencies we want to help our customers plan for as our teams continue to work hard to deliver growth for you on AMZ. Also, as the pressure builds on AMZ we may see response times increase and short-term policies change. We are monitoring daily updates from AMZ and are well placed to support execution, decision making, and contingency planning as your business progresses through this crisis. Please get in touch with your account team to discuss a bespoke business continuity plan.

Going forwards – what to expect down the line

In summary, we are wholeheartedly committed to helping you steer a course through these unprecedented times. And we think that it’s possible to use this period to add strength, build resilience and improve long-term growth potential of your business. While we are going to work slightly differently behind the scenes for a while, you can rely on Expert Edge to operate just as well as we always do. As well as continuing to provide high levels of tactical/execution support, the team is working hard to make sure you have the strategic support to understand and tackle issues as they arise. Our stocking, pricing, and selection frameworks are just the starting point and we will continue to communicate closely with our customers to find ways to adapt and thrive in spite of the challenging global climate.

David Jennison, CEO

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