Supermarkets are running out of ‘everything’ and demand isn’t just clear from looking at empty shelves. Customers are also rushing to websites like Ocado where delivery slots are quickly filled up.
The word on social media is that if you are an online supermarket then you are on to a winner. This is actually true for any online business! Now is the time to prepare yourself, think out of the box, and push your services, but before we go into that – let’s talk about the supply chain.
In short, the supply chain is the network connecting companies and consumers which allows for the manufacture and distribution of products. This includes getting raw materials to a factory, manufactured/prepared goods out to warehouses, and warehouse deliveries to retail outlets or purchases from outlets to the end consumer.
It also goes further than this as the supply chain works in more than one way – items go back down the chain too (Returns/Refunds etc.) and so, right now, things are in a disrupted state whilst the demand side of the supply chain is still calming down. Amazon are prioritising certain categories of products in their delivery network whilst Sainsburys and others are offering the preferred delivery slots to the more vulnerable groups of people.
The current stockpiling mindset has led to a ‘greater than Christmas’ rush on certain products which makes it seem like the supply chain is broken. It isn’t. The stock is just not there in the retail outlet for it to be sold. You can see evidence of the supply chain being intact with both the refilling of shelves AND the ability for online retailers to get goods into the hands of the consumer.
There is a chance that the supply chain will be disrupted again in several ways:
With the supply chain being disrupted, the best route to market is online and businesses need to be as prepared as possible in marketing their online presence. As an online retailer, you will likely be considering how you can make things easier for your customers to retain them now and beyond. Here are some suggestions:
As well as adjusting existing methods, you may need to revisit decisions originally made as part of your business start-up idea and introduce completely new processes to thrive in this period. Some of these processes may be so effective that they become part of your standard way of working.
Whilst the country appears to have been affected deeply, remember that not everyone is going to be ill and life will continue through the crisis. As shared across social media, many businesses have taken dramatic steps to support others. Initiatives like these make you truly stand out and the same can be said for taking action to provide the most efficient service possible. With suitable strategies in place, keep business going for as long as possible and if you want support online please let us know.