Amazon Looks to Revamp Supply Chain with Hosted Event

Amazon Looks to Revamp Supply Chain with Hosted Event

SEATTLE, WA - In a time where some are reaffirming commitment to brick and mortar, some are implementing futuristic technology, and others are delving further into e-commerce, retail analysts and operators seem abuzz with whether change is in the air for retail.

Amazon has put its own spin on pushing cyber shopping to the forefront of the race: the online retailer has reportedly invited some of the biggest brands of all kinds to its headquarters to convince them to ship directly to its shoppers, according to Bloomberg.

"Times are changing," Amazon’s invitation reads, according to the report. "Amazon strongly believes that supply chains designed to serve the direct-to-consumer business have the power to bring improved customer experiences and global efficiency. To achieve this requires a major shift in thinking."

What would this mean for produce and all other providers? The entirety of how we approach packaging, according to the news source. Instead of packing product to catch the consumer’s attention, producers would likely be crafting boxes and containers more suitable for easy shipping: firmer, sturdier, and more efficient.

The food industry in particular, with cardboard and plastic packaging amongst the more popular choices, would be a significant candidate for big changes. But ours is a market e-commerce continues to seek a steadier foothold in, as Vice President of E-commerce for marketing firm The Mars Agency, told Bloomberg.

Melissa Burdick, Vice President of E-commerce, The Mars Agency“Most of these people haven’t been interested in e-commerce because e-commerce has been such a small piece of their overall sales,” Burdick said. “But we’ve reached a tipping point. We’re at a time when companies are ready to start figuring this stuff out.”

And it is that vein in which Amazon is looking to persuade providers to jump aboard and make packaging and operations easier for it to add to its one-hour shipping to consumers.

The three-day event will include a tour of the retailer’s Seattle fulfillment center, as well as a presentation from Worldwide Consumer Chief Jeff Wilke. On the attendance list are executives from General Mills, Mondelez, and other packaged goods makers.

Jim Hertel, Managing Partner of Willard Bishop, compared the strategy to Costco and other club stores convincing brands to create bulk sizes sold at a discount more than two decades ago.

Jim Hertel, Managing Partner, Willard Bishop

"There was a big perceived penalty for missing the boat, fear of missing out on growth," Hertel said. And, like those retailers, he stated Amazon would argue increased sales and even possible revival for struggling companies to encourage the changeover.

Will this latest move successfully convince key players in the food industry, produce and beyond, that e-commerce is retail’s future? We can't wait to find out.



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