Is e-commerce threatening your brand?
Amazon is at the forefront of e-commerce with more than 2 million third-party sellers responsible for creating and delivering digital content as well as packaging, fulfillment and shipping. These often ‘faceless’ third-parties have the last word on delivering the customer experience. Brands that have invested time and money in communicating their brand attributes as well as optimizing their value chain could easily find this investment undermined.
As market leader, Amazon could help brands protect their interests by aligning with like-minded companies that care about their products and customer experience. For example, a lot of criticism comes their way when customers receive over packaged goods and Amazon could benefit by creating a marketplace where customer experience, ethics and integrity are important. As a result their third-party sellers would be encouraged to demonstrate their commitment to reducing waste and optimizing packaging.
Back in 2008 Amazon launched its Frustration Free Packaging Program (FFP) to ease customer stress caused by complex packaging.
Amazon’s FFP initiative (courtesy of amazon.co.uk)
8 years on and only a handful of third parties have come on board with FFP, most notably Fisher Price & Logitech. To be meaningful, Amazon’s FFP initiative really needs to be better supported by their third-party sellers who ship more than 2 billion packages annually.
As e-commerce continues to grow, brands must address the complex social and environmental issues hidden downstream, right to the point where branded products meet the end consumer. Brands need the confidence that their e-commerce activity is compliant with their upstream investments in securing supply chains and developing sustainable products or they will lose credibility with consumers and investors.