Amazon’s small independent rivals have seen massive boosts in sales during the pandemic thanks to delays in the giant’s delivery times.
Small online businesses have been able to thrive during the coronavirus crisis as many customers facing extended delivery times turned away from Amazon, instead seeking out retailers and delivery services that remained largely undiscovered until now.
Amazon was hit by a spike in demand comparable to Black Friday but with little time to prepare its logistics network for the onslaught, forcing it to limit the amount of goods sellers could send to its warehouses and extend its usual one or two-day delivery times customers are used to.
According to CNBC Bookshop.org, repeatedly told by investors it would be crushed by Amazon, managed to achieve sales anticipated by Christmas by early May without any advertising spend.
Andy Hunter, who founded the online bookstore, told CNBC that his goal to “capture one per cent of Amazon’s book market” was achieved in just 11 weeks instead of the three years he’d anticipated.
Online grocery deliveries have been a key battleground during the pandemic, with grocery spend skyrocketing but fewer and fewer people venturing into physical stores.
Local delivery services Go Organic NYC and Farm to People capitalised on Amazon Fresh’s saturated delivery network, both experiencing a wave of new customers and having to rapidly expand their facilities.
Go Organic transformed from a mainly corporate food delivery firm to a wholly domestic operation while most of the nation was forced to work from home, taking on hundreds of new customers in the process.
Farm to People also saw its customer base expand to 3000 customers during the period, more than tripling in two weeks, forcing it to establish a wait list to meet demand.
Earlier this week Amazon announced that it had cleared a backlog of orders and would return to its normal delivery times shortly.
While Amazon has undoubtedly emerged as a winner from the crisis, with Jeff Bezos personal fortune alone growing $20 billion, time will tell whether customers will stick with their newly discovered local business which can often offer the same products, prices and delivery times.