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Panel: COVID-19 and Its Impact on Retail Marketplace Expansion: Challenges & Opportunities

This past May, Deliverr Co-Founder Michael Krakaris was on a panel at Payoneer BEYOND to speak about COVID-19 and the impact it has had on retail marketplace expansion. Find a recording and some highlights below.

Highlights of the video

What led to Walmart’s Success?

Walmart’s competitive advantage during COVID-19 came from driving online grocery stores.

Walmart Marketplace has been built over years with a huge customer and seller base to keep things consistent.

Challenges in Logistics & Fulfillment

Each month has different category trends. Initially, vitamins and supplements went up. Then as things settled down, it went to home goods. Now we’re in clothing and apparel go up as people want to go out.

From a logistics standpoint, there’s massive spikes in demand that may or may not roll over to the next few months. With new data we’re playing catchup versus the level of predictability that’s present during regular times.

Deliverr is building category-level understanding of where things are heading to try to predict demand.

COVID-19 saw warehouse closures, and our fulfillment network had to act quickly to mark warehouses closed to ensure clear timelines.

Carriers shut down as the pandemic moved on, and SLAs got longer. People are no longer buying aspirational things online, they’re buying essentials.

We had to get creative to figure out how to evolve and create more intelligence around category trends, more flexibility around warehouse closures, and diversity around carriers.

Product Categories with the Most Growth

Walmart Marketplace saw all categories up. Early on, there was panic buying around health and wellness. Home office and electronics maintained strong performance in early days.

A month in, Walmart.com saw personal grooming spike and apparel purchasing has moved to eCommerce as the first channel for purchase.

COVID-19 has shifted the model of only using one service. We’re all seeing the value of diversification with the FBA disruptions. Having a diverse fulfillment system and manufacturing network helps to ensure good service levels.

Seller’s Experience in Expanding Across Marketplaces & Geographies

Value of redundancy within your business. Diversifiying enables you to send goods where you need to go, since you can divert product in a pinch.

Multi-channel eCommerce is more defensible, and with Deliverr we saw sellers who use FBM add Walmart, users on Walmart adding Wish and eBay, etc.

Huge population of buyers are coming online, and usually they start with Amazon, but if things are out of stock, they move to Google. In Google Search, listings from Walmart, eBay, and others do well on search.

Other sellers are starting to build their own stores on Shopify and then running ads on Google shopping to index their items in Google multiple times (ie. Walmart listing + Shopify ad).

What Trends Are Here to Stay

Experienced online sellers are looking to diversify to different channels, such as Walmart, Google, Shopify.

Walmart has less competition on the seller level, and sellers are coming in and finding a different seller experience.

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