Summary: The onset of COVID-19 has resulted in rapid and massive shifts in consumer demand creating a tsunami as shoppers stock pile non-discretionary essentials such as shelf-stable food, toiletries, cleaning suppliers and pet food, and virtually ignore discretionary items such as cosmetics and other luxury items.
Retailers and manufacturers, in turn, are having to adapt and retool virtually every aspect of their supply chain in order to meet the spikes in demand on essential items while simultaneously prioritizing the health and safety of their employees.
The following articles and summary take a deep dive into the key actions manufacturers and retailers are forced to take to address new and drastic challenges around getting much-needed goods to store shelves:
Direct to Consumer
Advantage Perspective: It’s clear that grocery retailers are under immense pressure and duress in this crisis. Wholesaler’s adoption of D2C has proven to be a very effective interim solution to help bypass the grocery stores, allowing these retailers to stock up on consumer essentials to meet higher consumer demand. After a high-impact global shock, we often experience a wave of ‘new normal’ across several industries. Our projection is that following the crisis, the surge in D2C will remain strong. Before the crisis, D2C was gaining increased relevance due to greater control over supply chains, scalability, targeting the needs of specific audiences, as well as leveraging e-commerce technology. In this crisis, D2C has become even more appealing as a vertical to invest in, due to shifting revenue strategies, overall business uncertainty, and the rapidly changing consumer shopping habits.
From an industry perspective, retailers continue to leverage their strength of selling and reaching consumers most effectively. We believe that the traditional Supplier and Retailer relationships will still hold crucial relevance both during and after the crisis. These current D2C efforts can be thought of as an outcome of suppliers and retailers stepping up together and using rigorous customer focus to ensure consumers get what they need most at this time. This further emphasizes the foundational pillar that needs to be in place to win the D2C game; suppliers and retailers will need to maintain and develop a solid base of trust between themselves and with their consumers by working to meet their expectations during the COVID-19 crisis and then exceeding them once things revert back to “normal”.