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The current pandemic is not only leaving a footprint in every part of our personal life, it is also challenging traditional patterns of our businesses. Leaders have to rethink and redesign ways businesses collaborate, exchange knowledge, stay close to their customers and work on growing their presence in a market. For those leaders, digitalization can be an important game changer.
On 6th and 7th October, more than 3,000 participants joined our (first completely virtual) Amazon Business Exchange, our annual procurement conference that helps businesses to explore new ways to organize their supplier relationships. They had the chance to hear inspirational keynotes, sessions with Amazonian and non-Amazonian executives as well as finance and supply chain leaders working hard on shaping the future of online procurement.
Importance of selling partners
As a part of the conference, procurement executives and other participants had a chance to hear from two of our selling partners: Annamaria from FarmaMed and Yamil from Vensalud. Their stories are great examples of digitalization and resilience during this pandemic, and we were thrilled to host them during the selling partner ABX session.
Vensalud is a company founded in Venezuela back in 2010, which expanded to Europe only two years ago. Yamil shared that his company offers syringes, infusion sets and disposable gloves, whereas FarmaMed is located in Italy and it supplies electro-medical products, plasters, disinfectants, sanitizers and more than 120 other products.
Business customer focus
Annamaria explored how the current environment disrupted traditional business channels and motivated FarmaMed to explore an online B2B channel for the first time. Starting their business seller journey on Amazon Business enabled them to quickly respond to environmental change and reach a new audience, surpassing their initial expectations.
Both FarmaMed and Vensalud are B2B-focused companies and Yamil shared a snippet of their successful strategy helping them to reach more Amazon Business customers: “We found that offering business prices or quantity discounts helps to be more competitive on the market." Vensalud has always predominately focused on business customers: “They are very important for us, we have always sold to business customers and they are at the heart of our business plan."
Paul concluded that both FarmaMed and Vensalud are great examples of what it takes to succeed on Amazon: “They both have the right product offering and care a lot about customer experience, convenience and fast delivery.”
Impact of COVID-19 on the daily operations
For many people and businesses around the world, the pandemic required quick adaptation to new conditions. FarmaMed was truly tested on flexibility, general management as well as digitalization: “We have achieved excellent results even without seeing each other in person or having very long meetings, the times for various activities were reduced.” The increased demand pushed them to rethink their supply chain when they ran out of sanitizer supply, but they managed to find and activate new production sources in a record time.
Yamil believes that this crisis pushed the company to work beyond their limits and rethink not only how they cooperate with other businesses but also how they’ve set up internal processes: “We had to assist other businesses, especially the sanitary customers but also individuals who at one point needed our immediate support on behalf of the most affected ones. We had to change our logistic and operative structure to enable appropriate solutions for our customers.”
Learnings during difficult times
Vensalud learned to give timely solutions for different customers in the market, which was especially important in such turbulent times. Yamil shared an ambitious plan for the future: “We want to be present in different markets worldwide by improving marketing strategies and expanding medical product selection.” Yamil’s team believes current conditions will increase the importance of protection for the longer term, and they see an opportunity in meeting this increased demand.
Annamaria realized that FarmaMed had to revise marketing strategies and learn how to innovate rapidly. Amazon Business played a key role in helping them to reach these new goals: “We now have a direct access to customer opinions, which are very helpful for defining our product marketing and future strategies when developing new products.”
The final part of our session was marked with Paul Kikano, Head of Seller Services for Amazon Business EU, thanking Vensalud and FarmaMed for their commitment to help other businesses and individuals despite challenges in the environment and highlighting the enormous contribution of our selling partners to meet the growing demand for essential supplies and vitally important products.
“Our sellers are innovative, hard-working and react fast, and Amazon Business would not be the same without them," says Paul, and adds, “Selling partners are the core of our innovative power and their stories usually take place behind the scenes of Amazon Business." To put the importance of selling partners into perspective, Paul emphasized that selling partners supply more than one out of two orders of business customers.