Two Brands On Amazon + COVID Crisis Hits = Different Outcomes

Two brands that rely on Amazon for sales told their stories at our Search & Performance Insider Summit online on Tuesday. Each had a different experience.

Eloy Yndigoyen, COO/CFO of Spread The Love, which retails higher-end organic peanut butters, butters and jams, said the brand saw sales skyrocket in late February. The company's founders wanted to shut off advertising because they were selling through product too quickly. But Yndigoyen convinced them to become more aggressive in selling raspberry jam and cashew butter while cutting off spend for the peanut butter.

One challenge was to make sure the inventory was always there, he said. "I was amazed at how the larger brands were not prepared for this," with some sellers unable to deliver until several weeks into the future. Being on Amazon allowed Spread the Love to get to buyers more quickly.

Another challenge was to educate the consumer on why they should choose the product, in order to make sure they come back. There is nothing in the peanut butter, he said, but peanuts. "No palm oil, no chemicals, no stabilizer. It's healthier." However, because so many consumers have lost their jobs during the crisis, the brand plans to come out with a lower-priced item that won't be organic by the end of June or early July.

Meanwhile, at Seagate Technology, which markets hard drives and games, Amazon had been its main channel. And when the crisis hit, its business was determined to be non-essential.

Trevor Krehel, channel marketing manager, said the brand restructured its ad campaigns, turning off its Amazon campaign and looked at the best-selling items of its competitors versus its own. "If we saw competitors starting to lose capacity, we thought maybe we could supply [that]," he said.

The company also looks at Amazon's search reports to come up with common, organic keywords. "We shifted category focus to what was going to stick long-term. And that was external hard drives and game drives." Seagate gained a lot of share and wanted to hold onto it.

"We're trying to innovate custom-edition drives," said Krehel, noting that, with so many people working from home, Seagate is using its messaging to attract customers looking for "that ease of use setup."

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