Smead, a client of Amazon agency VASO Group, showcases it stationery items, folders and organizers, on a desk

As we mount a global effort against Covid-19, the guidelines are clear: To “flatten the curve” we need to maintain social distance. “Work or engage in schooling from home whenever possible,” is the official word from the White House. Several cities and states have gone further, telling all non-essential workers to stay home. In areas where shelter-in-place is not yet the norm, many companies are finding ways for their employees to work remotely while adapting to the changing face of business. This means workers need to opt for a makeshift pandemic office from a corner of their house, and they are counting on us eCommerce vendors to help furnish it.

With so many people engaging in social distancing at home, not to mention more stringent shelter-in-place rules and the closure of nonessential businesses, eCommerce has never been more important. This is made clear by the announcement last week that Amazon is adding 100,000 new employees to meet demand. eCommerce gives us the opportunity to help people adjust to their new normal, and make work from home more pleasant and productive. Here are some steps you can take to ease that transition.

Helpful Messaging

Working from home will be a new experience for many people. Help them find what they need to set up their personal home office space through the messaging on your Amazon Brand Store and Sponsored Brand banner ads. 

Environmental distractions, time management issues, and simply lacking the familiar infrastructure and amenities of an office can all make working from home a trying experience. Anticipate the problems and pain points people will encounter and meet them with your products. You have the goods to make things as normal and productive as possible during this challenging time.

That may mean getting activity kits for the kids, noise cancelling headphones, day planners, office supplies, and ample amounts of coffee and snacks. Some items will be a natural fit for their home office, and there may be some products that resolve problems they don’t know they have. Think creatively with your catalog, and see how else you may help. And don’t forget the parents that need supplies for homeschooling!

Rightsize Your Offers

That box of 60 pens or pack of 24 legal pads may be perfect for a small office, but it’s way too much for one or two adults working from home in their pandemic office. Adjust your advertising to promote items and pack sizes for one user, instead of a small, medium, or large office. Consider assembling a kit to help workers set up at home or adjust to a longer period of distance working.

Keep in mind that some items may have no relevance for a home office at all! Certain mailroom or copier supplies may not move until our mailrooms and copiers are buzzing with activity again. Don’t waste your ad budget on items meant for tens or even hundreds of employees, when you should be focusing on one or two adults.

The Human Touch

Our needs extend beyond mere utility. We seek out the comfort of beautiful and interesting things; clever devices and organizing solutions to inspire our best. Help your customers bring a personal touch to their pandemic office by focusing on the more creative and trend-forward items in your catalog. They may reach for things that express personal style at home that would otherwise not fit in a more corporate setting.

Such items may include elegantly designed desk caddies, colorful folders, designer ink pens with comforting handfeel, or aesthetically satisfying planners. Outside of office supplies, think about what other items in your catalog might provide a human touch to a home office. Home decor, kitchenware, and even comfortable work-from-home fashion may help ease their transition to a new day-to-day reality.

We are all in this together, and together we will make it through. Unlike previous pandemics, we are fortunate to live in a time of unprecedented connectedness, which makes it possible to carry on with some semblance of normalcy. The role of eCommerce is only going to expand in the weeks ahead, and as an Amazon vendor, you are in a position to help others find that sense of normal.

Reach out to us if you need help navigating these new uncharted waters of pandemic online shopping.