I’m sure you heard the news by now. For most of the curious public, it’s a game changer of sorts. Amazon is putting the finishing touches on its $13.7 billion acquisition of Whole Foods. As this story settles, you might wonder to yourself, “What does it have to do with me?”
In the micro view — absolutely nothing. Possibly, this might be the first time you’re hearing about this.
Unless Amazon and/or Whole Foods plays an intrinsic role in your day-to-day business, there’s not much to talk about. It hasn’t changed the amount or the variety of produce you grow. Plus, you might not even experience a dramatic shift in the way you deliver to your customers.
Not yet, at least.
Although at first glance you might see a nothing burger, zoom out to the macro view and you will might find something interesting. With Amazon stepping into the health food retailer ring, there’s ample opportunity for innovation or the beginning of the end for grocery stores, depending on how you look at it.
The latter view is akin to the thought of the internet spelling the end of print publications; a declining trend, maybe, but not exactly a death knell. Just as you want the feel of print in your hands, you will still want to the “joy” of going to the store.
However, innovation — especially from the vendor perspective — could change the way you do business. In fact, it’s getting done now. The Amazon Vendor Express provides a platform for vendors —small businesses (that’s you, right?) — to sell to a wider audience as the online retail giant covers the shipping and merchandising costs as well as customer service issues. Many businesses have used the service to sell appliances, power tools, T-shirts and, yes, groceries.
Am I asking you to showcase your tomatoes on this site for delivery? Not exactly, but it’s not a far reach. Working with groceries in the traditional way won’t die out anytime soon, but with this acquisition, the sky is far from the limit. As the Vendor Express provides an avenue for small business in online sales, the proxy of Whole Foods could do the same for organic produce.
If it doesn’t cultivate a relationship with Whole Foods, it may inspire the regional players in your area. This simple purchase is just the beginning of the potential for produce on the consumer and wholesale end. This could be a pie-in-the-sky thought, but Same-Day delivery wasn’t even a thing a year ago. There is a lot of pie to be had.