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Joe Raedle /盖蒂

Last month,沃尔玛在阿肯色总部附近聚集了一些美国最大的家庭品牌,进行了一场激烈的谈话。For years,Walmart had dominated the retail landscape on the back of its"Everyday Low Price"guarantee.But now,Walmart was too often getting beaten on price..

So company executives were there,in part,用沃尔玛的供应商重新设定期望——消费者品牌的芯片,sodas and diapers line the shelves of its Supercenters and its website..

Walmart wants to have the lowest price on 80 percent of its sales,根据该公司在峰会上的演示,哪一个Recodereviewed..

To accomplish that,the brands that sell their goods through Walmart would have to cut their wholesale prices or make other cost adjustments to shave at least 15 percent off.在某些情况下,供应商说,如果他们满足沃尔玛的要求,他们将在每次销售中赔钱。.

Brands that agree to play ball with Walmart could expect better distribution and more strategic help from the giant retailer.And to those that didn't?Walmart said it would limit their distribution and create its own branded products to directly challenge its own suppliers..

"Once every three or four years,Walmart tells you to take the money you're spending on [marketing] initiatives and invest it in lower prices,"Jason Goldberg说,the head of the commerce practice at SapientRazorfish,一个与大型品牌和零售商合作的数字代理机构。"They sweep all the chips off the table and drill you down on price.""

But this time around,Walmart's renewed focus on its"Everyday Low Price"亚马逊对超市货架上出售的包装商品的定价越来越积极,是沃尔玛成功的核心。industry executives and consultants say..

最近几个月的结果是沃尔玛和亚马逊之间的底部竞争很激烈,这对购物者来说似乎很重要,but has consumer packaged goods brands feeling the pressure..

The pricing crackdown also comes in the wake ofWalmart's $3 billion acquisition of Jet.通用域名格式andits CEO Marc Lore.Lore now runs Walmart.com and has said one of his mandates is to create new ways for the retailer to beat everyone else on price,including Amazon..

The pricing pressure has ignited intense wargaming inside the largest CPG companies,据知情人士透露 Procter & Gamble,Unilever,PepsiCo,Mondelez and Kimberly-Clark.There is no one-size-fits-all solution..


Representatives for these companies either declined to comment or failed to respond to requests for comment.Executives inside these companies would only speak on a condition of anonymity because negotiations with retailers are confidential..

An Amazon spokesperson said in an email:"At Amazon we protect low prices for our customers,every single day — nothing has changed in terms of our focus or how we operate.""

Walmart did not provide a comment..


One piece of the battle,executives say,is an Amazon algorithm that works to match or beat prices from other websites and stores.Former Amazon employees say it finds the lowest price per unit or per ounce for a given product — even if it's in a huge bulk-size pack at Costco — and applies it across the same type of good on Amazon,even when the pack size is much smaller..

让我们想象一下,CordCo正卖一包10袋的多利多,每袋10美元,也就是1美元。Amazon的算法指出,在COSTCO公司,一个包是1美元,in turn,lowers the price on Amazon of a single bag of Doritos to $1..

这对客户来说是一笔很大的交易,这可能是亚马逊做出决定的原因。where an obsession with customer value dominates its strategy..

But now,Amazon is selling individual items at Costco prices while not getting the same wholesale price that Costco enjoys.In short,亚马逊将很难在这些商品上获利。.

When Walmart sees this,it freaks out on the supplier,industry executives say.And it doesn't matter to Walmart that Amazon may not be getting the same wholesale price that retailers like Costco or other membership clubs receive.In other words,even if Amazon isn't profiting from its extremely low prices,Walmart is still demanding the same bulk-rate discount applied to individual items..

"Walmart has had it explained to them by myself and others,"said one industry insider who asked for anonymity talking about private discussions."我的结论是他们打败了所有的供应商,无论如何,因为他们需要在这些公司的高层成为一个问题。""

在某些情况下,Amazon is willing to lose money for some period of time on a product it feels it has to have.Jeff Bezos's company knows,after all,如果要真正挑战沃尔玛的8000亿美元产品类别,它必须继续增加对非易腐杂货的选择。.

But,比过去更多,Amazon is ratcheting up the pressure on manufacturers of goods that the online retailer is unable to sell for a profit,高管们说。Separate from the algorithm,brands are also facing the realization that their products that are sold profitably in stores may become unprofitable online when shipping costs are factored in..

在Amazon,不利可图的物品被称为垃圾产品——首字母缩写词代表“垃圾”。Can't Realize a Profit."And Amazon is not afraid to kick off big and small brands alike..

一个例子:上星期五的一个下午,all Pampers diapers sold by Amazon were unavailable on the site.Industry speculation was that Amazon may have kicked Pampers off the site as part of a negotiation over prices..

无论是亚马逊还是帮宝适的母公司宝洁公司都不会评论此事。But the bigger point may be that senior industry executives thought such a move was even a legitimate possibility..

"我很担心,"其中一人说。"Do all CPG goods get commoditized to 40 percent below where they're used to being?The long-term implication is you just don't know where the bottom is at.""

Get the CRaP out

When Amazon warns suppliers that a product is pre-CRaP,meaning it's in jeopardy of being kicked off the site for profitability issues,, it makes demands.Oftentimes,to lower wholesale prices.但这并不总是有效的,especially if a brand has the leverage of also selling into Walmart,which is still the biggest retail customer for many manufacturers..

In these instances,Amazon may transfer the product to Amazon Pantry,a smaller catalogue of goods restricted to Prime Members.All Pantry orders come with a $5.99 shipping fee per box,which helps cover Amazon's costs,if fewer than five items are ordered at one time..

Another Amazon tactic is to prohibit some brands from buying ads within the site for a product that Amazon can't make profitable on a standalone basis.就像在商店里支付重要的费用一样,a brand can buy ads within Amazon to promote their products.阻止这些广告是埋葬产品的另一种方式。.

"他们正在演奏Jekyll和海德,"said an executive at a large grocery goods manufacturer."有时,这都是关于成长的问题;at times,这都是关于盈利能力的。They keep switching back and forth.""

Another factor: As Amazon Prime becomes a bigger part of Amazon's business,Amazon ships more orders that consist of just one item.这些订单通常比多品种订单更难盈利,而这种趋势可以解释人们对盈利能力的重新关注。.

"Amazon realizes Walmart is serious,"the executive said,"and is basically asking manufacturers to subsidize their unprofitable shipping costs for them.""

No easy solution

What is a brand to do?There is no one-size-fits-all solution.Some do give in and offer Amazon a better price if they can afford it..

一些人推动亚马逊保留无利可图的产品,but give them a better deal on a more profitable item..

Another strategy is to stop selling to Amazon as a wholesaler and instead sell directly,or through resellers,在亚马逊的市场上。Amazon无法控制市场卖家出售的商品的价格,though it can make it harder to find items that aren't priced aggressively..

最长项解,however,is perhaps the most difficult: Reimagining how a product should be designed and packaged from the ground up,specifically for e-commerce sales.That often means cutting the weight of low-price goods since shipping costs tend to eat into a product's profitability.(Amazon,in fact,is trying tocapitalize on this potential shift通过要求品牌重塑他们的包装,使它更容易运输-都通过亚马逊完成,当然。)

Big brands,however,have been doing more talk than action when it comes to pursuing this solution — a fact that you can be sure Amazon has noticed..

但是Andrea Leigh,an ex-Amazon general manager who now runs her own brand consultancy,has come across a few examples of brands redesigning goods for e-commerce.其中一个,from the brand Celsius,is an energy drink that has been transformed into powdered packets that the customer mixes with water at home..

Then there's the brand Green Works,which has sold household cleaners in concentrate form,along with an empty spray container..

"如果竞争者离开,你可以活下去,it presents you with an opportunity where you can steal share in a relatively easy way,"she said."Figuring out how to do online better and not getting CRaP-ed out,that's a huge opportunity.""

The rise of direct to consumer??

Perhaps the toughest part of being a traditional consumer packaged goods brand today is that you don't know who your customer is because you sell to them via a middleman: Retailers like Amazon and Walmart.And if you try to sell direct through your own website — which requires a different set of skills — retailers often raise hell.对,the same retail partners that are putting the squeeze on wholesale prices..

So some of these multinational companies are dabbling with diversifying their sales channels through acquisition.Unilever,the owner of brands like Dove and Hellmann's,last year购买认购剃须刀启动美元剃须俱乐部为10亿美元.绝大多数美元剃须刀俱乐部的销售都是通过自己的网站销售的。.

Venture capitalists are betting that that deal will be the first of many acquisitions of digital-first brands that would traditionally sell their goods on supermarket shelves — though no major ones have yet followed.If they're right long-term,however,来自Amazon和沃尔玛的价格压力可能是部分原因,或者说是感谢。.