Amazon is out for disruption, again. The Whole Foods acquisition was just a small sign of things to come.
On July 6, Amazon filed a trademark application for "prepared food kits."
The product's tagline: "We do the prep. You be the chef."
Blue Apron's stock sank to an all-time low of 6.32 as of 11:00 A.M ET, Tuesday, July 18th, 2017.
Competition is usually a great thing, but for a high growth company, Blue Apron has some work to do.
There are 4 things that Blue Apron will have to do if they want to win the fight with Amazon.
1. Focus relentlessly on the customer.
If they didn't think the customer was right before, now they have no choice. Amazon is a notorious customer first company.
"We see our customers as invited guests to a party, and we are the hosts. It's our job every day to make every important aspect of the customer service experience a little better." ~ Jeff Bezos
Amazon's customer-first model has stood the test of time and they continue to get better at it. This is an opportunity for Blue Apron to instill customer focus starting from the call center associates all the way up to senior leadership.
Considering Blue Apron's current subscription model is "cancel anytime," this raises the importance of customers having a positive experience with their brand even when there are mishaps with orders
2. Offer quality foods at a low price.
At $8.99 a serving for quality food, Blue Apron's margins are already lower than many of their competitors, but as history has shown us, Amazon can probably do better.
Jeff Bezos famously said, "Your margin is my opportunity." The retail juggernaut will almost surely use its strength to drive down the price for quality food at a lower price.
With their recent acquisition of Whole Foods, Amazon also just found a great source of high-quality healthy foods and a distribution arm to deliver meal-kits.
3. Become an operational machine.
Amazon has delivery down and they are always inventing new ways to get products to their customers faster and cheaper. Blue Apron can't afford any operational hiccups.
Amazon continues to invest in distribution centers around the US with no sign of slowing down.
Blue Apron obviously doesn't have the resources to compete head on with Amazon logistics, so they will need to be creative to make sure they can serve the needs of their customers as Amazon continues to exceed customers delivery expectations.
4. Be different.
The one advantage Blue Apron has is that it is one of the early innovators in the space and are well known in customers minds as being the clear leader.
If you're going head to head with Bezos and crew, you better be prepared for everything. You never know when Amazon's flying drones will be ready to ship meal-kits!
I wish the best of luck to Blue Apron. It's an exciting and scary time to be a fast growing company.