Well Made

Amit Sharma: What comes next – Well Made E152

December 30, 2021 · RSS · Apple Podcasts

Since the early 2000s, Amit Sharma has worked with commerce giants like Walmart and Apple to build supply chain infrastructure. In 2012, he founded Narvar. If you've bought anything online in the past few years, you've no doubt interacted with Narvar. Brands like Sephora, Patagonia, Gap and Sonos, ship millions of products per year using Narvar's comprehensive pre-to-post-purchase software. 

To fulfill the packaging piece of their pixel-to-package promise, Narvar recently acquired Lumi! In this episode, Stephan and Amit talk about the flux in consumer expectations, what it takes for brands to please customers now, and what's next for Lumi and Narvar. 

3:05 The digital world can scale much faster than the physical world, and it's hard to reflect the complexities, risks, and variables of a global supply chain — especially now. Narvar software manages that journey on behalf of brands to set expectations for customers. Amit talks about how Lumi fits into the future of Narvar and how he plans to grow. 

12:08 You've heard of B2B and B2C, but Narvar bridges the gaps — B2B2C. Amit explains the B2B2C business model and the components that go into this expansive ecosystem. 

14:25 Before launching Narvar, Amit had years of supply chain experience at Apple and Walmart. He was at these companies as ecommerce was becoming more prevalent, and supply chains didn't end in a warehouse. Instead, products were starting to hit doorsteps and this opened a whole new world of complexity and opportunity for companies. 

Back in 2012, order tracking was limited and customer expectations were simple: safe payments and reasonably timely delivery. Now, the tables have turned. Amit has always been focused on finding the right balance of communication with customers. How can companies surface more of the supply chain without overwhelming customers? How can you exceed expectations without overpromising?

21:41 With so many niches filled through every commerce channel, how do you start a new company these days? Amit says that it's all about trust, confidence, and consistency to deliver what you promised. That doesn't mean you need to promise 1-day delivery or free shipping. It just means being up-front about what customers can expect. 

“You have to pick one or two key elements or attributes of customer experience and build the brand proposition around it.”

26:02 Even after two years, we're all still figuring out the boundaries of this new normal — that's especially true for supply chains. Narvar had to adjust to accommodate these shifts. Options like curbside delivery and curbside returns took priority, and step-by-step customer communication became even more vital. 

Still, some friction points are lingering. Consumer empathy from the beginning of the pandemic is waning. Consumer expectations have hit an uptick, even with a global supply chain that's still at its limits. 

37:30 So, how should brands build their digital and physical infrastructures to survive in this nebulous future? Bigger brands, Amit says, will invest more in private networks, like Amazon's fleet of planes and trucks. While smaller brands, he anticipates, will rely more on a domestic supply chain, potentially boosting US manufacturing. 

42:48 Stephan and Amit discuss how consumers' buying behaviors are evolving within the circular economy, with more education and awareness at every step.

Also mentioned on the show:

    You can find this and all future episodes on iTunes, Google Play, and here on the Lumi blog. This episode was edited by Evan Goodchild.

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