Pandemic drives creation of new market niche – and power protection is part of it

Nov 12, 2020

As the global Coronavirus pandemic enters its ninth month, few U.S. business segments have escaped its impacts. While some industries have been nearly decimated by COVID-19 restrictions, other channels have actually undergone significant growth, most notably the online shopping vertical.

Retailers are spending billions to build the infrastructure to deliver items to consumers faster– don’t miss out on a piece of that pie.

Online retail reaches new heights

When COVID-19 initially sent millions of Americans into quarantine during the second half of March 2020, consumers' apprehensions about visiting grocery stores prompted Instacart app downloads to grow by more than 200 percent. Meanwhile, online grocery sales have continued to soar during the outbreak, with some 45.6 million households relying on online pickup and delivery services for a larger portion of their grocery needs – a trend that led to a record $7.2 billion in U.S. sales in June. Similarly, Amazon registered its most profitable quarter ever in the three months that ended Sept. 30, reporting an increase of 39.3% year over year in North American revenue as a result of the online shopping surge.

Having accelerated a shift toward a more digital world and triggering changes in online shopping behaviors, the pandemic is expected to have lasting effects on eCommerce. The huge increase in automated deliveries is creating new opportunities for power protection sales, as well. With retailers spending billions to deliver online orders at faster speeds, a new trend has emerged: micro distribution hubs. Designed to shorten the physical distance between consumers and the goods they purchase online – reducing the carbon footprint of deliveries – these new locations must be connected to a central system, which in turn requires the proper power protection to ensure availability and uptime.

Increased demands require greater efficiency

As a growing number of companies roll out hundreds of new micro warehouse locations closer to end users, they must deploy a dedicated, high-quality IT infrastructure in order to be efficient and manage high-speed delivery demands. We have already seen Eaton channel partners capitalize on this new market opportunity. In one instance, the Eaton 5P UPS, RS Enclosure and IPM software are being installed in hundreds of locations across the country over the next 12 months by a food and essentials delivery company whose business is booming. The organization’s smaller, single-server sites are incorporating the 1500 VA model, while its larger warehouse locations are deploying the 3kVA unit. One of the key aspects to the sale was the ability to leverage our IPM software to automate the response to power-related events in the larger sites.

Distribution warehouses require greater security

In a second deal, an eCommerce company recently purchased Eaton products for its worldwide distribution warehouses, with plans to add many more next year. In addition to the 9PX 6kVA rack units and PDUs purchased for the company’s more complex networks, the need to safeguard critical systems against ever-growing cyber threats proved to be an essential aspect to the win, with the dual standard UL/IEC-certified cybersecurity Eaton Gigabit Network Card a key differentiator.

While in the past, IT deployments were rarely needed in warehouse locations, the introduction of these micro distribution hubs has spawned a new application that is operating 24/7 with demands for zero downtime or interruption. As an Eaton reseller, you are uniquely positioned to help eCommerce entities to quickly and efficiently deploy power protection to hundreds of locations – coupled with the software and cybersecurity they need to manage and safeguard systems. Retailers are spending billions to build the infrastructure to deliver items to consumers faster – don’t miss out on a piece of that pie.

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