Amazon is coming. We've heard all about how it's going to be an Australian retail killer. But if you're a competitor on a much, much smaller scale, what can you do to protect yourself against wholesale abandonment of local business?
A recent survey of 1000 online shoppers by Australian e-commerce platform Neto has suggested as many as one third of Aussies are ready to jump ship to Amazon once it comes to Australia. The research shows that, while 65 per cent indicated they would stay loyal to known brands with an online presence if prices were discounted, a whopping 82 per cent of respondents valued the convenience and ease offered by a service like Amazon over price.
The takeaway here, however, isn't to engage in a value war with other Aussie businesses by slashing your prices, but to act now to become competitive on the convenience Amazon offers. This doesn't stop with just having a decent online storefront available and accessible -- consumers are also looking for features such as the ability to easily return products if needed, or checking stock availability between both physical and online storefronts.
Neto's CEO Ryan Murtagh has more advice for Aussies looking to compete: "Efficient and nimble back-end infrastructure always translates into a better customer experience and more sustainable profits. Amazon itself doesn’t need local warehousing, inventory, and customer support to sell to Australians. They’re investing in these because they recognise the value of having local back-end infrastructure that can provide fast, flexible fulfilment to customers, further improving a value proposition that’s already proven immensely successful the world over.
"Australian retailers should invest in building up back-end capabilities that directly influence what they can offer customers if they want to gain a competitive edge, rather than giving in to price pressures and undermining their future profitability."
For more from Murtagh and the Neto survey, check out the full story.