Amazon is not content with driving online shopping forward and forcing traditional retailers to play catch up. Today, the company is opening its bricks and mortar food store to the public. There are no checkouts or cash registers - just products and wide aisles that make browsing easy for customers.
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Apple's retail stores have driven to be a boon for the company and their shopping centre landlords. Walk past any store and you'll find them a busy hive of activity that brings foot traffic to all around rhem. And while many of the potential customers in the stores are just "tyre kickers", looking what Apple has to offer or filching the free wifi, they have also proven to be the death of the local Apple reseller. And another is now facing down Apple as the Cupertino behemoth sets up shop in Melbourne.
If you’re the kind of person that hates crowds (me), shopping (me) and can’t deal with Christmas carols all day long (me) – then online is the way to get your Christmas shopping done. The only caveat is making sure your deliveries arrive on time. Here are those all-important dates for JB Hi-Fi, Amazon Australia, Big W, Kmart and more.
Amazon has officially launched in Australia. It's a moment retailers in Australia have expected and now that it's finally here they are out of excuses to be ready. There will be plenty of complainers, saying Amazon's vast resources and lower costs give it an unfair advantage.
Those who think they can't compete probably won't. Aussie retailers have lots of advantages over the American online juggernaut - they just have to take some time to see them and take advantage.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is the big thing in tech at the moment. The ability to use computing power to offload tedious or repetitive tasks that take people away from higher-value activities is seen as both a great benefit but also a significant threat to current employment. But cloud-based point-of-sale (POS) provider Vend has embraced AI as it rolls out its new Dott platform. This is a tool that will allow business people to gain better insights into customer behaviour and improved control over stock in their store. I spoke with Vend's founder Vaughan Rowsell about Dott and AI's role in retail.
Evil Week is coming to an end and it’s time to get a few things off my chest about working retail for 25% of my life. Over the journey, I heard the same jokes thousands of times and saw the same things happen again and again, which truly boiled the blood. So now I can impart that knowledge on you, dear reader and you may do with it what you will.
In the United States, one of the biggest retail successes of the mid 20th century was Sears. The retailer created a massive business, that in today's dollars was doing twice as much business as Amazon is currently turning over. And it was built on one critical element - knowing the customer. Sears was eventually swamped by Walmart and others and today we're seeing online retailers doing the same. Looking back at the past can be a great way to learn how to succeed in the future.
Amazon has opened registration for their first Australian Amazon Marketplace Seller Summit. It will take place in Sydney on Monday 13th November at Jones Bay Wharf, Sydney. The half-day event is free and Amazon says it will provide practical guidance on setting up and growing a business online. The event is being run in partnership with the Australian Retailers Association (ARA) and the SME Association of Australia (SMEA).
As the retail world prepares for the Australian arrival of Amazon, small businesses might, particularly, be feeling pressure to get their digital and omnichannel house in order. While large retailers have the resources to build new systems and rearchitect systems, smaller retailers aren't in the same position. Dave Scheine, the new country manager for cloud-based point of sale system Vend says the news isn't nearly as dire as some might think.
As Amazon prepares to enter the Australian market, many retailers are bringing their customers service and logistics systems up to speed. That means delivering any time, any place and any platform experiences where shoppers can pick up and put down transactions and switch platforms and devices as they see fit. I spoke with Shopify's GM for Shopify Plus, Loren Padelford about how retail is changing and what the company is doing to help their customers on the transition.
Amazon clearly has big plans for Australia - and local retailers are about to discover what it's like to get pummelled by someone bigger and stronger than them.
A recent survey shows that Australians are feeling more time-poor than ever, with 45 per cent of women and 36 per cent of men feeling “always” or “often” rushed, or “pressed for time”. Meanwhile, research has identified that almost one in four shoppers (23%) are willing to pay a premium for “same day” delivery.
In other words, consumers’ expectations are changing. Speed is becoming a point of difference, a new front of competition, between retailers. And many Australian retailers are lagging behind.
Traditional business models, exemplified by Amazon and other large online retailers and marketplaces, are changing the way customers shop and their expectations of customer interactions. AI and the advent of powerful mobile computing devices are among the big drivers of this change. Ian Wong, a partner in IBM's digital strategy business discussed this revolution with me.
Everyone's favourite retail curmudgeon Gerry Harvey can't help it. The man who once said online retail will never succeed is saying Amazon's local ambitions, to be operational in Australia next year, are unlikely to pan out. I think he's forgetting something; Amazon doesn't have to build what it can buy.
A few years ago, after much whining and hand-wringing by olde worlde retailers, the federal government began looking into changing the law around GST collection from overseas retailers on purchases of under $1000. Even though it would cost more to collect the GST than the tax would raise the government wants to kick start this exciting new initiative (not) on 1 July 2017. But the impact could suck big time as eBay suggests they might block overseas retailers from their marketplace.