Amazon, the online retail behemoth has finally entered the Australian market, and there are lots of predictions about its possible effects on the country’s native retailers. Without any doubt, Amazon’s arrival will create a significant impact, with effects that could affect other retailers both positively and negatively. Read on for a selection of strategies you can utilise to prepare your business for Amazon’s launch.
One of the biggest advantages of Amazon’s presence will be an immediate boost to the state of e-commerce in Australia. Customer behaviour is increasingly shifting more and more to e-commerce, and local retailers have to be in a position to take advantage of this situation. By setting your business up to sell products on Amazon, – there is plenty of potentials to increase revenue as you piggyback on the sheer volume of traffic that will inevitably visit the site. Your presence on the platform of the world’s leading online retailer will also boost your brand’s visibility.
Amazon FBA (Fulfilment By Amazon) is a tool that makes selling on Amazon easy. With FBA, you can store your products in Amazon’s fulfillment centers. When a sale of your product occurs, Amazon gets to work for you, taking charge of picking, packing, and shipping it to the customer. Amazon ships your goods faster and at a cheaper rate than most retailers would be able to offer, which therefore allows you to serve more consumers, more effectively, than without Amazon’s help.
And remember, Australians are already shopping on Amazon! So now, it is time for you to grab a piece of the action and introduce them to your brand.
Think about it for a moment… Is your return policy easy and straightforward for customers, or do you think they hesitate about making a purchase because it might be awkward, or a hassle to return if necessary? In contrast, Amazon’s return policy is extremely convenient for consumers. In fact, it has built its business on offering exemplary customer service, always putting the customer first. If anyone has a problem with a seller or a product, i.e. your business, Amazon will always step in to take care of the issue. Consumer expectation has evolved thanks to Amazon’s high standards, and people, whether shopping on Amazon or not, now expect you to provide a return policy that matches the ease of what it offers.
As you know, Amazon is an e-commerce giant, trusted by millions upon millions of customers visiting its site each day, so it’s surprising that many digital marketers do not promote their wares – sold on Amazon – through links hosted on their own websites and in ad campaigns in other digital spaces, like social media..
That said, their millions of retailers sell on the platform and when consumers shop with third parties on Amazon, they often like to check who it is doing the selling, as some sellers have a better reputation than others. However, Amazon has this covered – star ratings, reviews, and feedback are publicly visible against each seller’s profile, which consumers can use as a barometer of trustworthiness.
At a guess, we’re assuming you’re not Jeff Bezos, Amazon’s head honcho. Most likely you are a smaller Australian retailer, which in itself – even versus the might of Amazon – puts you at an advantage. While you have a presence on Amazon, people will be able to tell – from your profile information – that you are a business based in Australia, and therefore can seek out a physical address to contact, should they need to. Information like a simple street address puts you ahead in the trustworthiness stakes versus millions of anonymous retailers on Amazon; businesses located in countries all across the globe…
To stand out on Amazon, show people why they should choose you instead of the competition, and do so by creating a profile and product pages that reflect the true nature, personality, and offering of your brand. You might not be able to compete on price with Amazon itself or other third-party sellers, but consumers tend to shop with brands they know and can trust, even if there is a cheaper option available. So, what are your values and points of difference? Give clear reasons for people to choose you and your products, and advertise it in digital media spaces. Create campaigns that draw people to your business and its product, and use the clout of an Amazon-hosted checkout process to win their trust completely.
Retail experts the world over say the same thing every time Amazon announces plans to launch in a new country – than trying to compete with Amazon on price alone will be a fruitless endeavor that will harm your business in the long run. Almost no business can compete with Amazon’s almost unlimited buying power, and it has been known to be ruthless in reducing prices when it needs to outdo a rival.
If you remain intent on reducing your prices to compete with Amazon once your business sets itself up on the site, you might try to re-consider your expenses. Check with your vendors to see if you can lower the price of your goods. While re-considering your expenses, you might find elements that you can cut to provide the same product at a more competitive price.
While Amazon is the undisputed king of online retail, what it doesn’t yet offer (at least not widely), and where you can take advantage, is the unbeatable experience of in-store, face to face interaction with customers. When people visit your physical store, it is important that they are greeted by a friendly team of knowledgeable staff, on hand to assist in whichever way they can.
In this case, your employees play a big role in your success. Your employees are the face of your brand. They are the first (and sometimes the only) person a customer interacts with. Smiling sales representatives and taking care of customers’ needs quickly is essential.
You can prepare training for your employees to increase your customer engagement in-store. If you think they lack the experience, train them on topics such as customer satisfaction and customer engagement. At the same time, if you want to improve your business in the presence of Amazon, you need the motivation and help of your employees. So, try to keep them happy too!
Any big change or a new challenge to a business is a concern, and in this case, Amazon’s presence will be a notably big one! However, there are many positive things that retailers can focus on; ways to make the most of Amazon’s arrival, rather than dwelling on the potential negative implications.
Customer retention tools can help you to increase your engagement with customers by creating “engagement” programs such as coupons, gift cards, etc. Erply’s built-in features allow you to transform your retail POS into a powerful customer retention tool, and attract new customers as a result. What’s more, Erply can help you to increase repeat sales and improve customer loyalty by providing you with the tools to deliver quality customer service across all your retail channels.
Utilising retail software that is ready for an omnichannel retail environment (meaning that you can trade in multiple locations, offline and online and at the same time) is critical before you launch your brand on Amazon. . Being present on Amazon as well as offline, means that you will have to deal with more merchandise and a variety of prices, so being able to adjust these prices on the fly is crucial.
Erply’s Point of Centralized Price List Management function allows you to adjust your prices easily by giving you the option to switch prices on and off for re-use, and the option to set prices per customer or product. In addition, Erply’s Product Information Management tool allows you to create consistent product descriptions, prices, labels, and barcodes for products in-store, for e-commerce, and in warehouses.
Erply also allows you to sell both online and offline, and makes product management and inventory replenishment easier by centralising the whole operation. In simple terms, you can receive orders from many different channels and keep your inventory in sync across all channels, all within Erply.