Seven successful Australian retailers share their thoughts on how Amazon will affect the Australian retail landscape and provide their advice to other retailers.
Ben Hare, Direct & Chief Operating Officer of TinyMe
“It’s early days for Amazon’s Australian launch, I’ve got no doubt that they will rapidly develop their offering. Consumers will be the big winner. Increased competition always drives innovation and better value and Amazon will make all online retailers lift their game.
As a manufacturer of made-to-order products, we expect the impact on Tinyme to be less than other retailers. While our product differentiation gives us some protection, we will still need to continuously improve our customer experience.”
Kate Morris, Founder & CEO of Adore Beauty
“Competition of any kind makes us all strive to be better; tough competition like Amazon, even more so. Customer expectations are getting higher all the time in terms of delivery speed, site usability and service – even without Amazon here – so for retailers that are already struggling to keep up, it’s certainly not going to get any easier. That said, I still believe there’s plenty of opportunity for nimble, customer-centric retailers to do well.”
Mark Baartse, Chief Marketing Officer of Showpo
“I’m excited about Amazon. They will lift the standard of customer experience, and more importantly, consumer expectations. Those who don’t keep up will fall by the wayside. I think that’s good for customers and, long-term, good for the industry.
I know first-hand of a few major online retailers who are scrambling to lift their game. Good! Australian e-commerce have been complacent for far too long, too busy complaining about GST, not busy enough focusing on their customers. I bought from Amazon in the UK with free shipping and delivery in under 24 hours – in 1999! There’s been plenty of warning. This is what healthy competition is, and it will benefit everyone.”
Julie Mathers, Founder & CEO of Flora & Fauna
“Amazon is absolutely going to be a disruptor and will, eventually, bring more focus to online shopping which is a good thing for the consumer and retail. For some categories, price will become more competitive but this will be when, I believe, Amazon will open up their own range and other markets to Australia.
The real heat in the kitchen will start when consumers can access cheaper prices from overseas and FBA (Fulfillment By Amazon). Service, speed and a point of difference is crucial along with keeping a steely eye on your customers at this critical time of the year. You can easily get distracted by Amazon when you need to be focusing on your own business and your customers in the two biggest trading months of the year.”
Nathan Huppatz, Co-Founder of Costumes.com.au
“Now that Amazon is going to here for the long haul, we’ll be committing some effort to add our range to the platform and see what we can get out of it. We know that it’s a marketplace that is very customer focused and therefore customers like to purchase on there, so it will be interesting to see in a year or two’s time what the mix of sales is between the various marketplaces around Australia.”
Gabby Leibovich, Co-Founder of Catch Group
“Amazon’s arrival is great for online retailers and companies who hold goods in warehouses. In every market that Amazon has entered in the past online market share has more than doubled within a couple of years.
Catch.com.au has an amazing network of goods supply and distribution and as such will be a great beneficiary of this projected growth. The market is about to be shaken, and any time of disruption creates alot of opportunities. We have proven in the past again and again that we are always ready to pounce on such opportunities.”
Jason Kencevski, CEO of Speedmaster
“There is no doubt there will be the similar rebound effect in Australia as there was in the USA, which was a gradual but sharp effect, unlike a new brand or company which takes time to gain momentum. In the end, companies and brands must learn to co-exist by finding a strong competitive advantage.
I would highly recommend not falling asleep at the wheel and if you looking back in the revision mirror for old answers to new problems then your obviously not looking forward. At Speedmaster, we put many pillars in place not only to protect our brand but all our resellers of the products. Work out a strategy as one thing we learnt the hard way – Amazon do not play fair!”