Not only will Amazon change what the current consumer expects from online retail, but it will help shape the next generation of Australians.
We know that the Australian consumer is increasingly becoming more comfortable with online shopping. Online sales have grown 13 percent over the past year, while total retail sales growth sits at 2.9 percent. Even before Amazon’s arrival, we could see where e-commerce was headed. Yet with Amazon’s launch, the way the Australian consumer shops will continue to evolve, but at an accelerated rate.
In the US, 55 percent of product searches begin on Amazon. It is no secret that Amazon’s success in the US and in other markets is due to a business model that revolves around the customer. Its online marketplace sets up a consumer to expect the following:
- An ever-expanding selection of products;
- Exceptional customer service;
- Wide-ranging fulfilment options (meaning fast and/or free delivery);
- Extremely competitive pricing;
- Easily searchable products; and
- Straight-forward returns.
Amazon’s arrival heralds a more educated and empowered consumer, one that is comfortable in the online space and is tech-savvy as well. For example, expect to see an increase in mobile spending in Australia as app usage allows consumers to scan products, compare prices, read reviews and look for other variations on-the-go. These consumers will also shop online more regularly.
In order for sellers to succeed on Amazon, winning the Buy Box is crucial. While the exact formula for prime positioning isn’t public, main factors include: price, how quickly you can get the product to the consumer, seller history and customer feedback. Amazon demands that retailers give their customers the best possible shopping experience. It should be no surprise then, that consumers will come to demand this across other retail channels as well.
Not only will Amazon change what the current consumer expects from online retail, but it will help shape the next generation of Australians; their interactions with brands, the development of their interests, their loyalties and their use of technology.
The key is to be aware of this changing consumer, the shift in expectations, and to build on these opportunities, developing customer loyalty to drive growth and expansion.
Here are my top five tips to satisfy the changing consumer:
- Have a multi-marketplace approach. Your customer is searching for you on Amazon and other marketplaces. Be where they can find you.
- Feedback and reviews are vital in an Amazon world. Ensure you respond accordingly and are engaged with your customers.
- Make customer service your priority.
- Offer a range of fulfilment options.
- Compete on price and be aware that competitor pricing on marketplaces can change multiple times per day.