What Australian SMEs can learn from Amazon

Retail juggernaut Amazon recently arrived on Australian shores and they are everywhere, literally, using business intelligence and data analytics to market its products to more customers and find out what we want and need.

Amazon is an industry leader in data collection, ensuring it can create profiles of customers and improve its products and services to better suit its target market. Amazon is showing Australian businesses the way regarding business intelligence.

What most businesses and consumers don’t realise is that Amazon is in the business of gathering data about customers – and that is their focus as they enter the Australian market. They are definitely more sophisticated than any other Australian business when it comes to business intelligence. They have a massive pool of data scientists, who do their modelling, how they can market more, profile the customers more and find out what they like and don’t like.

I don’t believe Australia is really there. I can’t see much urgency in the business to have protection and security of Australian data. Australian businesses must follow the trend to ensure they see the benefits of business intelligence.

Amazon is providing business with lessons as to why business intelligence must be a focus for companies not already investing in the technological approach:

  • Better understanding: Helps businesses better understand customer needs by profiling them.
  • Improved product and services: Provide customers with solutions or product based on their needs.
  • Provide Value: Ensure you do not waste customer time, marketing products that do not suit them.
  • More effective marketing: Track entry methods to website, whether social media or direct marketing, to better maximise return on investment.
  • Stronger customer relationship: Provide value to customers and develop stronger relationship to them, which will see increase return and referral.

Data is the critical asset of every organisation, it’s the new oil.

The more you can use that data, keeping in mind privacy and regulations, and having governance around it, the more you can provide your customers a product or solution that is based on their needs. However, you can only know that if you have gathered enough information about them. That is a real powerful asset to the business. You’re really providing value to the consumer. I think that is a real positive.

Global tech giants Amazon, Google and Facebook spend millions of dollars in compiling data on its users. However, business intelligence isn’t restricted to big business, with opportunities for small to medium sized enterprises to jump on board also.

The SMEs will gain a lot from this. It’s important to have some sort of campaign management to track anyone who has come to your website and cross sell, up sell, whatever products they can. Understand what the customer is looking at when they visit your website.

It was quite costly to do four or five years ago. But now there are a lot of analytics software out there that is not that expensive, that small to medium businesses can use and afford. It will transform your business.

Emy Carr, Managing Director, EC Integrators