Whilst Australia generally lags behind world leaders in retail “best practice”, the arrival of Amazon is sure to change that, with local businesses needing to be more nimble and customer service focused to be in with a chance of keeping up.
“Amazon’s entry will mean an increase in customer expectations across the board. It should also mean an increase in the opportunity for retail capabilities — delivery infrastructure will improve, local expertise will broaden, and technology will continue to democratise the power of Amazon’s agile ‘test and learn’ ethos for every business.” says Dan Ross, Managing Director ANZ for Optimizely.
While local businesses may be unable to compete with Amazon on price, here are some of the best platforms that are helping businesses take on Amazon.
Providing a superior overall customer experience should be at the top of the list of any business looking to Amazon-proof their future. Retailers can now monitor customer satisfaction in real-time with TruRating, a platform that enables businesses to use their existing payment technology to gather customer ratings on any type of business aspect as they pay. This allows a retailer to receive a plethora of insight on their operations and be able to make better informed decisions – such as when and where to optimise staffing, what should be stocked and whether their processes are being followed.
Amazon is renowned for its fast and reliable postage services, whilst Australian retailers are well-known for both being pricey and having long delivery waiting times. Zoom2u is a fast on-demand express courier service designed for businesses. As the courier carries out your booking, they will be able to record pickup and drop off signatures, and take before and after pictures of your items. You will also be able to see an updated parcel location on a map, contact the courier if you have any questions, and follow their ETA. Bring the transparency back into posting and help give customers the postage experience they will expect from Amazon.
Magento is a versatile eCommerce web building platform that can cater to the needs of small or large businesses, and that allows you to scale easily when your business grows. The platform owes its popularity to the fact that it’s an open source, which means that adding features is extremely easy. Plugins include Fontis SecurePay, Actionable Google Analytics and Nosto, a free extension that allows you to track unique visitor behavior and offers suggested items based on your online actions.
Ebay, Amazon, and Catch.com.au
One of the best ways for retailers to take on Amazon is to get in bed with the competition, along with other key Australian marketplace providers such as Ebay and Catch.com.au. As the saying goes, if you can’t beat them, join them, and Amazon will certainly be a platform with enviable customer numbers providing new eyes to view and buy your products. Whether you’re a small retailer, or a multinational one, there are many perks to setting up shop on marketplaces and utilising their name and brand to your own ends.
Mike Rosenbaum, Co-Founder, The Sharing Hub