By Angela Brown, Pale Blue Dot Consulting
What can your business do to better prepare itself for the arrival of the biggest online retailer in the world? It's a hot topic right now, but Amazon has been here for years with AWS platform (Amazon Web Services), so it was only a matter of time before it opened up the platform to sell consumer goods in Australia.
It has now become a question of ‘when’ this will happen, and ‘how’ quickly it can ramp up operations in fulfilment and distribution across Australia. How will it launch? Will it be national? Staggered non-food first then food?
It remains to be seen, but it is highly likely that electronic goods, books, and clothes will be on the hit list first, given the success in other markets. As a game changer in its own right with a clear vision for their business, it is inevitable Amazon will transform the Australian shopping experience for the better.
The burning question is, what can we do about it?
Tip 1 – It’s all about our mindset
Change is inevitable and the industry is adaptable. Take the rise and fall of the Aussie dollar or the entry of Aldi. We need to be nimble and agile to the ‘opportunity’ of Amazon.
We need to think about our business models to better connect with our customers. It is only natural that our first instinct is to compete with Amazon, but if we think of Amazon as an enabler to our business (not a competitor) we open up an entire fertile ground of opportunity. Ask yourself - “How can we use Amazon’s FBA (Fulfillment By Amazon) service to open up new distribution channels for our customers to buy our products and services?”
It is hard to fathom how Amazon will deliver automated picking and fulfilment in under two hours to a country the size of Australia. We could get caught up here and waste a lot of our own time and energy. Doing nothing is not an option. Ask yourself – How can we dial up our own business plans and activities to take advantage of our unique offer, in a way Amazon can’t?
Tip 3 – Do what Amazon doesn’t do
Which leads nicely to our third point. Ask yourself – can Amazon do this? If the answer is no then you have a little essence of magic you can unleash and use as a USP. Amazon treats its service as a product. How can you win the way Amazon does by thinking this way about your offer?
Tip 4 – Plan, structure and resource up
By thinking about how you can best capitalise on the Amazon opportunity as an enabler to your business will start to change the way you structure and shape your business internally.
This impacts strategic planning horizons and sales projections, particularly if you take into account the huge sales opportunity that Cyber Monday and Black Friday specials have to offer in the marketing calendars.
Tip 5 - Deliver THE best customer experience
We have local customer data and insights. We know Australian customers better than Amazon. Ask yourself - how do we connect the dots across data sources, unlock the insights and use them to unlock growth in a more personalised and meaningful way with our customers.
Final words: Amazon doesn’t kill the competition; it does change the game though, and some competitors will disappear under the pressure. Amazon has a compelling company vision and an established business model to boot. The question is, how do we embrace it as an opportunity and grow with Amazon, and with a new vibrancy in the online retailing landscape.
Angela Brown Managing Director Pale Blue Dot and a passionate and experienced Amazon FBA seller in the US and UK. If you need help on setting up your Amazon business, get in contact with Angela at firstname.lastname@example.org.