Congratulations to Amazon, with new reports stating they will launch in Australia with Free Ice Cream at transport hubs this Thursday and a test launch of Amazon Marketplace.
- Get on board with Marketplace, I recently bought a pair of Cole Haan shoes from the US not from the branded store but from a Department Store in Florida. Don’t be precious about your brand as they will sell from cheap to luxury and this is a channel that will soak up to 50% of eCommerce growth in Australia.
- For Bricks and Mortar your key differentiation will be the customer experience, so train your staff to engage the customer and sell. The Australian Retailers Association have launched an ARA Retail Sales Professional Certification and Store Managers Certification at $60 per annum for store staff and $120 for managers with discounts for volume. Training is now affordable to everyone.
Innovation will be key to competing not just on product, also technology, logistics & distribution, how you train your staff, who you recruit, how you run your finances using zero based budgeting and so on. If you think digitally you will find lots of savings to reinvest where you need to.
- Most suppliers will sign up to Marketplace either directly or via a strategic partner. Amazon UK have for example 363,171 hardware items and 7,031 fireplaces for sales on their site, the majority on marketplace via the suppliers.
- Get ready for Chinese Suppliers to enter the market. We have a client who have one of their suppliers from China selling similar products both at a wholesale and retail levels at less than they can land the product from the same factory. This has huge ramifications for Australia so securing your supplier relationships and your brand will be your best defence.
- Channel pricing matrix will be key to protecting margins and reducing conflict. Overseas commercial policy via discount, rebates and provisions is now critical to price integrity.
AMAZON WELCOME & LET THE FUN BEGIN.