Amazon – threat or opportunity for retailers? 7 tips to help retailers
With Amazon coming to Australia any day, there is a lot of concern among retailers about the impact Amazon will have. With its vast selection of products, low prices and fast delivery, retailers are concerned that it will wreak havoc with their markets. With predictions that Amazon will capture 5% of the retail market within 5 years, retailers need to change their traditional approach in order to maintain and improve their market share.
So retailers have to be keen and lean. Keen to learn from Amazon – using the factors that lead to Amazon’s success to their own advantage: website ordering, very competitive pricing and fast deliveries. Lean to keep down the overheads, working with maximum efficiency and being able to keep margins low while increasing volume.
How can retailers achieve this?
There are tools available right now to help them. This is what they should have, if they are going to flourish in this new retail environment:
1. A website presence with a great shopping cart – you can no longer avoid online sales!
2. An app that your clients can use for ordering, without having to web browse. Make it easy for them to buy.
3. A shopping cart seamlessly integrated with online marketplaces like Ebay and Amazon Marketplace (if you can’t beat them, join them!) and Gumtree to bring in volume. So your website store is automatically linked to these marketplaces, and the sales are automatically linked to the accounting backend, streamlining the whole process.
4. Payment gateways in place to enable easy payment on each of the online marketplace.
5. Picking, packing and labelling processes that are speedy and accurate and reduce manhours. Get the goods out to the client in the shortest amount of time possible.
6. Automation of the shipping process, so that the picked goods are collected and shipped as soon as possible. There are systems that will automatically raise the whole shipping process as soon as a websale is completed.
7. SEO (search engine optimisation) – engage professionals so that your customers can find your products online.
By using these sorts of tools, retailers extend their selling days to 24/7, extend the customer base to the entire country and even further, and enhance efficiencies so that the workforce can be kept to a minimum. And best of all, they can utilise Amazon to sell the products to a population that will continue to move to online shopping.