Cosying up to the enemy: Why Amazon is good for your ecommerce business
In case you’ve had your head buried in the sand over the past few weeks, it’s official: ecommerce goliath Amazon has finally launched its Australian arm. Despite all the negative hype about what this means for local retailers, we’re here to tell you that it could just be the best thing to happen to your business.
Sound crazy? Hear us out.
Ecommerce disruptor, or facilitator?
Let’s reframe our thinking on this. The reality is that Amazon is a marketplace, and its doors are wide open. This means that if you own a product-based business, you can set up a store on Amazon and list your products, broadening your sales funnel. More on that later.
What’s more, the arrival of Amazon is very likely to boost the number of Aussies shopping online. There’s already been a great deal of noise in the retail industry and media about Amazon, and it’s not quietening down anytime soon. This publicity is going to pique the interest of consumers, bringing more shoppers online. We predict its much-reported low prices will also attract some of those fence sitters who have previously been reluctant to delve into the world of online shopping.
The bottom line? More online shoppers equals more traffic to other ecommerce businesses. That’s good news for you.
Celebrate your uniqueness
We get it. Amazon can do everything cheaper and faster than the rest of us. But good retailers know that there is a wealth of value to provide customers beyond price and fast delivery. Customers are looking for brands that appeal to the lifestyle they want to live. Your brand is your competitive sustainable advantage.
If you are selling purely on price right now, expect to be out competed by Amazon in the future. If you're competing on your brand and the uniqueness of your product/s, then Amazon opens up vast opportunities for you to further your reach.
Local Australian retailers already know their customers’ product preferences and they provide personalised consumer experiences, both online and in-store. It’s these personalised experiences that people are really loyal to, and studies have consistently proven that consumers over the world still place real value on a tailored retail experience—whether it be online or in-store.
With trusted customer relationships in place, local retailers are already operating from a competitive advantage, one that has nothing to do with price and everything to do with brand loyalty and positive customer experiences.
Cosy up to the enemy
Despite all the positives listed above, smaller local retailers shouldn’t rest on their laurels. As with any major changes to your market, if you don’t innovate and respond strategically to changes there could be very real impact on profit margins. One of the best ways to respond? Get cosy with the competition.
It’s really simple for small businesses to set themselves up on Amazon as a shop, and sell their wares in this space. This may mean managing multiple inventories, but this is a small price to pay for an additional income stream.
Take one of our clients, a furniture business, which has updated its business model for Amazon. They plan to set up a standalone Amazon merchant store, to complement their Shopify store. When Shopify introduces an integration between the two platforms we will implement this for them to manage their inventory.
Our top tips for setting up your Amazon store
Not sure where to start? We’ve pulled together our top six tips for small businesses entering the Amazon marketplace.
- Choose quality products to build brand loyalty. You will benefit from returning customers and word of mouth referrals.
- Amazon shoppers are notoriously price sensitive. Do your research in your product category on the US Amazon to get a feel for the right pricepoint; if you enter the market with a popular product poorly priced you won’t gain traction.
- Assess whether you are going to run your business through Amazon fulfilment or manage the logistics yourself. Opting for Amazon fulfilment will have a significant impact on your margins but has a considerable saving on your own time and resources for fulfilment.
- Research the tools that are available for retailers on Amazon to optimise your store, including listing automation, bulk upload for inventory management and ensure you understand the product description requirements for Amazon’s SEO.
- Ensure you understand the Amazon Best Sellers Ranking system to score excellent visibility in suggested products.
- Make sure your customers provide feedback and reviews on your store and products, as they’re extremely important to Amazon.
Aussies have always been pretty good at rising to a challenge, right? So let’s ignore the doomsdayers and embrace the opportunities presented by this newcomer. Get involved... the ecommerce world is your (Amazon-flavoured) oyster!
Not sure how to arm your business with the right tools for cosying up to Amazon? Get in touch, it’s what we DO.