Almost all retailers can and will thrive during Amazon’s impending invasion… IF they’re prepared.
If the current hype is to be believed, the Amazon juggernaut has Australian consumers rejoicing in the streets and small and medium businesses cowering at the imminent arrival of Amazon’s “Death Star”.
While Amazon’s landing isn’t the best news for retailers we certainly don’t think it’s time to panic, freeze and do nothing. This is a time for Australian retailers to pivot their strategy and be prepared – maybe even thrive.
By now some savvy retailers of all sizes have implemented innovative ways to get their business out of Amazon’s line of fire. Our concern is the vast majority of Australian retailers are still not focused on shifting into the offensive.
The latest findings by Retail Insights found 78% of retailers are not prepared or preparing for Amazon’s landing. Commonwealth Bank’s National Manager for Retail, Jerry Macey echoed this find having stated, “…many of our retailers are still at the drawing board”. Macey also stressed, that even if you don’t think Amazon will affect your business, you should still look to increase competitive activity as a preventative measure.
While not every retail category will be affected, there’s no doubt Amazon will have a sizable affect on sections of our retail market in Australia. Morgan & Stanley predict a $12 billion raid on Australian retail with department stores to be hardest hit.
Our point here is not to stress the effect Amazon may or may not have. As Amazon has not yet landed we hope to see business owners use the time left wisely. Retailers need to act now to re-evaluate and advance with novel and profitable strategies.
Macey suggests retailers look “to better understand their target market and provide a relevant experience for that group”. Customer Experience will be the most important weapon in beating Amazon (Remember, in its simplest form, Amazon is predominantly still an online marketplace).
We’ve previously written in 2 recent blog posts about how to do just as Macey advises. Check out our expert advice on ways to positively gear your company and service culture: Unique Customer Experiences and Create A Unique Customer Experience – People, People, People.
Here are 3 additional strategies to consider:
1. “Retail” on your terms
Don’t try and compete with Amazon, create your own space:
How can you distinguish your brand from your current competition?
Ultimately you want to be in a position where you can flaunt positive customer experience and have built a fan base.
2. Create value through unique or exclusive products
The more unique your business offering, the less likely it is to be at risk from Amazon.
Review your product/s, the more tailored or bespoke an item is the less likely a similar product will be available on Amazon.
3. Unleash the power of your “Brand Experience”
Leverage your product knowledge and expertise to tell the story of your products, provoking an emotional connection that Amazon can never achieve.