Australian Retail: the what and how of owning the Amazon Effect

26th September 2017

Australia is entering a challenging phase for bricks and mortar retail.

On the one hand, there is every tool possible to evolve even the smallest of stores into something well beyond the standard definition of physical retail. On the other, the influx of Amazon and a growing number of international retail brands is fuelling both panic and introspection.

We have poured over current data and expert forecasts to gain a better undestanding of this in terms of cause and effect (aka how to evolve to thrive in a new reality).

The Amazon Effect

This concept, as the name suggests, centres almost solely on the impending launch of Amazon in Australia.

Globally, this online retailer has transformed how many look at the traditional four P’s of marketing and business – price, product, place, and promotion are theirs to reinvent. Their ethos for Australia is “your margin is our advantage” says it all. For many traditional local retailers, this single player is going to change the game more than any other international players who have recently hit our shores.

 But by the same token, they are merely the true vanguard of a change Australian retail has been at odds with for a long time – digital. From automation and social media through to big data and e-commerce, Australian brands of all shapes and sizes have proven that we as a nation have only just begun to scratch the surface of what is possible.

The Bigger Picture 

Entrepreneurial strategist Paul Broadfoot told Mumbrella:

Companies like Netflix, Apple and Amazon are demonstrating a new type of differentiation, one that focusses on innovating their markets, not just their products.

Consumers love better, cheaper and faster. That means dollars will move to Amazon. How much will depend on what the rest of us do with our business models.

What does this mean for you? If you haven’t done so already, look at your current business model (or gestating business concept) and think of how it truly sets itself apart. Technology and how you chose to use it has a significant role to play in how you stand out from the crowd, but by the same token it is not the be all and end all.

As we discussed when speaking to the concept of start-ups, being a disruptor/game-changer can be as much about tapping into artisanal skill sets that competitors overlook - some have even forecast this as being a major win for suppliers looking for a greater diversity in wholesale buyers.

Reshaping Retail

Continuous improvement is vital for any business, whether they are in fashion, food, health or construction. As we’ve discussed so far, innovation is a must in today’s economic landscape.

Key experts in the field have told us that for every bit that mobile is pulling people away from storefronts, it could also be what makes the physical experience all the more exciting.Though an app isn’t always the way forward with many consumers relying on their core apps to make decisions (Facebook, YouTube, Google Maps etc).

Some other technologies that should be considered include natural-language voice recognition and augmented reality integration both of which can allow for shopping experiences that play to the consumer’s individual habits and preferences. It is important to consider how you can play on customisation and convenience – empower the shopper in every way that matches your brand and product.

What can you do to adapt?

TAFE Queensland is focused on working with sole traders, ambitious workers and brand managers to develop the customer service, digital literacy and marketing acumen required to thrive in the ever-changing retail world. Talk to us today about how we can equip you with big ideas.

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