With the launch of Amazon Australia just days away, SMEs are growing increasingly apprehensive about the new competitor on their doorstep.
Michael Bate, head of retail at Colliers International, predicts that the launch will spell doom for any companies not able to keep their web traffic competitive. He likens the event to the arrival of Google, which dispelled a significant amount of other search engines.
However, Hamish Conway of Sell Global has a contrasting viewpoint. As the director of the Amazon e-commerce advisors company, he advises SMEs not to fear the launch of Amazon Australia, and instead to leverage it. He explains that Amazon Australia should be viewed less as a competitor and more as a business enabler.
Conway strongly believes that the country has been given an opportunity, instead of the blow of bad news that the majority of SMEs appear to be taking it as. If used well, he states that it will “enhance and not hinder” SMEs’ sales and profit margins.
At present, more products are sold on Amazon through third-party vendors than the platform sells itself. This advocates that SMEs should be moving to get their products listed on the site as well. With Amazon Australia set to launch in time for Black Friday, they need to have this done as soon as possible.
Having worked from both sides of the Amazon platform, Conway speaks from personal experience. He has had great success in selling his own products as well as other brands on the platform, across Europe, the UK and the USA.
He aims to oust the belief that Amazon is specifically for low-price products. Some SMEs fear that selling on the platform would cause them to lose a degree of control over the products. According to Conway, the opposite applies in reality.
Amazon provides SMEs with an additional sales channel; one that allows high accuracy of reporting and a greater degree of control. Correctly managed, it generates an almost-certain increase in profit.
Amazon is not new to Australian sellers, many having been listed as vendors on the site for many years. They key difference is that they are now able to sell goods locally as well, without only having the option for international shipping. Further to that, Australians ordering from Amazon had previously had no option but to accept the high shipping costs and extended delivery schedules. With the strategically-placed Melbourne warehouse, this has become a headache of the past.
According to a local Amazon-registered-seller, SMEs need to be ready for business from the afternoon of Thursday the 23rd of November. At this point, the company is looking to roll out an internal testing phase ahead of their launch.
Although The Guardian and the Financial Times suggest the pre-Black Friday launch will benefit customers more than local retailers, savvy business-owners who jump on the bandwagon have nothing to fear.
Follow this link to register as a retailer on Amazon Australia: https://www.amazon.com.au/gp/au_sell.html/ref=nav_au_sell/358-6906878-9236925
If you aren’t convinced, below are the top five reasons why selling on Amazon is the next step towards the growth of your business.
1. Reach New Markets
It is no secret that Australian goods are perceived as high quality in the rest of the world. Take advantage of these new opportunities to launch your products in new countries and markets.
2. Skip Warehousing
As Amazon has FBA (Fulfilment by Amazon) centres in over 100 countries, international shipping is far easier than you might have expected. In most cases, you will be able to bypass individual order fulfilment entirely.
3. Get Your Brand Out There
The increased exposure from global Amazon sales may be worth more to your business than the sales themselves. As Australia has products that cannot be bought anywhere else in the world, the more you ship overseas, the more orders you will get.
4. Do Your Research
If you haven’t already done so, take the time to read up on Amazon Australia as much as possible. Avoid opinion pieces as much as you can, and stick to factual information. The more you know about the company and the processes, the easier and quicker it will be for you to get started.
5. Understand the Market
When selling to other Australians, beat international products with your reduced shipping rates and delivery times. When selling internationally, be sure to highlight the uniqueness and quality of the products you have available.
By following these steps, SMEs should have nothing to fear. A positive mindset and an eye for an opportunity will go a long way in keeping a step ahead of the market.
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