Home Enterprise Solutions Amazon Australia entry 'will be biggest challenge to locals'

The entry of Amazon into the online retailing market in Australia and New Zealand, which is expected later this year, will be the biggest challenge that local online retailers will face, an ecommerce expert says.

Dr Shaun Ryan, vice-president of corporate development and co-founder of SLI Systems, told iTWire that while most online retailers were bracing for the arrival of Amazon, there were still some advantages for locals.

SLI is a global leader and provider of cloud-based ecommerce solutions and services.

However, Dr Ryan added, these factors should be taken advantage of, else Amazon would win any sales battle hands down.

Dr Ryan said Amazon had the advantage when it came to sales volumes, given the massive inventory it maintained. Additionally, the US giant would be able to satisfy the desires of those who wanted to buy items from abroad for which warranties were not offered in Australia.

When it came to website navigation and customisation, again Amazon was ahead in the game, Dr Ryan said. This was especially the case when it came to sites that were customised for mobile use; mobile users made up a fair percentage of online buyers these days.

However, looking on the bright side for the locals, Dr Ryan said that the local recognition factor was a plus that should be exploited. Additionally, local online retailers should shore up their servicing levels and interact more with customers, he advised.

SLI recently issued a report on ecommerce performance indicators that showed globally online retailer confidence was strong, with 80% forecasting a rise in online revenue this quarter and 46% predicting an increase in in-store revenues.

This confident was also evident in Australia, with 92% online Australian retailers surveyed planning to grow their product range this quarter.

Two-thirds said they would be investing in new technology and expanding their teams while a further 31% were planning to add additional websites or brands.

Dr Ryan said Amazon would also have an advantage in delivery – both in terms of speed and also in offering replacements when orders went missing.

He said he was not sure what demographic would be likely to switch to a store like Amazon if they were currently doing business with a local online store.

But overall, the competition would be good for the consumer because it was a Darwinian situation where those who did not adapt would fall by the wayside, he added.

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Sam Varghese

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A professional journalist with decades of experience, Sam for nine years used DOS and then Windows, which led him to start experimenting with GNU/Linux in 1998. Since then he has written widely about the use of both free and open source software, and the people behind the code. His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

 

 

 

 

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