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Gerry Harvey and others react to Amazon Australia

 

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In case you somehow missed it, Amazon.com.au went live yesterday and reactions came thick and fast. If Twitter is anything to go by, members of the public were generally underwhelmed by the products and prices on offer, but Amazon said it was the most successful launch in its history.

Here’s what industry players (and others) had to say.

Rocco Braeuniger, Amazon Australia country manager

From early in the day, we experienced visitor numbers that far exceeded our expectations… We will be working hard today and in the long-term to continue to enhance our offering and to provide customers with an ever increasing selection of products at low prices.

Gerry Harvey, Harvey Norman chairman

Harvey told Sky News that the launch didn’t live up to the hype.

[I] can’t believe how bad they are, but it’s good news for everybody because the hype has been ridiculous and the result has been, well, you couldn’t be this bad.

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Various members of the Twittersphere

 

 

Danny Marcuson, managing director at Cosmetic Capital

Beauty and skincare retailer Cosmetic Capital was trading on Amazon from day one.

Conservatively, we’re hoping that Amazon will represent 15 per cent of orders processed in 2018. This comes from our experience with other marketplaces. Anything more will be a great bonus.

Russell Zimmerman, ARA executive director

The Australian Retailer’s Association (ARA) sees the Amazon launch as an opportunity for local retailers looking to enlarge their customer base and increase sales, especially in the lead up to Christmas.

With over 300 million active users already on Amazon’s Marketplace, the majority of Australian retailers view Amazon’s platform as a supplementary channel to their current retail offering. Amazon Marketplace will provide local retailers an additional revenue stream, and Amazon’s Fulfilment by Amazon (FBA) program will enable Australian retailers to eliminate bottlenecks in their supply chain.

Dave Scheine, Vend APAC country manager

Point-of-sale system provider Vend believes that while Amazon will wreak havoc on big box retailers, smaller retailers are well positioned to grow and thrive in the new retail environment.

While Amazon is great for purchasing commodity products such as books and mass electronics, it’s not the best destination for unique, independently produced or sourced ‘cherish’ items. If you’re a retail shop who has a highly curated product offering and a great in-store and online experience, you’ll be well positioned to remain competitive.

Ryan Murtagh, CEO at retail management platform Neto

I’ve been consistent in my view that Amazon and online marketplaces are a strategic opportunity for retailers. The marketing machine that is Amazon and the quality of customer experience that Australian online shoppers will now demand and expect is a great outcome for every retailer selling online.

Dominique Lamb, NRA chief executive

The National Retail Association (NRA) described Amazon’s launch as “much-anticipated, but underwhelming”. Lamb said Amazon will have to deal with the unique challenges of the Australian market  just like everyone else, including a vast yet sparsely populated county with high wages and complex and challenging IR laws.

Given shoppers now expect rock bottom prices and super speedy delivery from Amazon, they’ll be far less forgiving if it can’t live up to the hype. While the online market is undoubtedly growing here, it’s just one component of a dynamic and varied retail environment and we don’t expect that to change anytime soon simply because Amazon has entered the marketplace.

Brian Walker, the Retail Doctor

Walker said the key to success is to understand your customers so you can build a quality strategy.

Retailers should be dialing up their in-store experience and emotionalising their brand attributes to build their customer connection and loyalty…

The real risk lies with not understanding the changing customer needs and how to fulfil these, rather than Amazon itself. The world of retail is changing and as retailers we must keep up, but how can we realize this change if we do not understand our raison d’être, our customer.

 

Feel free to share your own reaction to the launch in the comments below.

 

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  • Michael Ratner

    PAY ATTENTION HERE……. This is the greatest opportunity in living memory for retailers to discard their terminal apathy or get themselves out of the rut and just start doling this better always knowing that the spending public now have options.
    Read between the Amazon lines and don’t take everything at face value such as Free Delivery (Not true there are conditions), turn around times (are you kidding me) and everyone is fixated with the price.
    Sure it does make a difference but if you take into account the time spent looking for the best deal, anxiously waiting for the parcel to arrive, hoping like hell it’s right because getting it changed is a nightmare – then I appeal to retailers…. stop and think – . YOU KNOW WHAT YOU HAVE TO BEAT…… and landlords get your pencils out and start sharpening.