In the first of a two-part series, Retailbiz speaks to the managing director of ChannelAdvisor Australia Simon Clarkson about why Australian retailers should take advantage of Amazon’s local expansion.
ChannelAdvisor provides retailers with everything they need to connect with more customers and increase sales on ecommerce marketplaces like Amazon and eBay.
“Our goal and focus is helping brands and retailers to sell online more efficiently by having their products show up wherever consumers look for them,” Clarkson told Retailbiz.
“It’s not just having your products show up, and having the data and insights you need, but consolidating the information into one portal so you have an overview of how your business is doing online.”
ChannelAdvisor recently announced it will offer retailers an integration with amazon.com.au when the platform launches, making Clarkson the perfect person to take us through the advantages of selling on the marketplace.
If you want people to discover and buy your products, you need to list them in the places they like to shop. For hundreds of millions of consumers across the world, this means Amazon.
“It all starts with the consumer. Marketplaces offer consumers a standardised, secure way of shopping; they know what they’re going to get,” said Clarkson.
“You can see why from a consumer point of view shoppers around the world rely on marketplaces to get products… From a retailer’s point of view there is access to an enormous shopping audience.”
It’s clear there is a large demand for Amazon in Australia. Many Australians already shop on Amazon’s overseas sites and a Nielsen survey from February this year revealed that 56 per cent of Australians aged 18 and over were likely to purchase from Amazon’s Australian site—so why not take advantage of this ready-made audience?
The retail industry is changing rapidly and businesses constantly need to adapt. Although it is near impossible for an individual retailer to jump on board each new technology trend—like making an app or using augmented reality—Amazon has the resources to innovate.
Marketplaces are also focused on acquiring customers, which means they have a reason to keep up with changing consumer trends, said Clarkson.
“One key aspect that sometimes gets lost is how marketplaces can support businesses in their future-proofing around changes in technology… It can be difficult for retailers to innovate, but marketplaces are focused on chasing customers and so do the innovation on your behalf.”
For example, mobile apps are becoming an increasingly important way for consumers to purchase, but it isn’t feasible for every retailer to have their own app. First you would need to develop the app, get consumers to download it, and then encourage them to use it regularly. With a platform like Amazon, the appetite and audience is already there.
Selling on a marketplace like Amazon makes it easier to go global. “There is an opportunity for Australian businesses to sell outside of Australia and leverage Amazon’s network of 310 million shoppers globally,” explained Clarkson.
Selling cross-border is also a great way to take advantage of the seasonality of retail. Winter may be winding down in the southern hemisphere, but rather than heavily discounting all your cold weather stock, you could sell it on an Amazon site in the northern hemisphere instead.
“What may not be selling one month may sell really well the next month or quarter,” said Clarkson. “It’s about the different seasons.
“Sometimes you might have excess inventory—that’s where you can go into other marketplaces and do really well.”
Now you know why you should sell on Amazon, look out for part two of our chat with Simon next week for tips on how to start selling on Amazon and find success.
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