Cin7 hosted its Are You Amazon-Ready? breakfast conference in Melbourne on Wednesday. The event attracted a mix of online, bricks-and-mortar and multichannel fashion and apparel retailers. So, with Amazon Australia opening any week now, what were some takeaways from this event?

Retailers Can Create Opportunity through Amazon Australia

Surely, with speakers like featured guest Jo Munro, the event offered something for everyone. In fact, retailers came from as far away as Perth to attend. They also heard from Rob Hango-Zada of Shippit and Cin7 Founder Danny Ing. Altogether, the speakers helped put the opening of Amazon Australia into perspective.

Omnichannel Spells Opportunity

Jo Munro said that while some retailers have been treating Amazon like the boogie man, they miss the bigger picture. “The good news about disruption,” Jo said, “is whenever there’s a shakeup, some things shake loose and some things open up for opportunity.”

Accordingly, with 25% of Australian shoppers buying online already, retailers only scratched the surface until now. Because Amazon equates to a “superhighway of traffic” to sell more, the omnichannel approach is “where it’s at” for retailers.

However, this requires a commitment to getting the omnichannel right. This includes “getting yourself seen” on Amazon, for example by using the right keywords for your listings. This is important since, as Shippit’s Rob Hango-Zada later pointed out, Amazon is now the #1 destination for product research.

“If it doesn’t exist there,” he said, “it doesn’t exist, which gives a compelling reason to list on Amazon.”

Compete on Value, Not Price

Don’t compete for customers shopping on price, but find customers that shop on value. As Jo said, nobody wins a price war. First, your margins will be low. Secondly, and more importantly, your customers won’t stick with you. Thus, in an omnichannel context, it’s important to underscore your value proposition in your store, on your website, and through social media.

And while retailers should test how their hottest existing items sell on Amazon Australia, they should stay open to change. Online sales forces brick-and-mortar retailers, particularly, to think outside their traditional lead times. Thus, they should stay in tune with the trends in their space and adapt to changing customer preference where necessary. Lastly, Australian retailers shouldn’t be afraid of making “Made in Australia” part of their value proposition. As Jo said, “Aussies love to buy Australian.”

Put the Omnichannel Mechanism in Place

If Amazon offers sellers a potential 13% conversion rate, as Rob Hango-Zada says it does in other markets, Australian retailers can make it a lucrative channel. However, they need to put the mechanism in place to manage the opportunity in the omnichannel approach. To that end, Rob points out that the more time a retailer must take to manage their channels, the less time they have to focus on their customers.

Consequently, as Cin7 Founder and Chief Architect Danny Ing said, retailers should put the “mechanism” in place to take advantage of Amazon Australia. This includes managing orders and fulfillment across physical and online channels, including Amazon. Additionally, it means connecting to the warehouses, branches and 3PLs retailer use to hold their stock, in order to dispatch and fulfill orders for a true omnichannel approach.


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