How to fight Amazon
Supercheap Auto unveiled their national flagship on 28 June calling it a “customer experience centre” while downplaying the impact of Amazon.
Meanwhile other retailers, rather than wallowing in self pity, are also taking steps to minimise the impact of Amazon. One such initiative is the creation of own brands (not a new idea) and tying up exclusive deals with suppliers (also not a new idea).
Amazon’s strategy (or maybe their supplier’s strategies) has been to block the sale of many products from being exported outside the USA. Of course there are ways around this such as getting a USA address and having the item forwarded. One reason for the strategy is to prevent customers from buying goods that are cheaper, sometimes a lot cheaper, compared to the prices outside the USA.
However even with the freight and third party fees, one can still import goods from Amazon for lower prices than we pay in Australia.
The million dollar question is whether Amazon will be offering their USA prices in Australia because if they do together with lower freight charges, the impact could be severe for Australian retailers.
What the Super Group, to their credit, are doing is getting off their butts and attempting to counter the Amazon threat.
I know that fellow commentators have said that they are tired of the Amazon story and that everything that needs to be said, has been said. But how many retailers out there have formed a team to specifically strategise ways of fighting Amazon? To the best of my knowledge very few apart from the Super Group.
There are many ways that this can be tackled, not that they are necessarily new but clearly you have a choice. Take the threat seriously and do something or roll over and play dead!
Stuart Bennie is a retail consultant at Impact Retailing www.impactretailing.com.au and can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or 0414 631 702
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