Only half of Australian businesses are prepared for Amazon's arrival: survey

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Employees of Amazon India are seen behind a glass bearing the company's logo inside its office in Bengaluru, India, August 14, 2015. Reuters/Abhishek N. Chinnappa

New research has found that only half of Australian businesses are prepared for the arrival of Amazon. Experts say these companies must use the retail giant’s impending arrival to step up their game.

According to a poll by Marketo, Amazon’s arrival in Australia will “fundamentally change what customers expect from businesses.” More than 20 percent of businesses promised to better engage with customers like Amazon does.

Some home-grown businesses, on the other hand, do not believe they will be affected by Amazon’s Australian touchdown. Forty percent of CEOs in Australia believe the global company’s arrival will “not affect” their businesses while 13 percent fear they will lose out on sales.

Australia Post has launched Shipster earlier this month. The move appeared to be a response to Amazon’s arrival.

With Shipster, customers can now enjoy free shipping on eligible purchases. This applies to over 40 of Australia’s largest online stores, which include Booktopia, Myer, Target, Toys ‘R’ Us, Cotton On and Showpo.

Amazon’s Australian touchdown

Amazon has announced its first event in Australia which seeks to engage with local businesses looking to sell through its global marketplace. The company is set to host a free summit in November with the SME Association of Australia (SMEAA) and the Australian Retailers Association (ARA).

The free summit will tackle how Aussie sellers can utilise Amazon’s online marketplace to boost sales. For KoalaSafe CTO and founder Adam Mills, the launch of Amazon in Australia is an exciting time for Aussie entrepreneurs.

ARA’s Russell Zimmerman told My Business that the idea of Amazon brining doom for Australian businesses is overblown. He said that retail has changed forever; it has always been and will continue to do so.

“And so the retailers that are smart retailers, that are looking forward and working out their plans, building their unique customer proposition, seeking brands to move forward, getting everything lined up, are the retailers that will succeed,” My Business quotes Zimmerman as saying. He believes Amazon’s arrival in Australia brings new possibilities to local retailers.

“We are pleased to work alongside Amazon to bring the Seller Summit to Sydney so that businesses and retailers alike can receive practical advice and guidance on how to make the most of Amazon Marketplace,” Zimmerman added.  More than 500 sellers have already signed up to sell through Amazon. The company’s global success is based largely on the United States, Germany, Japan and the UK.

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