Online shoppers prepare for Amazon arrival
A survey of online shoppers found that nearly one-third will shift their commerce to Amazon when the company arrives in Australia.
The research was carried out by Neto and suggests that retailers should invest in cross-channel inventory management, logistics and other back-end infrastructure to stay competitive.
“Efficient and nimble back-end infrastructure always translates into a better customer experience and more sustainable profits,” said Ryan Murtagh, CEO at Neto E-Commerce Solutions.
“Amazon itself doesn’t need local warehousing, inventory and customer support to sell to Australians. They’re investing in these because they recognise the value of having local back-end infrastructure that can provide fast, flexible fulfilment to customers, further improving a value proposition that’s already proven immensely successful the world over.
“Australian retailers should invest in building up back-end capabilities that directly influence what they can offer customers if they want to gain a competitive edge, rather than giving in to price pressures and undermining their future profitability.”
Logistics options and inventory visibility stood out as influences on consumer experience, with the survey finding that half of Australian online shoppers expect to be able to return products via both physical stores or courier and postal services. 47% of Australians feel retailers should be able to check stock availability across all channels while in-store, with three-quarters of these saying it significantly enhances their experience of the brand.
“Brands can no longer expect to stand out by offering e-commerce capabilities; our research found that 52% of consumers now expect every retailer to offer their own online store,” said Murtagh.
“The real points of differentiation now come from how effectively they can manage inventory, logistics and support services like after-care and returns across numerous channels, and the extent to which they can use these services to give consumers the choice and convenience that they’re after.
“Smart Australian retailers will be avoiding the hyperbole about price-wars and focusing on building out their cross-channel capabilities to support customers wherever they want to shop and receive their products, including Amazon itself.”
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