What Amazon will mean for Australian SMEs

With Amazon unveiling the location of its first Australian distribution centre, the impending arrival of this retail giant has implications not just for retailers but a wide range of SME businesses.

Amazon revealed its first distribution centre will be located in Melbourne’s south-east, confirming that it will begin trading soon.

Retailers – both online and brick and mortar – are the most obvious to be affected by Amazon’s entry to the local market. Businesses in the logisitics, delivery, packaging, marketing, wholesale and import/export sectors, and even petroleum, will see noticeable changes as a result of Amazon’s operations.

However, like all forms of market disruption, SME owners should be looking for the opportunities that arise, while simultaneously taking proactive steps to mitigate or overcome any negative impacts on their business.

“Australians made 90 million more trips to physical stores in 2015-16 than the year prior. This is because bricks and mortar stores have some advantages over online retail that online retailers can never replicate,” says Adam Joy, chief executive officer of the Australian Lottery and Newsagents’ Association (ALNA).

“The arrival of Amazon will no doubt increase the number of savvy shoppers who compare in-store prices with online. However, products like cards and giftware are often required on the day of purchase, and so will always have a place in newsagents overall.”

According to Mr Joy, all business owners need to remember that consumers are becoming increasingly more omni-channel, and Amazon will only fuel this trend further.

He suggests SMEs, particularly retailers, should be “adapting and offering a seamless retail experience between their own website, social media, external websites, and even apps, that tie in with their bricks and mortar retail offering. Just because a newsagent runs a physical store, it shouldn’t mean that they do not have an online presence.”

How do you feel about the impending launch of Amazon in Australia? Do you think it will bring positive or negative impacts for your business? Tell us below!

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