Business growth

How will Amazon impact my retail business in Australia?

I know that the big US company Amazon is wanting to open up here in Aus. What impact will the opening of Amazon here have on my small retail business?

Does anyone know how Amazon has impacted small businesses in America?


3 Answers

Jenny Thomson

As an eCommerce site Amazon is one of the best option fot retail business. Already many of the retail businesses based in UK,USA, Australia & Canada impacted with Amazon. Even the top most brands like Alanic Activewear, Nordstrom, Nike have already connected with Amazon.

For example-

Brad Lyons

Brad Lyons Consultant at SMS Fusion

answer is simple. Amazon has already impacted the Australian retail market. So your answer has already arrived.

Jef Lippiatt

Jef Lippiatt Owner at Startup Chucktown

I can definitely give some generalities. Amazon has made it harder for small businesses here in the US to compete on price and speed.

Amazon gives you a sea of both products they carry as well as people selling through Amazon's platform (more on that in a minute). So you can quickly compare many products and find the best price. Amazon isn't always the lowest price (but more often than not it is).

Also, Amazon is "Primed" (pun intended) to ship fast and efficiently. And if they do it at a loss, they can support that. You may not be so lucky as a small business.

As mentioned above, you may be able to sell your own wares on Amazon through their platform (I'm sure it comes at a cost, but have no personal experience doing so - this option is at least available in the US). This gives you and your business potentially more reach (nationally and internationally) as well as more exposure to customers. However, if you aren't ready to ship internationally you will definitely want to do your due diligence.

Now, is there a light at the end of Amazon's well oiled machine? Yes, actually in several ways. Here in the US (maybe not everywhere but throughout the country) many people and cities are very focused on "buying local" or "shopping local" or "shopping small". This gives you an advantage for things that are locally created (food, beauty products, home furnishings, fashion).

Also there is a wave of wanting things that not everyone has (avoiding big-box stores like Amazon, Best Buy, Walmart, Target, etc.) in favor of things that are one of a kind or at least not mass manufactured.

Lastly, you can reach your audience and customers in ways that Amazon just can't. It isn't that they don't know about my (your and our) habits. They have a great algorithm that shows other things I may like and who else bought what together. However, they only understand my purchasing habits. They don't know my motivations to buy, or how to help me really tailor something specific to me. You can (and should) build personal and lasting relationships with your customers. Get to know them. Be part of your community. That doesn't just mean open your store everyday. It means helping out with community service and giving back.

Amazon has a lot of clout, but I would contend that history seems to favor the individual entrepreneurs and small businesses. Why? In every era individuals and small businesses have coexisted alongside of larger players. You just need to find (and really get to know) your niche and your customers.

Jason Debel

Jason Debel , Partner at Urban Strength

Really good thoughts and answers Jef.
Jef Lippiatt

Jef Lippiatt , Owner at Startup Chucktown

Thanks Jason!