E-commerce - how to Amazon-proof your business

The end of 2017 was filled with angst for many Australian retailers as rumours spread about the impending launch of Amazon Australia.

Brick and mortar retailers recoiled in fear at the mention of the online store as though it was a metaphorical grim reaper coming to kill their business.

In a somewhat fitting move, Amazon crept onto the Australian market in the dead of the night on Dec 5th.

While there is more havoc to come, there are 4 key things you can do to Amazon-proof your business. It starts with data and ends with mobile. Read on to learn more. 

  Located just one hour south of Melbourne, Amazon’s first Australian distribution centre is a modest 250,000 square feet. Photography:  LinkedIn article, David J. Katz .

Located just one hour south of Melbourne, Amazon’s first Australian distribution centre is a modest 250,000 square feet. Photography: LinkedIn article, David J. Katz.

Online no longer follows retail

Previously,  online stores were designed to mimic a brick and mortar retail experience. Online sites featured simulated shopping carts, had ‘check out’ tabs and utilised online chat bots to serve as store assistants.

This ‘retail as the pioneer’ model has dramatically flipped and now online is the new norm. 

How do you satisfy this new customer mind set? Digitise your real-world business. Easier said than done? Read on to find out our top 4 tips on how to 'Amazon-proof' your business.

1. Provide real time, data driven offers

Online stores are built on data – and online retailers glean every piece of visitor data to make informed decisions (utilising customer demographics, purchasing patterns etc). This detailed customer analysis is no longer reserved for online-only. With robust retail POS hardware solutions such as Kounta, you can track a gold mine of data.

Set up a loyalty program that tracks your customer data then delight your customer with a personalised offer targeted directly at them. For example, “We can see you love our range of organic nail polish products, why not have an organic lipstick on us this month”.

  Point of Service Software solutions such as Kounta mine your customer’s data to effectively target them with personalised offers. Photography by @burst.shopify.com.

Point of Service Software solutions such as Kounta mine your customer’s data to effectively target them with personalised offers. Photography by @burst.shopify.com.

2. Not only content but context

It is no longer enough to simply offer a product or service. The retailer is now expected to guide, inform and entertain the consumer.

This means providing a holistic consumer experience that may include tips, tricks and peer reviews related to your product, or free information that adds value to a consumer but isn’t related to your product or service. Better informed customers are happier and more loyal in the long run. 

Check out General Pants Co’s innovative, interactive GP Kiosks. The kiosks fuse music, fashion and social media to seamlessly cross the divide between in-store and online shopping to enrich the consumer experience. 

  General Pants Co’s GP Kiosks are designed to inform, guide and entertain consumers. Photography source:  CMO .

General Pants Co’s GP Kiosks are designed to inform, guide and entertain consumers. Photography source: CMO.

3. Keep up to date with cutting-edge cashless check-out solutions

Buy-now pay-later services that were originally reserved for e-comm, such as AfterPay and zipPay, have now made their way into the physical retail space. Leading the charge is AfterPay with more than 1.1 million customers and over 8,600 participating merchants (Source: msn).

It is becoming the new norm for customers to expect a credit solution for their purchases. If you can’t supply it, they’ll more than likely go somewhere that can.

4. Combine mobile shopping with your retail experience

According to Google, 82% percent of shoppers say they consult their phones on purchases they're about to make. Why not make it easy for them and have a slew of internet-connected tablets to help shoppers find items in other locations, order products that are sold out, or improve way-finding (for larger stores).

When in-store mobile experiences are well designed and match branding perfectly, they can become a seamless facilitator of an enhanced customer experience.

Innovate or perish

We think that the e-commerce boom in Australia isn't all bad for brick and mortar businesses. In fact, we think the future is bright.

We believe that businesses should innovate or perish. And we have loved watching companies rise to the challenge of keeping up with their e-commerce counterparts.

If you would like to find out more about how to 'Amazon-proof' your brick and mortar business, please contact us. We work with SME's to help take business to the next level.

Thanks for reading,

Lauren McNeil

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About Long & Co

Long & Co is a marketing company based in Newcastle with clients locally and in Sydney. We have one purpose and that is to help our clients go to the next level by unlocking their marketing potential. We do this by partnering with our clients, starting with strategy and then skilfully implementing.

Our expertise in strategy, creative, production and media delivers work that drives actual business results. We market for today, we love emerging technology and we grow because our clients do.