As online begins to seriously change the way customers shop and purchase, Amazon – known for their online onslaught now pushing $100 billion dollars turnover – are entering the Australian retail market.
The aim? According to an Amazon executive, to ‘destroy Australia’ s retail segment’. Their aim is to open up an Amazon Go physical retail store and scan customers’ phones when walking in the store, freely placing items in their trolley and leaving without checking out or having to deal with a check-out person. The items are immediately charged to their Amazon account. The giant e-tailer is at the stage where cold and flu tablets can be dropped off to your house within two hours of ordering the item. No need to leave the house, or fight shopping centre car parks with a runny nose. Stay in bed, get better, Amazon has you covered. Did I mention these items will be reduced by 30 per cent ?
People are changing their purchasing habits and the way that items are purchased. It can be argued that Australians (who purchased over $500 million worth of product every year from Amazon) may also be changing their expectation levels of what represents good value and service and could very well have a lower tolerance for poor service, poor product or inconvenience from off and online retailers. Rather than playing copycat on the scale some organisations like Amazon are investing in, below are simple strategies independent retailers can implement to keep more inline with a changing customer?
Let’s take a look at three critical areas:
- An online e-commerce presence with a two-day delivery window is not only do-able, but what’s needed to both satisfy and amaze your customers. Delighted customers stay loyal, satisfied customers stray. We have to give our customers the opportunity to remain loyal with us when they’re online, not just in-store.
- Database building and email marketing. Database utilisation and network targeted email marketing are the two largest sources of income for online juggernauts like Amazon and Facebook. For them, it’s a numbers game. If you have 100,000 people on a database and your strike rate is three per cent, that’s 3,000 people purchasing. Facebook has two billion monthly users. You do the maths. If you have 10 purchasing customers a day in your store, that’s over 3,000 customers a year. How many email addresses do you have to talk to your customer?
- Consider widening the scope of your layby system. Some TV shopping stations embrace a part payment system which enables customers to pay 50 per cent today and 2.25 per cent payment contributions in time. If the item is say $100, people receive the goods when the pay $50, then their credit card is charged two and three weeks down the track for the other amounts. Meanwhile, there are several new ‘buy now, pay later’ options that have come onto the market in recent years that big retailers such as Forever New and Toys ‘R’ Us have taken on.
Regardless of which avenue you chose, one thing has become incredibly clear. People are changing how they purchase and looking at spending their hard earned cash. Amazing experiences will always encourage amazing loyalty.