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Kiwi retailers shouldn’t fear Amazon, they should leverage it – e-commerce expert

04 Oct 17

New Zealand businesses need to stop fearing Amazon's impending entry into Australia and start making the most of this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

Hamish Conway, Amazon e-commerce advisors Sell Global director, says contrary to many people's belief, Amazon is more of a business enabler than a competitor.

"Their entry into Australia presents businesses on both sides of the Tasman with huge opportunities.  Amazon is should be embraced because – if used well – it will enhance and not hinder sales."

As one of the world's most trusted brands, Amazon has become most successful e-commerce channel and is on track for also becoming the first $1 trillion stock. 

These days, more products are sold on the platform via third-party sellers than by Amazon itself.

Conway has experience on all sides of the Amazon equation – selling his own products, other brands on Amazon in the USA, UK and Europe and also advising businesses who want to have Amazon as a part of their e-commerce strategy.

He says there is a misplaced belief that Amazon is just for very low-priced products or that selling on it will result in one losing control of their product. 

"The opposite applies.  Selling via Amazon – if done properly as a third-party seller – will provide more control and more profit. This will enable businesses to complement rather than cannibalise their other sales channels."

Conway says Amazon is a particularly successful platform for quality consumer products – something that New Zealand businesses do well.

"A lot of high quality, unique products are made or sold here. This gives our businesses a point of difference on Amazon that could not be easily copied.

He says the key lies in doing it well and being properly prepared.

"Many businesses aren't getting the most out of their Amazon experience.  Just because you are there on Amazon doesn't mean you’ll make sales.” 

"It is a highly competitive market so success requires best-practice."

He notes that if they haven't done so already, manufacturers, retailers and distributors need to be ready to get in quickly once Amazon Australia launches.

"Get in first and get on page 1, because that's where 86% of the sales occur. 

"Getting in early will be invaluable for protecting your brand and pricing, and staking your claim on how the brand is presented on Amazon. If you don't do this, then someone else will."