Amazon’s Australia launch “really, really close”

E-commerce giant Amazon is “really, really close” to launching both its retail and marketplace offerings in Australia, the company’s Australian country manager told a gathering of sellers in Sydney today.

While Rocco Braeuniger (pictured) could not provide the 600-strong audience with an actual start date for the company’s local operations, he did confirm that Australia will become the 13th country in which it operates.

The event was organised in partnership with the Australian Retailers Association (ARA) and the SME Association of Australia (SMEA) and was intended to explain how businesses, big and small, can use Amazon Marketplace to grow.

“We held the Seller Summit to encourage and educate Australian businesses on how they can use Amazon Marketplace to take their products to a global audience. With more than half of units sold globally coming from Marketplace sellers, we know that customers love the unique selection that they bring,” said Braeuniger.

“We are excited to work with many thousands of Australian businesses to help them reach more than 300 million customers around the world and to grow their business.”

Apart from Braeuniger, Head of Amazon Marketplace in Australia, Fabio Bertola also addressed the audience. He offered practical guidance on how businesses can take their businesses to millions of customers across Australia and around the world via Amazon Marketplace.

Successful Australian businesses including baby brand from Bondi, Hip Cub, also took to the stage to provide firsthand insights on their own experiences selling on Amazon globally.

Since the launch of its Marketplace in 2000, Amazon has helped businesses around the globe to increase sales and reach new customers. Sales from Marketplace sellers now represent over 50 per cent of all items sold on Amazon websites globally.

Amazon Seller Summit_Panel_wide




Online grocery store heads to Sydney to compete with supermarket giants

NSW shoppers now have an online alternative to Coles and Woolworths, with The General Store now open for business.

The General Store is an online-only supermarket developed by the team behind Aussie Farmers Direct, carrying over 4,000 grocery brands. It promises low prices and hundreds of specials and ‘bulk buys’ not available in supermarkets.

The range complements the hundreds of fresh produce lines sold through Aussie Farmers Direct, and gives customers an online alternative to Australia’s supermarket duopoly.

The NSW launch of The General Store is the next stage of a planned national store rollout, following its successful debut in Victoria. Aussie Farmers Direct CEO Keith Louie said thousands of Victorian shoppers were now switching from the supermarkets and getting all their fresh produce and grocery lines delivered to their door.

“We’ve been thrilled with the response to The General Store in Victoria. Our customers have loved being able to add all their grocery and household needs to their regular Aussie Farmers Direct order, saving themselves a trip to the supermarket,” Louie said.

He said that the online store will make it easy for customers to make informed purchasing decisions, with shoppers being able to sort products in an ‘Australian first’ order.

“In The General Store, we will look wherever possible to support Australian food and grocery manufacturers, and we’ll also donate 10% of the profits from imported products to the Aussie Farmers Foundation, which supports charities and grassroots community groups making a real difference in rural Australia,” Louie said.

He said the combined offers gave Australian food and grocery manufacturers an alternative path to market that bypasses Coles and Woolworths, and gave prominence to Australian-grown and Australian-made products.

Amazon to open fresh food stores in US: report

Online retailer Amazon will open small bricks-and-mortar convenience stores selling fresh food in the US, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal.

According to the Journal, the stores will augment Amazon Fresh, the company’s existing online grocery ordering and delivery service, and initially will only cater for customers of that service.

The company also plans to open drive up stores where online customers have grocery orders delivered to their cars. According to the report, to facilitate such a service, Amazon is developing technology that can automatically read license plates and therefore quickly identify customers.

An Amazon spokeswoman declined to comment on the report, however as AFP reports, the company is no longer a completely online retailer.

It opened a bricks-and-mortar book shop in Seattle last year and plans to open more in the US.

Food and Beverages to tackle big growth in online shopper behaviour

Over 40 per cent of retailers are set to increase technology budgets in the next twelve months in a move to meet changes in consumer behaviour for online and mobile retail sales, according to the inaugural CommBank Retail Insights report.

Consumers are remaining highly selective and loyal to their brand, with more than 90 per cent of online shoppers transacting with just three or fewer brands each quarter.

Online retailing not only boost sales with strong websites and great products, it also offers a broader product range that can be easily found with effective search engine optimisation.

For Food & Liquor retailers, the shift towards online sales has been relatively slow in comparison to other industries. 41 per cent of businesses surveyed in the report had no online presence with multichannel retailers while 28 per cent only had between 1-10 per cent overall sales from online orders.

Multichannel retailers have experienced higher growth than their online-only competitors, indicating that customers could be inclined to search online for physical retailers that they are already familiar with.

Most Australian online retailers remain focused on the domestic market, with only 21 per cent generating sales offshore. Food and Beverage retailers aim to capture a greater share of offshore customers by investing in initiatives to localise offers included discounted food delivery and advertising produce on local websites.