It’s only a matter of time before Australian retailers feel the brunt of online giants like Amazon, and it’ll be the ones that go out of business that will only have themselves to blame.
That’s the opinion of Appliances Online founder John Winning, speaking to Your Money Live alongside former Facebook Australia chief executive Stephen Scheeler.
“Online retail doesn’t kill retailers, it kills bad retailers and I think Australia is well behind the eight-ball of where it needs to be compared to international equivalents,” Winning said.
Although some say rumours of retailers’ demise in this country have been greatly exaggerated, there is no question that there has been a great deal of complacency nationally according to Scheeler.
The digital consultant said for years Australian businesses have ignored the threat of online retail.
“Just two or three years ago, I can tell you I would be sitting with CEOs or chairmen of the boards of major retailers in this country, and they thought Amazon was a bookseller,” Scheeler said.
“They didn’t understand what was happening in online and it was because we didn’t have the intensity of competition. We didn’t have the innovation going on,” he added.
While Amazon has not yet claimed scalps it’s only a matter of time, Winning believes.
He said global businesses view Australia the way we view Tasmania; that it’s a beautiful place but its small and doesn’t get a lot of attention.
However when companies like Amazon have conquered larger markets and turn their attention to Australia, it will be too late for those who didn’t ready themselves.