The impending arrival of Amazon Down Under will evolve shopping habits and raise the bar for Aussie retailers, and those who fail to meet the newfound expectations of consumers will fall behind, according to one expert.
Carl Hartmann, founder of Temando, a multi-carrier shipping platform for commerce, believes Amazon represents both a threat and opportunity for retailers.
Speaking to the Australian Financial Review, Hartmann said that while Amazon Marketplace will enable retailers to find new customers, the retail behemoth will transform shopping habits increase the expectations of consumers.
“The future belongs to retailers who can close the gap between customers’ expectations and reality,” he said.
“This year in our research we’re seeing a widening gap between customers’ expectations and what they’re willing to pay and what retailers are doing.
“When Amazon comes, the bar gets consistently lifted.”
The research that Hartmann is referring to is Temando’s annual State of Shipping in Commerce survey, which was released last week.
According to the survey, 65 per cent of respondents said they would no longer shop online if shipping costs exceeded their expectations.
The survey also found that nearly 60 per cent of respondents would be discouraged from using a retailer again if they had a negative shipping experience with them.
Hartmann expressed to the AFR his fear that Aussie retailers aren’t ready to cope with a rise in shipping costs.
His comments coincide with a new whitepaper by Australia Post on online shopping habits, which found that strong returns policies and improved delivery options have further encouraged the uptake of online shopping.
The Inside Australian Online Shopping report also found that the 7pm-to-10pm period is the most popular for Aussie online shoppers, followed by the 2pm-to-5pm and 9am-to-12pm periods.