Recently it was revealed that Amazon is set to launch its Australian retail operations this Friday, putting an end to months of speculation. The US-based e-commerce giant has planned the launch so that it coincides with the annual pre-Christmas discount shopping frenzy known as Black Friday.
It is safe to say that even if the initial consumer response is less than ecstatic, in the longer-term Amazon’s presence in Australia will have an enormous impact on the way Australians shop. Soon the range of products available will explode to include pretty much everything, from paperclips to furniture.
In a recent NZ Herald article, David Thornton, an Auckland architect whose business specialises in giant retail centres, said that Amazon’s arrival in Australasia could result in it subsequently establishing a huge goods warehouse in New Zealand in the next two or three years to speed items to Kiwis.
What would this mean for furniture retailers?
At Transfervans we work with furniture retailers in Auckland and Sydney to improve their last point of contact with their customers. We found that there is a large discrepancy between the delivery options that furniture shoppers want and what retailers offer to them. Perhaps this is because not everyone in the furniture retail industry believes that Amazon and the likes will be a direct competitor to them, at least not in the short to medium term. However, a general consensus that Amazon will set new standards for last-mile fulfillment is starting to emerge. These standards include improved convenience, easy access to customer service and faster and more reliable delivery options.
While it might be a few years before Amazon makes an aggressive move into furniture and large appliances, now is the right time for the industry to adapt to a new supply chain reality brought forward by Amazon and other disruptors. Many shoppers really do still want to see, touch and feel products before buying them (online) – especially furniture. However, the decision to buy from a particular store (whether online or physical) is more and more affected by shopping convenience in general, and delivery convenience in particular.
What we can learn from Amazon is that customer success is really about giving the consumer the absolute best experience from the first to the last point of contact. With the right delivery partner, retailers can affordably add superior delivery options at checkout – allowing them to focus on improving other parts of the customer journey.
Brian Karlson – CEO Transfervans
Marielle de Jong – Business Developer Transfervans
Transfervans is a customer-centric platform that facilitates last-mile deliveries of bulky items. We connect retailers with nearby trucks and vans allowing deliveries to be scheduled anytime – even within hours – at very affordable rates. Please contact us if you would like to know more about how Transfervans might be able to help you future-proof your business.