Are You Prepared for Amazon?


Are You Prepared for Amazon?

If you are in retailing, I’ve no doubt that you are worried about Amazon’s launch in Australia and you would be forgiven for worrying about the size of this competition that’s on the horizon.

However, opportunity still exists for Small Businesses. Trent Innes, Managing Director of Xero Australia, said:

Today is a momentous day for Australian retail businesses. Now is the time for our Small Businesses to prove their point of difference. Amazon’s success is built largely on low-cost consumer products and fast delivery, using data insights to understand customer behaviour.

While Australia’s small retailers can’t compete on every level, they can play to their strengths — focusing on the customer and giving them the service that larger retailers can’t. Small retailers are in a healthy position, with Xero Small Business Insights showing hiring is up and an increasing number of them are in the black. By going strong on their differentiators, and continuing to do what they do best, Australian small retailers can continue to grow strongly in a world with Amazon.

It appears the Australian Small Business economy have been vigilant and have prepared themselves for the arrival of the Amazon ‘giant’ into our backyard. Recent data from the latest Xero Small Business Insights, shows just how prepared with the key insights being:

  • Retail casual staff will rise in 2017, even though down last year.

In December 2016, casual staff hiring for smaller retailers, growing 2.38% between November and December, a slower rate than previous years. As the impact of the end of the mining boom wanes for retailers, KPMG’s Bernard Salt forecasts this will rise in 2017.

  • Small retailers relatively healthy and in the black.

A total 61.1% of retailers were in the black for Christmas 2016 (compared to 54.6% of all Australian Small Businesses), a sign that retailers are healthy relative to the rest of the economy. It is also forecast that this will continue to improve with KPMG suggesting that this will rise to 62 percent this year.

  • Big business is paying Small Business faster.

Large businesses continue to have an impact on the cash flow of smaller ones with some 36.5% of invoices paid to Small Business during December 2016 being overdue, a slight rise year-on-year. However, 2017 has seen late payments drop significantly across the board as large businesses begin to settle outstanding invoices with Small Business suppliers far more quickly.

If you would like to read more on this snapshot of the Australian Small Business economy check out Xero Small Business Insights full report, Deck the halls: How small businesses are preparing for Christmas.

Now is not the time to hang your head in defeat as the Amazon giant looms. Now is the time to focus on your point of difference and your customer’s experience with you. Show them why it is so much better to play and be known by name with a smaller business rather than to just be a number to a big business. Be prepared and conquer.

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