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Why Amazon’s Arrival is Good News for Retailers

Plenty of chatter has accompanied Amazon’s recent arrival, and in it, you’ll hear some intimidating words being thrown around: ‘massive’, ‘threat’, ‘retail giant’. But if you listen closely, many other messages are being repeated by those in the know, and these are the ones that retailers should be taking notice of: ‘opportunity’, ‘benefit’, ‘growth’. There’s no question that Amazon’s arrival will shake up the retail landscape, but is the underlying fear really necessary? It’s certainly not helpful. Those who view the third-party marketplace as a huge opportunity and are ready to jump on board when the time comes are sure to benefit exponentially. Need reassurance? Here’s good news.

1. Transparency

Amazon has very strict guidelines in place when it comes to selling. While this can seem overwhelming at first, it actually benefits you. Amazon takes great pride in managing a positive and efficient experience for its shoppers from start to finish. From a customer’s initial search query to the final receipt of a product and everything in between, Amazon expects its retailers to operate in the same customer-centric manner as the marketplace itself. This means that everyone is playing by the same rules. Those who don’t will be suspended and will find it very hard to be reinstated. If you look at the guidelines, you’ll understand why, once you’ve implemented strategies and third-party software to assist you, they will actually help to increase sales. With transparency comes opportunity.

Reviews on websites and social media can be a headache for retailers, and most have experienced their downside, whether it’s a competitor falsifying positive reviews or making negative fraudulent reviews on your own site. Manipulating or soliciting false information about your products or business is strictly off-limits on Amazon. False product reviews or forcing buyers to submit positive feedback and ratings is monitored closely and is a fast way to lose your selling privileges. Buyers must be allowed to express their opinions freely. For those sticking to the guidelines and providing a positive experience for your customer, this can only be a benefit.

Furthermore, when you follow best practices, your feedback score will grow and you increase your chances of winning the Buy Box. Amazon is very transparent in what it expects from its sellers and its sellers are rewarded with success in return.

2. Streamlining Processes

Fulfilment by Amazon (FBA) is a great option for retailers, with more than 2 billion items delivered by Amazon to customers worldwide just in 2016. Using FBA means your products can be seen by Amazon’s millions of Prime customers too, who love the popular free two-day delivery option. Tapping into Amazon’s logistics processes means you can have access to all of its benefits and can streamline your own processes in a way you would never contemplate otherwise.

3. Growing Customer Reach

Amazon is poised to become the biggest individual retail store in Australia, as it already is in the US and the UK. While some view this in a negative light, it’s actually a cause for celebration. Without question, the online sector will experience significant growth, driven by Amazon’s rise. Huge opportunity exists for retailers to sell their products to a wider audience. Retailers who join the marketplace early can ride the wave of Amazon’s ability to drive consumer spend and to change consumer spending habits.

4. Level Playing Field

The guidelines in place to protect both Amazon and the consumer are exactly what can protect retailers too. Amazon strictly prohibits any sales transactions, advertising or other means of communication with Amazon shoppers that would direct them away from Amazon. This includes references to a website, as well as watermarks, text or other graphics within your product images. Doing any of the above is grounds for removal from Amazon. This levels the playing field for retailers of any size.

Amazon’s strict guidelines require price parity so that sellers’ prices on Amazon must be better than or equal to prices on other channels. When it comes to the competition, what you see is what you get. There are no extra fees or excessive shipping rates after checkout. The consumer experience is straightforward and easy to navigate.

Furthermore, Amazon’s arrival is sure to disrupt the current retail model, whether you’re a large, established retailer, traditional bricks and mortar or a small start-up. Some have been responding to this news with fear, but the truth is that it’s exciting. The playing field is the same. The opportunities are equal. The third-party software is accessible for everyone. Whether you take advantage of Amazon’s arrival is entirely in your control and your power, but either way, the opportunities are there for everyone to get involved.

Wondering how to prepare yourself for Amazon’s arrival and ensure that you can boost your performance? Download ChannelAdvisor’s Marketplaces Data Sheet to find out more.