What’s Needed to Get Your Business Ready for Amazon

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What’s Needed to Get Your Business
Ready for Amazon

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Global giant Amazon is about to touch down in Australia and its sparking panic amongst local retailers. But today we’re asking, “Is your business ready to either type them on or leverage their power?”

A recent survey found only half of Australian businesses have thought about the Amazon impact. So we’ve called in the experts to help a boutique kids swimwear label with ambitious plans to expand offshore, how to ride the Amazon Tiger.

Victoria Lucas is living in a drain; in between backyard ply diets change running a successful swimwear label for little girls called Love by Willow. We’ve teamed her up with Jeri Murphy, the cofounder of WhichAddOn to supercharge her online sales through Amazon.

Jeri:
Tell me how Love by Willow began.

Victoria:
Love by Willow, I guess has been in the works for a long time. I’m quite a creative person and I’ve always made my own little trinkety things and when I had my first daughter: Willow, I wanted to dress her beautifully and make her room really sweet. So, I would make my own things for her.

Another big influencer: Saddle up by Willow is my grandmother who was a sewer and also made everything for us when we were younger. I’ve got four sisters and my grandmother used to make us these matching little outfits and it was quite daggy, but quite cute at the same time.

Victoria uses social media to promote a product and direct customers to their website to make their orders. That’s a great start. 

Jeri:
How has the business grown since you first launched?

Victoria:
It’s grown really well actually. The first season, which was last year, obviously I was just getting the feel out there for how the world would take what I do, my ideas and my inspiration. One style in particular, our Sophie Bunny Print sold out straight away and then we brought it back again this season and it’s already sold out again. So, it’s growing really nicely.

While lots of great Tyler’s of fearing Amazon coming to Australia, Victoria has the chance to increase her brand’s visibility like never before by riding on Amazon’s coat tails.

Jeri:
What are the core systems that you use in your business now?

Victoria:
Shopify is the main system I have. That’s my online sales and that’s where my inventory is and where I can track everything and be updated with how the business is moving.

Jeri:
In the U S Amazon platform connects to Shopify automatically. So, the products that you have already listed in Shopify could be listed up on Amazon quite quickly because Amazon sucks the data out of Shopify and puts it up into Amazon and it can be ready for sale.

Victoria:
That’s quite amazing and really good for small businesses.

Jeri:
Yes. So, Amazon seller central is like an eCommerce, just like your Shopify setup is. So if you know how to use Shopify, you’ll be able to use the Amazon seller central quite easily. Where would you like to see Love by Willow in a year’s time?

Victoria:
Oh, would an I international would be amazing and I’d love to see my brand, not just grow in Australia, but grow in other countries and I, yeah, I want to kind of see all the little Australian girls running around on the beach with my swimmers.

It sounds like Amazon could help Victoria’s dreams happen, but there are some other critical tips to keep in mind before a small business gets in the bed with Amazon.

Victoria Lucas is a stay at home mum, chief executive, and a fashion designer. Love by Willow has been steadily growingsince its launch last year, but we’ve sent in the experts to see if she should sell on Amazon.

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Jeri:
We’re the Amazon seller central platform. It’s the same type of eCommerce platform like you’re already using on Shopify. So, in your case, you can take your Shopify data and put it straight up into Amazon seller central and then manage your products on there and publish them for listing on the Amazon marketplace just like you do with your Shopify site.

Victoria:
So, it’s really that easy for a small business like me just to connect it without having to do too much.

Jeri:
Yes. Even for people that don’t have Shopify yet, they could just list their products straight up on Amazon seller central and have them available in the marketplace.

Business even has the option of using Amazon’s giant warehouse.

Jeri:
What that means is that when an order comes into Amazon, Amazon can ship it out really fast because they’re not just selling your item. When someone buys from Amazon, they’re buying swimwears, they’re buying some toothpaste, they’re buying a chainsaw. Even in the U.S., it’s not just about books over in the U S so you can buy anything. They can buy anything that they want to.

Victoria:
So, I have to connect with that warehouse system?

Jeri:
You don’t have to. Here in Australia, we know that Amazon is going to have a warehouse down in Melbourne at the moment. It’s confirmed out in Dandenong and it’s taught that there’s going to be another one here in Western Sydney, so they’re the warehouses that will be available and they’re set up so that they can provide that fast, convenient shipping service that they’re known for to get products to the customer’s door straight away.

So, you don’t have to do it. But certainly, if you can do it, it puts you in good stead with Amazon because you can actually ship out those goods faster and it can be a benefit to you because you can make money in your sleep.

Victoria:
Is it affordable for me?

Jeri:
Amazon does charge fees for the service they provide, they give you that international visibility, they give you a platform and a warehouse for you to be able to ship out. So of course there’s fees. So on the selling side for the fact that they’re listing your product on their marketplace and getting the exposure for you, they do charge a referral fee or commission.

It depends on what category you’re in, you’re in. And we also don’t know what the charges will be here in Australia or we can do is give a guideline based on what’s in the US at the moment.

It’s between 8 and 15% is what they take as a sales commission for anything that they sell.

Victoria:
So how do I get started with all of this?

Jeri:

Well, it’s as simple as literally going to Google. And if you Google selling on Amazon Australia, it’ll come up with a link where you can register your interest in being an Amazon seller.

If you have been on their mailing list. There’s no information being shared through that mailing list yet, but as soon as

Amazon is ready to share with people exactly what they need to do to join as a small business to sell on their marketplace, they’ll be in touch.

It can be a great time for small Aussie businesses like Victoria’s to reinvent themselves and get on Amazon. So, take Jeri’s advice, get on Google and register your interest.

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Niño Angelo Tubola

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