Bendigo's small businesses don't expect to feel the Amazon effect

Local traders aren’t concerning themselves with online shopping giant Amazon’s Australian launch.

Robe owner Fiona Rooke said she and other traders had kept an eye on the development of Amazon in Australia but that the online trader would affect major traders rather than boutique businesses.

“Having spoken to other boutique-type traders and suppliers, the consensus is that because (Amazon) doesn’t sell our product, it’s not a great threat,” Ms Rooke said.

“Majors businesses like department stores, which have stock that is widely and easily sourced, it will be competition for them.

“Little independent stores work hard for the customer, have a point of difference and have items not stocked on Amazon.”

Ms Rooke also looked at Amazon from a different perspective. She said the online shopping site had potential to expand a small businesses’ customer base.

“The Amazon sales platform can be integrated into your online store, meaning it could become another portal to sell products,” she said.

“We’re using Shopify, which does integrate with Amazon in the US and soon will in Australia as well.”

Integrating with Amazon’s sales platform would mean a small, boutique business like Robe could advertise their products on Amazon but see any online sales come through to the store, who would then fill the order.

“Linking up with Amazon will be an option we can take up that could really broaden our customer based,” Ms Rooke said.

“Amazon don’t have to stock our product, the order just comes to us (from them).”

TRADER: Robe owner Fiona Rooke believes Amazon won't have a great effect on boutique stores that have unique stock. Picture: NONI HYETT

TRADER: Robe owner Fiona Rooke believes Amazon won't have a great effect on boutique stores that have unique stock. Picture: NONI HYETT

Bendigo Marketplace trader and @Home store owner Sean Guild said he was not worrying about Amazon.

“I can only concentrate on what I can do. You go broke if you try to compete,” he said.

“We have been playing with (selling online) a little. We have got an eBay page and are in middle of setting up a website. 

“You find the older generation are more supporting of local business but even younger shoppers are happy to come in if they can’t get last minute orders online.”

Amazon began life in the US in 1994 before expanding to the UK in 1998 just as online shopping was getting popular.

Amazon said first day orders on Amazon.com.au were higher than for any other launch day in the company's history.

"We are thankful to Australian customers for making this a landmark day in Amazon history," Amazon Australia country manager Rocco Braeuniger said.

But the launch has been described by shoppers and business analysts as underwhelming with the launch mainly consisting of third party sellers and a limited selection of Amazon products.