Amazon's entry into Australia will present great opportunities for Northland retailers and suppliers once Amazon extends access to New Zealand businesses, an e-commerce expert says.
Northland businesses will be able to expand their reach throughout the country when Amazon Australia opens up to New Zealand.
Their products won't have to leave the country because they can simply be couriered from Northland to any New Zealand destination, says Hamish Conway, director of Amazon e-commerce advisers Sell Global.
"Being online and getting noticed on Amazon is a massive opportunity for Northland's businesses," said Mr Conway.
"Contrary to many people's belief, Amazon is more of a business enabler than a competitor. Furthermore, it is not just for big business.
"No matter how large or small they may be, Northland's retailers, manufacturers and distributors can't ignore Amazon. They should start making the most of the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to get in fast and rank well once Amazon Australia opens up to New Zealand.
"Northland businesses can have their cake and eat it too by combining their bricks and mortar presence – and all of the feel-good factors associated with having a physical presence in the local community - with the benefits of using the world's most successful e-marketing platform to more deeply tap into local markets and open up to new ones."
Mr Conway said he has experience on all sides of the Amazon equation – selling his own products, other brands on Amazon in the US, UK and Europe and also advising businesses who want to have Amazon as a part of their e-commerce strategy.
He said there are misplaced beliefs that Amazon is just for big business sellers, very low-priced products or that selling on it will result in businesses losing control of their product.
"The opposite applies. Selling via Amazon – if done properly as a third-party seller – will provide more control and more profit. This will enable businesses to complement rather than cannibalise their other sales channels."
Amazon is a particularly successful platform for quality consumer products – something that New Zealand busiesses – particularly small ones - do well.
"A lot of high-quality, unique products are made or sold here. This gives our businesses a point of difference on Amazon that could not be easily copied."
Mr Conway said the key lies in understanding Amazon and how best to leverage it, and in being properly prepared: "Many businesses aren't getting the most out of their Amazon experience. Just because you are there on Amazon doesn't mean you'll make sales.
"It is a highly competitive market so success requires best-practice."