Local businesses now have the opportunity to increase their sales by using Amazon, one of the world’s largest online shopping websites.
The recent launch of the Amazon Australia market place has opened the door to this opportunity as it creates a platform to drive exports for Samoa.
Coach AMZ sales director, Peter Nobbs, said the overall result and benefit for businesses joining Amazon is an increase in sales.
“There are costs but the result is increase sales and at the same time there’s only a moderate fee charge for the sales.
“By getting access to Amazon, a company in Samoa that has only exported regionally, can now export around the world through Amazon and get access to the American market, Australian market, the U.K. market, so really it allows you to reach hundreds to millions of customers,” he said.
Mr. Nobbs said they work with businesses through Amazon and are now in Samoa and the Pacific, after working with Australian clients to export via the Amazon platform.
“In the U.S. about 50 per cent of all sales in America go through e-commerce, so Australia is going to head that way. We have the skills and guidance for the e-commerce platform that has the widest reach and best logistics.
“You can do your sales on your own with your own logistics and you don’t get access to these huge numbers of customers, but by far Amazon is the largest e-commerce base and we help small businesses grow their business and sales,” he added.
Mr. Nobbs did a presentation on e-commerce at the Pacific Trade Invest Export Trade and Investment Mission Business Forum at the Taumeasina Island Resort on Wednesday.
“The real benefit is with e-commerce, when you want to grow and scale a business, you still have to pack your orders and send them out and that could be some of the bottleneck in businesses. But with Amazon they look after all logistics and fulfillment and you get access to their large customer base.
“It opens a very large market that you can sell to their customers. Amazon takes care of all of that for you – shipping, transportation, courier etc. It helps you to grow your business. When I started with Amazon five years ago, I was only selling one product, but now we have a range of products,” he added.
Joining Amazon, Mr. Nobbs said, is feasible for businesses in the Pacific.
“That’s why they (P.T.I. Australia) set up a programme to help these companies on board, support them and get them through the process, it’s really a case by case basis, but if you got a product that’s suitable then it’s an amazing opportunity.”
P.T.I. Australia general manager (exports), Jeremy Grennell, said businesses have to have export capability and a history of exporting to be able to capitalise fully on this opportunity.
“We’ve found that traditional distribution channel is quite hard to break into, but a platform like Amazon offers a lot more scope, a lot more opportunity, instead of just staying with Amazon Australia, they can move to Amazon United States.
“I think for Pacific Island countries, the biggest challenge is logistics, trying to get your product to a market, no matter where you live. This e-commerce platform will allow Pacific businesses to have a greater market access,” he added.
Mr. Grennell said it is the first time for P.T.I. Australia to work with Amazon in the Pacific and Samoa is the first island state.
“Samoa is the first Pacific Island because of the big mission. From the feedback we got from our participant yesterday (Wednesday), they were really happy to learn about Amazon,” Mr. Grennell said.
“The session was a really good one, just giving a foundation of benefits and how to access foreign markets through e-commerce, especially Australian market, so we had a lot of conversation with businesses afterwards that like to work with P.T.I. and go through the programme. I think overall the response was excellent and businesses got a lot of knowledge and skills to work with e-commerce,” Mr. Nobbs added.
P.T.I. Australia will hold a similar workshop in Fiji and will later roll out to other Pacific Island states.
“I’ll encourage all Samoan businesses to look into the opportunity that P.T.I. provides because it gives you opportunities to get access to some skills and guidance, and getting on to that e-commerce platform in Amazon Australia.
This is an amazing opportunity and I would encourage all Samoan businesses in the Pacific to look into the opportunity,” Mr. Nobbs added.
Mr. Grennell said he is pleased with local businesses, particularly the supporters and they are happy to bring these kinds of opportunities to Samoan exporters.