STARTUP FOUNDER: Amazon will be amazing for Australian businesses

<> on June 27, 2013 in Inglewood, California.

Far from being a threat to Australian businesses, a software company executive has claimed that Amazon’s arrival in Australia will benefit local ventures, especially those that make and sell their own products.

While media coverage has focused on how local retailers will struggle to compete against Amazon’s scale and prices, Cin7 founder Danny Ing said that this negativity overlooks the fact that small businesses can open up a massive new market by selling through the internet giant.

“I’ve worked with companies in the US that are growing from $1 million to $30 million revenue in just a few years by selling on Amazon. I believe Amazon will give Australian businesses that same opportunity,” said Ing, who is also the chief architect at the New Zealand software company.

“Amazon effectively has spawned a new era of the ‘globalised cottage industry’.”

Auckland-headquartered Cin7, which expanded into the US last year, produces inventory management software — and through that Ing has seen first-hand how his customers handle different sales channels.

“[Amazon] is the juggernaut that has been pushing eCommerce. People trust Amazon for pricing and fast fulfillment, and that’s a 300 million-person global market that Australian businesses will be able to reach,” he said.

Local customers are certainly ready to shop on the platform, with 56% of Australian adults telling Nielsen last month they would buy from Amazon when it lands in Australia.

While the Seattle-based company itself has neither denied or confirmed plans to start local operations in Australia, in November an investment fund manager quoted an Amazon staffer as saying the company aimed to “destroy the retail environment in Australia” by undercutting local prices to the tune of 30%.

In January, Business Insider found that Amazon Australia is recruiting people to work specifically on its AmazonFresh project, with software development roles in Brisbane advertised on its website.

With Amazon’s arrival looming, supermarket chain Woolworths revealed in February that it had outsourced its online shopping infrastructure into Microsoft data centres so that it could focus on user experience.

Ing was born into a family of boat refugees that escaped Vietnam for New Zealand in 1980. He has been a tech founder multiple times, launching Cin7 in 2011 to catch the wave of ecommerce adoption in the retail industry.

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