Retailers should be wary of Amazon: Poll

The majority of people polled in Financial Standard's weekly survey believe the launch of Amazon Marketplace in Australia has potentially dire consequences for local retailers.

One-in-four (25%) respondents strongly agree the e-commerce giant will negatively affect home-grown retailers; while two-in-five (41%) agree with this prediction.

Only one-in-four (25%) said Amazon is not a threat, while 10% of respondents are unsure what impact it will have on the sector.

Financial Standard found the financial services sector will not be immune to the Amazon effect, as the online store will branch out of books and apps, which it currently offers on its Australian website, and offer a full suite of goods.

Australian fintech Avoka said financial services will be the next industry in the firing line.

"When Australian consumers start to receive streamlined and greater levels of convenience from their online retail interactions - so too will they demand the same convenience from financial services," Avoka chief executive Phil Copeland said.

He added Australian banks have been quick and aggressive to digitise their products but they haven't gone far enough, especially for high level transactions.

"If the financial services sector is going to catch up they need to implement solutions far more quickly. A fantastic mobile app which takes three years to build isn't going to hack it with Amazon on the scene," Copeland said.

Despite the hysteria, USB analysts remain positive on the Australian grocery market's outlook.

According to the ABS, last year marked the lowest rate of annual growth in the Australian grocery market for more than 30 years, but "we do not expect this to continue, and see industry growth strengthening to 3.5% in FY18 (FY17 3.2%)," USB said.

In the US, Amazon is preparing to disrupt the grocery market with the launch of Amazon Go. Shoppers in the 1800 square feet Seattle store enter the store using an app, take the items and won't need to wait in line to pay. This is made possible by technology that detects products taken or returned to the shelves and keeps track of them in a virtual cart.

This week we find out whether including insurance and superannuation in the latest Royal Commission is warranted.

Read more: USAustraliaFinancial StandardPollAmazon MarketplaceAvokaABSAmazon GoPhil CopelandRoyal CommissionSeattle
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