Tuesday, 21 November 2017 08:24

Amazon will face tech challenges in Australia: claim


The chief technology officer of an application performance management software company claims that online retail giant Amazon will face several technological challenges in Australia, a market which it is about to enter.

Rafi Katanasho, CTO APAC of Dynatrace, said Amazon would have to consider the technology options for managing the logistical challenge of delivering content - especially if it wanted to offer a service like Amazon Prime to Australian consumers.

Amazon would also have to deal with the slower Internet speeds compared to the US.

"The Amazon digital properties must consider the slower Internet speeds and long distances between consumers impacting network latency to ensure fast and reliable digital customer experience. Amazon knows very well the direct causal relationships between slow digital performance and conversion rates," he said.

If Australian businesses wanted to compete with Amazon, they had a number of hurdles to overcome, Katanasho said.

First, was managing the digital experience and delivering performance at scale.

"It is critical to learn from the Amazon playbook about ‘obsessing about the customer’. This starts by understanding the customer's digital journey and assessing in real-time the customer temperature and whether they are satisfied, frustrated or just tolerating these experiences.

"For Australian retailers to successfully compete, they need to glean as much insight as possible about their customers, how they engage and how to ensure a delightful digital experience."

Second was the speed of release cycles and the time to market.

Katanasho said the digital game was a constantly moving one and so Australian retailers must learn to gain fast customer feedback - gleaned as much as possible digitally - and have the ability to deliver technological changes really fast.

He said one of the key factors that made Amazon successful was the ability to change and adapt really quickly based on real-time feedback.

Finally, Australian businesses would need to ensure operational excellence when it came to availability, reliability and performance at scale.

"Consumers' expectations for faster, always-on and highly reliable technology are constantly increasing and any small glitches in these areas can have huge detrimental consequences for these retailers."

He said Amazon's entry into the Australian market signalled both a great opportunity and a big warning.

"Both the threat and opportunity lie in how Australian retailers deal with the customer experience models. It is a great opportunity to re-evaluate their strategies and re-image the customer experiences in a hybrid world (with both physical and increasingly digital engagements)," Katanasho said.

"The ones that are fast to adapt, and even learn from the Amazon playbook about ‘obsession about the customer’, are the ones that will reap the benefit and give themselves the best opportunity to not only survive, but to accelerate their growth and brands."

He said another crucial element for Australian retailers who wanted to compete was to build a foundation for constant learning, feedback and adaptation. "The best global organisations are the ones that have these foundations built into their culture that enable rapid change and adaption. Both short- and long-term change must always be informed with the best possible customer and customer experience data and information."

Companies that could incorporate the right insights in real-time would give themselves the best chance to differentiate and personalise their services, resulting in better customer experience and all the results that flow from that, he added.


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Sam Varghese

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Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.



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