New Amazon Marketing Boss Has A Lot To Sort Out
New Amazon Australia Marketing Director Arno Lenoir has his work cut out following the US online retailer’s decision to go early resulting in slow deliveries, pricing that is more expensive than local retailers and an emerging hostile media.
Lenoir who is currently in Seattle at Amazon headquarters was chosen for the job ahead of several former Samsung and LG Marketing directors who applied for the role that Lenoir was given the nod for after a stint consulting to Virgin Australia and several years at Samsung.
Lenoir is also going to have to negotiate competition regulator the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, who is already probing several issues including complaints from retailers and suppliers to local retailers that Amazon is shipping electrical goods that have not been certified for the Australian market along with 110v appliances that can be plugged into a 240volt Australian plug.
In the week Amazon launched in Australia the US retail giant’s country manager, Rocco Braeuniger, initiated a meeting with competition regulator Rod Sims according to the Australian, to discuss the pandora’s box of competition and consumer issues that would spring from its arrival on our shores and further explain the company’s business model.
Mr Braeuniger met with Australian Competition & Consumer Commission Chairman Rod Sims at his Sydney office, to address Australia’s competition laws — which now, following the Harper Review, are more in line with international practices — and the nation’s unique consumer protection laws, which Amazon must learn if they are to compete up against local retailers.
Lenoir who sent several years at Samsung is aware of the issues associated with recalls and certification.
Another problem facing Amazon is that local retailers such as Coles, Woolworths, Harvey Norman and JB HI Fi who between them spend millions with local media Companies have had words with media Companies about the coverage they were giving Amazon.
The Australian who eight weeks ago was raving about Amazon’s arrival, cheap prices and the value to Australian consumers are suddenly running negative stories is today critising Amazon.
Amazon’s limp offering in the local market has hit fresh problems, with it now emerging that the retail giant’s Australian operations have been dogged with slow deliveries from overseas and, in many cases, it can’t match the shipping times of local retailers or even its US counterpart. They claim.
Some customers buying on Amazon’s Australian website will face delays of more than a month compared with local retailers, missing by a long shot the crucial Christmas deadline.
Ahead of its launch, Amazon had teased Australia with promises of millions of products across more than 20 categories at reduced prices.
The reality failed to live up to expectations, with customers left frustrated over the overpriced offerings and high delivery costs.
Fairfax has also been running critical stories a problem that Lenoir is going to have to tackle.
Harvey Norman chairman Gerry Harvey said the retailer had done itself “a huge amount of damage” by launching so close to the peak Christmas season.
“The fact that Amazon, with all the hype they had, opened a couple of weeks before Christmas was extraordinary. I couldn’t believe the timing, it was the most ridiculous thing I’d ever heard,” he told The Australian. “Everyone was talking about how they were going to make everyone look stupid with their cheaper pricing and faster delivery times. It was exactly the opposite. Amazon did themselves a huge amount of damage, all of their own making.”
The combination of a new warehouse, new staff, new stock and the expectation of delivering products before Christmas meant it was guaranteed Amazon was going to get into trouble, Mr Harvey said.
A News Corp Australia survey of 10 popular Christmas products found delays of up to 42 days for customers receiving items ordered through Amazon Australia compared with its US counterpart. Meanwhile, there were delays of between 10 and 23 days for items ordered off Amazon Australia compared with goods from local retailers such as Officeworks and JB Hi-Fi.
A Fitbit Ionic smartwatch, for example, could be purchased for $98 less and delivered 10 days earlier from Officeworks than Amazon Australia.