News, insight and events
from across the Group.

In case you have been living under a rock for the past 20-odd years, you will be well-aware of the ecommerce giant Amazon. In fact, it is the largest online retailer by market share and sales in the world.

The question is, are Australian retailers fearful for the impending launch of Amazon in Australia; and if not, why not? They very well should be.

Perhaps I am more concerned than others, growing up in the UK, where if you couldn't get it from Amazon; it pretty much didn't exist. Amazon have been using clever tactics to get users on board ever since they announced their Aussie launch in 2016. I've already signed up and am receiving email updates; I only wanted to buy an Audio book.

There are of course question-marks around what the launch will look like in reality. Luckily for some it has been pushed back almost a year until late 2018, instead of the original date of September this year. Will they undercut the main electrical goods retailers? How will the logistics work? Will deliveries be shorter? Will they pay all of the Australian taxes? One thing is for sure, this isn't going to be a hasty move; and no doubt they’ll put their best foot forward for all of the above.

Those who are actually concerned about the launch, which was revealed to be only 14% of retailers in a survey conducted by Commonwealth Bank; what are they doing to retain their customers?

I recently had a chat with the Head of Marketing for one of the leading Australian electronics giants, and their tactic is all about retention. Unable to undercut Amazon on all product prices or compete with their technical expertise, keeping loyal customers happy is their chosen lifeline. This can be achieved through loyalty discounts, free delivery offers and exclusive deals for returning customers. Take note from startups like Rewardle who are killing it in the customer loyalty space. This I suspect will be a successful method, at least for a while.

When push comes to shove, all customers really want is their chosen product, at the right price, in their hands as soon as humanly possible, right? As such it is a no-brainer that cutting delivery costs could and should be an option for vulnerable retailers. However, it might be worth noting that last year Amazon charged its customers USD $4bn for deliveries that cost them USD $8bn. With that in mind, retailers should be prepared to invest. Myer and David Jones see this as their biggest challenge to profitability.

Like Australian organisations across the board, retailers too are beginning to realise the value in investing in CX (Customer Experience). New and innovative digital products, for example Apple's new iBeacon app, gives shoppers personalised messages while they’re in store, as well as micro location services. For me, technological advancements to the customers in-store experience is one method that bricks-and-mortar retailers can use to compete with overwhelmingly powerful pure-play retailers like Amazon. 94% of sales in Australia are in store as opposed to online (compared to 72% in the UK) - therefore there must be something to be said about improving in-store customer service and switching the mindset to improving the customer journey in its entirety (store; email; online; returns, etc).

There is always a silver lining. Amazon is one of the largest employers in the United States; which means thousands more jobs for Australians are set to come out of the launch. Interestingly, digital marketing agencies are predicted to benefit from the ecommerce-giant's’ presence in the Southern Hemisphere thanks to a goldmine of opportunities for internet marketing. Although the situation look does appear bleak for some retailers, experts don't think there will be much to be seen in the first five years (which means ample time to get fearful).

In a world where technology is evolving faster than we ever thought possible, augmented reality is one of the most exciting new technologies people can’t take their eyes off. It’s predicted to generate more than $120 billion in revenue by the year 2020 and we’re only at the start of that journey.

Leading innovators like Google, Microsoft, Facebook, Apple and Sony, have set the precedent for the future of AR through investments and strategic moves. Imagine a world where our environment comes to life through digital layers that give relevant, contextual information in real time; digital layers that enhance our real world. AR is precisely as it is defined: an augmented, or some might argue, improved, reality that we live in.

Plattar is a cloud-based platform that comprises a template driven app builder and easy to use drag-and-drop content management system for managing AR experiences, and can deploy content to any device. Plattar operates on a SaaS subscription model, and for larger projects provides bespoke content solutions and support. This combined with a custom consulting service makes for a powerful solution to enterprise and SMB clients. Plattar are currently working with some of the leading brands in the world.

After successfully completing their seed round and securing A$1.1million last year, Plattar is looking for an experienced COO to help take them through their next growth phase.

As the COO, you’ll be responsible for everything from developing a strategy that complements the vision set by the CEO to full responsibility of the P&L and Growth metrics. You’ll be managing a team and be hands on with driving the product roadmap. This is a chance to get in on the ground floor with one of the most exciting new technologies around and help build it into a global leader in the augmented reality market.

To be successful in this role you’ll need a strong, proven background in either product, sales/marketing, operations, consulting or relevant start-up experience and used to pitching and raising capital for a business.

If you want to find out more, please apply here.

Last week i had the pleasure of sitting down with Charlotte Petris, Founder and CEO of Timelio - the extremely successful invoice and supply chain finance marketplace. I was delighted to learn the reason that Charlotte was (very apologetically) late for our interview was that she was on a call with an SME customer who was talking her through their challenges. As we will come to see, this transparency and genuine care for customer is what really sets Timelio apart.

But don’t take that from me - let’s hear what Charlotte has to say:

This week I had the absolute honour to speak with Chris Hadfield - a man who needs little introduction (but I will anyway). Chris is a man of many accolades, namely, the first Canadian to ever walk in space, and who famously sang David Bowie’s Space Oddity on the International Space Station, racking up over 4000 hours in space and 36 million youtube hits. More than just a mere Astronaut and Commander of the ISS, Chris is also a musician, writer, leadership coach, and had a previous life as a downhill ski racer, test pilot, fighter pilot and Director of Operations for NASA at Star City in Russia.

Over the coming weeks, I will have the pleasure of sitting down with many of Australia’s leading FinTech CEOs. Each will be discussing the specific vertical of Financial Services they are looking at and share their insights.

For the first interview in this series, I sat down with the CEO of GROW Super, Josh Wilson, to discuss the stream of innovation that is occurring in the Superannuation vertical.

Over the past few months, I’ve found myself doing an increasing amount of interview coaching for candidates. Each one of these are individuals who I really rate, but for some reason they’ve been falling short at the final furlong in processes. Through this coaching, I’ve found myself giving the same advice so I thought it would be useful to put a number of the techniques people have found useful into a series of blogs.

Tequila Valley

Single_3ab6f85a92f419a7

Mexico City, or Ciudad de México, CDMX for short, is one of the largest cities in the world with over 22 million people and a lot of traffic. Over the past couple of decades the city has been going through major transitions and gentrification and today the city looks and feels modern and safe. This is especially true of the areas where I spent the majority of my time, Roma and Condesa, where most of the cities startups are located.