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Global businesses too slow to adapt.

Amazon is coming, it’s going to be a big part of the future and it will come faster than you think, according to Miele managing director for marketing and sales, Dr Axel Kniehl. In a recent interview with Appliance Retailer, he offered some words of advice to Australian retailers in light of the demise of businesses in Europe who underestimated the power of online.

“I think it is fair to say that Miele is in a special spot when it comes to the opportunities and challenges that come with the online world. I cannot talk for anybody else in the industry obviously; I can only speak for us.

“Firstly, be ready and be prepared because I think in every single occasion the market was preparing for the online world but it came much faster than they thought. Secondly, Australia specifically, is in a different spot when it comes to home appliances compared to other markets. When you think about Europe or the Netherlands, it is not just the country, you have another five markets around you that can ship and deliver the next day. You can ship around and pricing is visible to anyone in markets that are adjacent.

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L to R: Miele managing director for marketing and sales, Dr Axel Kniehl, Miele Australia managing director, Sjaak Brouwer and Miele executive director and co-owner, Dr Reinhard Zinkann.

“I find it hard to believe that somebody is going to start shipping home appliances from Singapore to Australia. It would have happened already. For us as a brand, in many cases, in the online world, the players still are very much focused on features and price and very little on experience.

“Retailers have been much to slow in the face of Amazon. They all didn’t see it coming fast enough. However, if you look at France for example, Amazon is having a tough time because of electric retailer, Darty being really strong in omni-channel. They took on the challenge and leveraged their logistics, delivery and service to be the strong player in the market when it comes to online. I don’t believe Amazon is selling home appliances in France. That’s a good example and I’m sure there are many more,” he said.