Using data for advantage.

More than two-thirds of retailers using Amazon as a sales channel are worried that the online retailer will use their data to gain a competitive advantage. But despite this a majority of those surveyed in a new report would continue to use the channel as a key sales driver for their business.

This quarter, SLI Systems, a global e-commerce services provide took a different approach at the relationship between Amazon and online retailers. “We asked those who sell via Amazon why they do so, as well as the extent to which they view Amazon as a competitive threat,” SLI Systems, CMO Chris Brubaker said. “While consumers were shopping Amazon Prime Day with glee, for merchants, the perks of leveraging the online giant come with some concern. Nearly 70% of the mid-sized retailers we surveyed that sell on Amazon reported being ‘somewhat or very worried’ that Amazon will use their sales data to compete with them, indicating they view Amazon as more of a ‘frenemy’.”

While this ambivalent relationship with Amazon plays out across the US and Europe, Australia has yet to feel the full impact of this ‘friend and foe’ scenario. However with the imminent arrival of Amazon and the bold expansion plans reported by Australian retailers this looks set to change.  Of the Australian retailers surveyed, 44% plan to open more stores, while 25% intend to sell to new geographical markets.

Retail optimism prevails locally with many retailers implementing aggressive hiring, technology and bricks and mortar expansion plans with predictions of increased growth predominantly from online and mobile revenue.