Amazon Is Coming To Australia In 2018 [Updated]

Amazon Australian LaunchImage: iStock

Amazon's Australian rollout plans have just been laid out by a former executive of the company - and we finally have a launch date. From next year, Australians will reportedly be able to use the online shopping service to purchase a huge variety of products, including groceries, clothing, electronics and even takeaway food. Here are all the services Australia will be getting: from fresh food delivery to Amazon Prime Now.

Update: A previous version of this story stated that Brittain Ladd was the current global logistics senior manager for Amazon. We have been informed that Ladd is no longer with the company and have amended the article to reflect this.

In an interview with our parent company Fairfax Media, Amazon's former global logistics senior manager, Brittain Ladd, confirmed that the company's shopping rollout will soon include Australia. (While this has been widely reported for months, Amazon has refrained from making any official statements.)

Ladd managed the worldwide expansion of Amazon's fresh and pantry operations from August 2016 to March 2017. During his time at Amazon, he was responsible for designing and implementing strategies and programs focused on expanding Amazon Fresh and Pantry globally.

This included new store formats and functionality, retail supply chain design, web, mobile, and social B2B and B2C operations, large scale network planning and optimisation and sales/operations planning, In other words, he was well positioned to know a thing or two about the company's plans for Australia.

Ladd described Australia as an attractive market for Amazon and said the company would be launching "as many services and products as possible within Australia".

Here's everything that we know so far.

When is Amazon launching in Australia?

According to Ladd, Amazon plans to have its flagship Australian website up and running by the end of 2018. That's a slightly longer wait than we were hoping, but at least we have confirmation it's happening.

What about Amazon Prime Now?

Ladd confirmed Amazon will be launching an Australian version of its premium Prime Now service, which provides faster shipping to members alongside other perks. There's still no word on whether Amazon will be bringing in its own courier service or relying on third parties for delivery.

What is AmazonFresh?

As its name implies, Amazon Fresh specialises in grocery deliveries. It works the same as the main Amazon website, but with an emphasis on fresh food and supermarket goods. Available categories include fruits, vegetables, packaged produce, cheeses, canned and frozen foods, pasta, household supplies and beauty products. Ladd said the Fresh site will be launching in Australia at the same time as the flagship website. Intriguingly, the US version includes a section dedicated to local market produce - hopefully this feature makes it across too.

What about Amazon Go?

Amazon is in the process of launching Amazon Go in the US. This is a chain of physical checkout-free supermarkets that automatically bill shoppers on their smartphone via electronically tagged products when they exit the store.

Aldi and Lidl have proven there's plenty of scope to disrupt the grocery market in Australia - and Amazon is taking notice. According to Ladd, Amazon Go could eventually make it to Australia. Ladd said Amazon Go would only appear "after Amazon has become more established in the country and analysis determines the market will support physical stores."


That's pretty much everything we have thus far. For its part, traditional retailers have remained curiously unmoved by Amazon's impending rollout, with former Wesfarmers CEO Richard Goyder flatly stating: "We're not worried about Amazon or anyone else."

Meanwhile, analysts who were briefed by Amazon claim the online retailer wants to "destroy" the Australian retail industry. According to a recent Credit Suisse report, Myer, Harvey Norman, JB Hi-Fi, Supercheap Auto, Big W, Kmart and Target are all tipped to see revenues smashed by as much as 55 per cent over the next five years.

In the words of Deloitte’s Retail, Wholesale and Distribution Group leader David White: “If Amazon isn’t on the agenda at board meetings for Australian retailers, then it should be.”

We still have a lot of questions about Amazon Australia - particularly surrounding how the range of products will compare to the US, the potential geo-blocking of Amazon.com and whether electronics will be slugged with the usual "Australia tax". Needless to say, we'll be keeping a close eye on this story as it develops. Stay tuned!

[Via SMH]

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Comments

    Well, Australian businesses have plenty of time (21 months) to get their shit together. They best not be complaining in 2019.

      haha australian businesses cant even manage to get an NBN order in when they have 18 months to do so and you think they can improve their delivery service in 21 months?

      Hi all, I would agree that Australian retailers better get fully ready. I would like to add one really important point to the reason why Amazon will be massive in online retailing here in Australia. Shorter delivery timeframes. I work for one of those large Australian Retailers in their online fulfilment area. I can tell you that all boards of Australian Retailers are talking about Amazon even though they do not publically admit it. Some are even spending millions of dollars upgrading their online platforms to be competitive with Amazon. However, I can tell you that the two biggest issues for most Australians Customers ordering online is, and get ready for it……. high freight charges…… long delivery timeframes for online orders delivered within Australia. These days you can order something small from overseas like US, UK or Europe and it will be delivered within metro Australia within 2-3 business days. Try ordering something local and your average delivery timeframe will be more like 3 -5 business days. Why? Because OZ is a very large place and most online deliveries around OZ are with road freight, even with Australia Post/Startrack. Delivery companies can't use the domestic airlines to freight in Australia as it is more expensive to ship under the plane than in a seat above the plane. This is quite different with international flights, and most international freight companies have distribution points at each of the international airports. Also countries like UK, US, and some Euro nations have international airports in every major city. Their cities are usually 50 – 100km’s apart, and there will be more international flights every day than in OZ. So they can get product on an international flight yesterday, it arrives in Australia today and usually delivered locally either same day or next day. Here in Australia our major cities with international airports are hundreds of KM’s away from each other. Further to this, most of the domestic Australian Freight companies are run by rogue traders, that don’t give “a rats arse” about the Australian Public and won’t do anything to take the local freight delivery services to International Standards, and push for shorter delivery timeframes. Take the Allied Express General Manager issue highly publicised in the Brisbane Courier Mail several years ago, where a mother did not get her children’s Christmas presents in time for Christmas ordered online, and wrote a letter to the GM for Allied Express. He responded with a “F$*k Off”. Recent hottest news about Amazon online coming to OZ now is that they have struck a deal with Uber and other non-traditional delivery companies to reduce freight charge and shorten the delivery timeframe in metropolitan Australia to 2 hours. This is a major breakthrough and should place some very strong warnings to all Australian retailers big and small, that if they can solve this problem, they will win massive support from the Australian public. I suggested the Uber solution to the company I work for and was told flat out "not interested". Now Amazon has taken the same idea and used it to their advantage. In short, Australian retail delivery online has several major issues, distance, freight price and delivery timeframe. If Amazon can solve all of these problems I would feel that the predictions will be correct that Amazon will do an Aldi and Australian Retailers will be in for a very tough ride over the next decade until they catch up, because really they are just not ready and will not be ready for Amazon to launch in Australia.

        TLDR

          hitmanaus TLDR. Well you should have rad it as this guy is spot on with his comments

    jbhifi is going to get there butt kicked

      If AmazonAU has the Australia Tax on their electronics prices, I doubt JB will lose a lot of sales.

        It's more about the range of stock and quick delivery and review system Vs JB/HN abysmal websites that make it painful to find and search for anything.

    former Wesfarmers CEO Richard Goyder flatly stating: "We're not worried about Amazon or anyone else."Someone remind him of that in, say, Q2 2019.

      Didn't somebody once say that Apple will never be successful in the mobile phone area?

      Wesfarmers CEO sounds exactly the same as the Yellow pages CEO 15 years ago when they asked him if he was worried about google. He's response was "Google Smoogle" Ha what a mistake..

    This has Australia tax written all over it.

    My thinking is they will continue the Australia tax or have it forced upon them by their suppliers.
    Still, they might be big enough to have their own supply chain but the Australia tax is too lucrative for them to not use.
    Still, there will be not much incentive to shop with them if they are only a smidgen cheaper than the established retailers, but one incentive would be to have items that are not available in Oz.
    That's the main reason I shop online to get stuff not available here.

    Amazon can't come quick enough for me
    I was looking to buy a new Sony receiver Sony STRDN1080 selling for $1400.00 at JB hifi same thing on Amazon $599.00(US) now reduced to $498.00 (US) price delivered to Australia including post ect $650.00 (AU) still less than half of what JB is charging ! ...almost criminal rip off JB !
    Unfortunately I can't purchase from Amazon US as the voltage is different !!

    What about the Fugoo speaker. $89US on their USA website. Their Aussie website had the same item for $289AU.
    We are being ripped off. Not just by JB, GG, and HN, Coles, Woolies, etc. Companies are lining up to fleece us. What can we do?
    Will Amazon get on the gravy train, or set a cat among the pidgins? We'll have to wait and see ...

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