Amazon is finally launching a shopping service in Australia - which means you will soon be able to buy everything from food to electronics without paying those exorbitant international shipping fees. Here's everything we know about Amazon's arrival Down Under so far.
Amazon's decision to finally bring its online shopping platform to Australia is huge news. The US-based mega corporation has dominated every market it has chosen to enter. If they can deliver on the holy trinity of product choice, speed and price, there's no reason to think Australia will be any different. Here's a primer of the available information we have so far, along with some expert analysis for the things we don't.
When is Amazon coming to Australia?
Amazon Australia's launch date remains shrouded in mystery. However, all signs point towards sometime in 2018.
Where will Amazon operate from?
As reported last week, Amazon will kick off its local presence with a 24,000 square metre centre in Melbourne. The flagship facility will be located in the Pellicano’s M2 Industry Park, providing easy access to the South Gippsland Highway, Monash Highway and Eastlink.
How many products will Amazon sell?
Amazon's official launch statement has promised "hundreds of thousands of products". However, it's not entirely clear whether this number relates to individual product types or total available stock across all categories. The latter seems more likely, but we're pretty sure the selection will be pretty big regardless.
What types of products will Amazon sell?
Amazon is keeping tight-lipped on precisely what it will actually be selling in Australia. Morgan Stanley retail analyst Thomas Kierath reckons it will start with books, electronics and clothing.
Food delivery also appears to be a priority, with Amazon's former global logistics senior manager, Brittain Ladd claiming that a separate "Amazon Fresh" site will be part of the launch. However, a recent survey of food suppliers by investment bank UBS revealed that Amazon has only been talking to packaged food and non-food grocery suppliers, which suggests fresh food won't be part of the initial roll out.
With that said, the inclusion of non-fresh food at the launch does seem likely. Amazon has been talking to around a quarter of Australia's grocery suppliers in this segment. This notion is also backed by the hiring of country manager Rocco Braeuniger, who is currently director of consumables for Amazon Germany. (Rocco’s previous role included Pet Supplies; Health and Personal Care; Baby, Beauty, Grocery and Amazon Pantry.)
How fast will products be delivered by Amazon?
Speed is expected to be a big deciding factor in Amazon's level of success. If it can beat local retailers on delivery time and price, the battle is basically over.
According to Ladd, Amazon will be launching an Australian version of its premium Prime Now service, which provides faster shipping to members alongside other perks. Amazon has also promised “fast delivery” as one of its core strategies.
There's still no word on whether Amazon will be bringing in its own courier service or relying on third parties for delivery. Either way, its entry Down Under is sure to put existing supply chains and logistics providers under new pressure.
Is Amazon going to kill local jobs?
There can be little doubt that Amazon's presence in Australia will affect local retail: that's what disruptors do. However, it will also be injecting a swag of new, locally sourced jobs into the economy.
The company has already begun a recruiting drive across a range of verticals, including operations managers, pickers, packers, systems technicians and HR specialists. With that said, it's clear that local retailers will need to adapt if they hope to compete.
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