This is the moment Australia’s traditional retail giants have been dreading.
After an underwhelming launch in November last year, Amazon Australia has been slowly ramping up its assault on the local retail sector.
Its online store has been filling up, and in February, Amazon Australia made its first major play by rolling out Fulfilment by Amazon (FBA).
FBA utilises Amazon’s giant warehouse facilities. Rather than buy shipping materials, pack and take goods to the post office, sellers can now just send their products to Amazon’s warehouse. When a customer places an order, Amazon will pick, pack and ship.
FBA has also opened up the possibility of offering free delivery on eligible orders above $49.
Amazon Prime is another level entirely.
The hugely popular service in the US offers a $99 annual membership. Most of its 90 million subscribers – nearly half of its total user base – pay for access to free two-day shipping and same-day delivery in eligible postcode regions.
In Australia right now, Amazon Prime refers only to its music and video streaming platforms. In the US, those services are also bundled into the retail Prime subscription.
Given it’s openly advertising now for someone to lead Prime Australia, Amazon has all but confirmed the service is on track for a mid-2018 rollout.
Some observers say that points to Amazon’s arrival not having as big an impact – so far – on Australian retailing as was expected, but Amazon flagged it back in December last year.
Research from Morgan Stanley last month showed the price discount between Amazon and major Australian retailers was getting larger for many goods.
Morgan Stanley says that widening margin and the arrival of Prime in Australia will likely mean traditional retailers will need to respond by lowering prices and improving delivery services.
So if you have a Master’s degree, 15 years experience and are “able to solve problems and deliver result with ambiguous information and minimal direction in a cross functional environment” – and you want to change Australia’s retail landscape – apply here.