Amazon officially launches in Australia today

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Rocco Braeuniger, the man brought in from Amazon's German arm to run the Australian operation, said Amazon would be focusing on "customers and the long-term" as it attempted to build its business in Australia. The much-vaunted Prime service - which bundles offerings like priority shipping, streaming and Kindle content in one package - is not now available, with expectations it'll come in mid-2018.

U.S. ecommerce giant Amazon launched in Australia overnight with its first party retail and marketplace offer.

These regions are likely to be in the Melbourne area, as so far Amazon Australia only has one distribution warehouse or "fulfilment centre", located in the south-east Melbourne suburb of Dandenong South.

Retail Analysts from Citi predict that consumer electronics retailers JB Hi-Fi and Harvey Norman will be among the hardest hit.

After much anticipation and hype, Amazon is offering free delivery on eligible orders above $49 that are sold by Amazon.

United States internet giant Amazon launched in Australia today in time for Christmas, with retailers scrambling to cut costs and boost their online offerings as they brace for an expected shake-up of the sector.

Online shopping only accounts for between 8-13% of total sales in Australia, leaving room for growth in a sector estimated to be worth more than AUS$300 billion (RM923 billion) annually.

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Meanwhile, some items are actually cheaper to purchase on the Amazon US site and have shipped to Australia.

Braeuniger said Amazon will create thousands of new jobs and invest hundreds of millions of dollars in Australia.

He said Amazon's key strength in the U.S. is the fact its strategy is driven by data, not gut feel, which is a key source of the marketplace.

The American giant is offering "millions" of products from well-known Australian brands, as well as small and medium-sized Australian businesses selling on Amazon Marketplace.

"Amazon has done well in the U.S. and United Kingdom against inefficient players, but efficient bricks-and-mortar retailers can compete if they can use their existing scale and supply chain to lower "last-mile" delivery costs and time".

Amazon Marketplace connects customers to millions of products and helps sellers reach more than 300 million active customers worldwide, the company said.

Australian retail shares have fallen sharply since Amazon confirmed plans for the country in April.

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