After a long silence about its Australian plans, Amazon has now confirmed it will be rolling out its online emporium locally over the next few years, which will be the e-commerce giant’s first full-fledged retail offering in the southern hemisphere.
Amazon, has finally broken its silence on its plans to enter the Australian market further, releasing a statement about setting up shop here over the next few years, with promises to Australian consumers such as cheaper prices, speedier delivery times and access to a greater range of products, which will include groceries.
The company has also made a call to Australian retailers to join its marketplace. A banner on Amazon Australia’s website now reads “Amazon is coming soon to Australia. Sign up to learn more about how you can start selling to millions of Australians with Amazon.”
It goes on to say: “Whether your business is new or you are looking to grow your sales, Amazon can provide you with an e-commerce solution to meet your needs. Become a seller on the Amazon Australia Marketplace and put Amazon’s e-commerce expertise to work for your business.”
“Sales through Amazon Marketplaces now represent 50 percent of all items sold on Amazon websites globally. There are already thousands of Australian businesses selling their products on existing Amazon Marketplaces. We are excited to bring the Amazon Marketplace to Australia next.”
While Australians have been able to buy from Amazon since 2012, its offerings haven’t been as fleshed out as what it is in its US roots, but with the company now confirming it is actively searching for larger fulfillment and distribution center in Australia, it’s the first step to launching its full range of services here, including Amazon Marketplace, Amazon Prime and eventually its grocery arms Amazon Fresh and Amazon Pantry. Amazon’s distribution centre is tipped to be in either Melbourne or Sydney.
“The next step is to bring a retail offering to Australia, and we are making those plans now. We are excited to bring thousands of new jobs to Australia, millions of dollars in additional investment, and to empower small Australian businesses through Amazon Marketplace,” said Amazon in its statement about its Australian expansion plans.
“We are optimistic that by focusing on the things we believe customers value most – low prices, vast selection, and fast delivery – over time we’ll learn the business of Australian customers.”
Last month, Credit Suisse analysts predicted a shocking result for retailers should Amazon enter our market, with Harvey Norman, JB Hi-Fi and Myer sited as some of the retailers with the most to loose. In fact, Harvey Norman’s share price may have already taken a nose dive since the study was released, and while Myer was predicted to be in the red zone, anticipated to suffer 55 percent potential loss of earnings.
Some retailers, however, believe that it’s unlikely that Amazon’s official statement will be as material as the hype. Adam Schwab, co-founder and CEO of Lux Group told us this morning: “Amazon are already a huge presence in Australia with more than 1,000 employees. They are certainly brilliant operators and will affect specific segments when they start delivering from local DCs, but overall, it’s unlikely to be as material as the media seem to be suggesting given other international examples.”
While Amazon will change the local landscape, Stuart O’Neill from e-commerce technology provider from SAP Hybris believes the biggest threat to retailers is themselves, specifically the experiences being delivered. He says that retailers that craft personalised and cohesive customer interaction will be successful, no matter which competitors enter the market.
“There’s no doubt the launch of Amazon is going to change the Australian retail landscape. But success will be achieved by those retailers focusing on their customers, not what Amazon is doing because the biggest threat to retailers is themselves – or more specifically the customer experiences they offer. Customers tell brands they want seamless and unique experiences across online and physical stores so it doesn’t matter whether you’re a giant like Amazon or a small local business, customers will go to those that satisfy this demand. Ahead of Amazon opening its doors, local retailers must see this window as an opportunity to review their current approach and change it accordingly.”