Amazon Launching “Really, Really Soon”

While Amazon did not give an exact date of its launch, it did announce its ambitious vision for Australia’s $300 billion retail landscape at its Australian Seller Summit it held in Sydney on Monday.

The purpose of the summit was for Amazon to encourage and educate Australian retailers to sell on its soon to be launched marketplace.

“We will bring thousands of jobs into Australia, we will invest millions of dollars, and we will help sellers to access millions of customers here and globally,” said Rocco Braeuniger, Amazon’s Australian country manager. “We want to be Earth’s most customer-centric company.”

Speaking publically in Australia for the first time, the e-commerce behemoth told a crowd of about 500 attendees, comprising primarily small business owners, that it would launch its Amazon Marketplace and its first-party offer simultaneously in Australia “really, really soon”.

Australian Seller Summit amazon australia launch Rocco Braeuniger e-commerce news
Amazon’s Australian Country Manager, Rocco Braeuniger

Amazon has been busy building its supplier network and onboarding third-party sellers since April this year. More recently, its Australian website has been populated with more items, including home and consumer goods like power boards and garden gnomes and other electrical products, however, consumers aren’t able to order yet.

As part of Amazon’s retail model, it will manage all steps of the process – from buying the products from suppliers to setting its own prices and managing deliveries as well.

While under its Amazon Marketplace model, it will run similarly to eBay, where third-party sellers can make their products available for sale on Amazon, set their own prices, and be responsible for shipping and delivery.

Sellers can expect to pay $49.95 plus GST per month to sell on Amazon Marketplace, with an additional 6 to15 percent for sales completed, depending on the category. As for local returns, the company will follow Australian Consumer Law. Basically, if something does go wrong, online shoppers will be able to contact Amazon directly, instead of going through individual sellers.

While Braeuniger did not address geo-blocking at the summit, he did confirm that local sellers would have the opportunity to reach global consumers, suggesting that geo-blocking would not be applied.

Australian retailers, including Adam Mills; founder of KoalaSafe, and baby brand Hip Cub, also took to the stage to sing the praises of the e-commerce giant. “With the access and reach of Amazon Marketplace, our Australian business has been able to enter a number of countries, including Canada and the UK – we hope today that we have demonstrated how simple it is to sell on Amazon and how beneficial it can be for a business” said Kevin Lippy, founder of Hip Cub.

According to a report by UBS, Amazon is predicted to capture only 2 percent of Australian retail sales within five years of arriving here.

While Amazon can help businesses open itself to new consumer groups, one question for retailers that may be worth asking is: Who owns the customer?

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