Amazon Hints at the Release of Amazon Prime

Since Amazon’s launch in Australia four months ago, consumer response to the e-commerce giant has been reported as underwhelming. How the company is addressing this, and the pending release of the company’s loyalty program, Amazon Prime, was discussed at the recent innovation day.

Held at the International Convention Centre in Sydney’s Darling Harbour, Amazon’s half-day program was attended by thousands of the retail industry’s key players. Speakers included the likes of Tim Fung, the CEO and Founder of Airtasker, as well as Amazon representatives.

Amidst the excitement of the day, however, there was one question on everyone’s lips – when will Amazon Prime launch in Australia?

It was originally speculated that Australian shoppers would have access to Amazon Prime by mid-2018, and according to Amazon’s Senior Vice President, Russ Grandinetti, the Australian launch of the popular loyalty program might not be that far of.

“I don’t have any news to report about Prime other than we are working hard on it and it will come soon. I can also say that it is not going to cost you a kidney,” Grandinetti said.

The company has taken great strides to improve its Australian product since its release late last year, which has already seen Amazon Music, Alexa and Fulfilment by Amazon made available to Australian shoppers.

Since January this year, Amazon has doubled its number of sellers, which had risen to as much as 10,000 retailers by the end of March. This number is expected to reach 50,000 by the end of the year.

Grandinetti told summit attendees that Amazon is pleased with the feedback and participation they’ve had from third-party sellers in their marketplace, with many of these businesses already expanding the selection of products they’re offering on the site.

Another major highlight of the day was discussions around Alexa’s robotics capabilities. Launched in Australia and New Zealand in February this year, Alexa has an availability of more than 15,000 local skills, which includes a mix of global apps that have been built by Australian brands, including Westpac, ABC, and Hoyts, to name a few.

“Alexa is not just about Amazon. It’s about you too and we are really excited to see how you’re going to give your vision a voice in the future,” Kate Burleigh, Amazon’s Country Manager told the audience.

Through collaboration and constant technological advances, she believes Australian businesses will be able to bring their brands to life through Alexa skills.

Both Grandinetti and Amazon’s country manager, Rocco Brauniger believe Amazon is only a few months into what will be a long-term journey and that there’s still a long way to go.

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