Amazon has officially launched its Amazon Prime membership service down under, offering consumers a free 30-day trial and an introductory membership price of $4.99 a month or $59 a year.
Amazon announced on Monday night that its coveted Amazon Prime offering is now available to Australian shoppers, with free two-business-day delivery to an estimated 90 percent of Aussies among the benefits.
The online marketplace originally hinted at an Australian release earlier in the year, but until now, has remained tight-lipped about when and how the membership program would launch in Australia.
“We are thrilled to bring Prime, our premium membership program and its many benefits, to Australia, little more than six months after the launch of our Marketplace and Retail offering,” says Rocco Braeuniger, Country Manager of Amazon Australia.
“We have been working hard to expand selection, ensure customers get great value, and improve the Amazon shopping experience for Australians. With the addition of Prime, customers can now enjoy the most convenient way to shop and take advantage of new and expanding benefits from Amazon.”
The e-commerce giant’s membership program is currently enjoyed by 100 million people worldwide, and to ensure Australians can get a taste of the service offering, Amazon is offering a free 30-day trial.
According to Amazon, the Australian launch will include more benefits than any other country has had access to straight off the bat, with free delivery offered on local and international deliveries, access to exclusive Prime original series, movies and TV shows on Prime Video, and 1,000 e-books with Prime Reading. Other benefits include Twitch Prime for gamers, and discounted priority delivery, among others.
Aussies can now access Amazon Video.
“Prime will have a huge impact, but similarly to Amazon’s initial launch, it’s not going to be an overnight disruptor. As more customers trial the program and more retailers jump on board, the goal posts will start to shift,” says Alana Fennessy, Head of Client Engagement APAC, ChannelAdvisor. “Consumers want a seamless experience with fast delivery and exceptional customer service and this is what Prime offers. It will start to become a part of the purchase journey, especially when membership is so accessible for Australians. It’s a huge opportunity for retailers to have access to engaged and loyal consumers.”
“We hope that Australians will love free two business day delivery on products from Amazon Australia and free international delivery on products from Amazon U.S., all available to customers on Amazon.com.au,” says Jamil Ghani, Vice President, Prime International, Amazon.
“We are really proud to bring Australians the most extensive set of Prime benefits at launch for any country – ever. This is just the beginning for Prime in Australia, as we will keep making Prime better, adding even more selection and benefits.”
According to Amazon, expedited delivery will be available to Australian consumers with no minimum purchase amount, and while it will currently reach up to 90 percent of shoppers, the e-commerce giant is reportedly working to add more cities, towns, and suburbs over time.
Consumers in Adelaide, Brisbane, Canbera, Hobart, Melbourne, Perth and Sydney will have access to fast delivery services from day one, as well as regional centres like Albury-Wodonga, Bendigo, and Wagga Wagga.
The company also claims that shoppers in rural areas will receive access to expedited shipping services that take as little as four to five days. Since Amazon is blocking Australian shoppers from its international sites as of July 1 in light of new GST regulations on overseas purchases, Amazon says Aussie shoppers will have access to four million products from its US marketplace, directly on the local site.
Although, much like Amazon’s Australian launch last year, not everyone is impressed with Prime’s initial offerings, especially the glaring exclusion of same-day delivery. According to Kate Morris, the founder and CEO of Adore Beauty, how well Prime is received will depend on consumer interest in its additional features, such as its streaming service.
“The Prime offer, at least in terms of shipping, is a bit underwhelming in my opinion. The market-leading e-tailers in Australia are already offering free next-day shipping for most orders, so I’d be surprised if customers get excited about paying a monthly fee to get two-day shipping. I guess it depends how much value customers see in the other services (streaming etc),” she says.
The membership service’s introductory price of $59 per annum and $4.99 per month (usually $6.99 per month) is reportedly valid until January 31 2019.
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