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Amazon in Australia: what it means for you as a shopper

20 April 2017

From The Sydney Morning Herald:

The expansion of US online giant Amazon in Australia will most likely be a game-changer in the country’s retail landscape, transforming the way we shop and threatening the supremacy of established local retailers.

“We are going to destroy the retail environment in Australia,” an Amazon executive behind the Australian roll-out told Justin Braitling, the chief investment officer at Watermark Funds Management, late last year.

. . . .

Australians, of course, can already buy a limited range of items from Amazon.com.au. Presently these are mostly limited to entertainment, including Kindle e-books, audiobooks, e-readers, and some items on the streaming site Amazon Prime Video

So what will be available when Amazon rolls out its full suite of retail services into the Australian market? Perhaps an easier question is: what won’t be available?

Before launching its operation in Australia, it’s understood Amazon will go through and collect price-points on everything, before setting prices at a 30 per cent discount.

The roll-out here is expected to be gradual, with an initial focus on consumer and home electronics, including non-perishables, such as canned food and other household necessities.

. . . .

Determined Australian bargain-hunters can already buy items from the US Amazon store that aren’t available locally, but it can be a time-consuming and more expensive process.

Amazon will often refuse an Australian billing address or credit card when an attempt is made to buy from the US site, but third-party forwarding businesses have popped up to fill this void.

Shoppers can sign up to these businesses, which provide an intermediary US address, from which the item will be forwarded to Australia. To skirt around the billing problems, Australian shoppers pay the intermediary business, which then pays Amazon on the shopper’s behalf.

Essentially, Amazon’s further expansion into Australia will eliminate this prolonged process. Local warehousing will dramatically slash delivery times, shaking things up for established retailers.

Link to the rest at The Sydney Morning Herald

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5 Comments to “Amazon in Australia: what it means for you as a shopper”

  1. I hope this means that my Australian readers will be able to buy my paperbacks. Right now they are limited to my ebook editions.

  2. Yeah, J.M., they need to put a CreateSpace machine down there to cut the shipping price.

  3. This is such a huge deal. As someone who lived in AU and NZ for 7 years and travelled back this Feb, I can tell you that the retail environment currently sucks for customers.

    It is over-priced and ripe for disruption. In terms of print books, new fiction is often over $30, about 5x the price of a print book in the UK. I also think the only reason they’d be doing this is if the customer base was already huge i.e. people are already ordering from Amazon and getting stuff shipped. 

    This is good news for indies IMHO as more people shopping on Amazon means more people who might buy our books – since much of book retail is bookstore dominated right now.
    Ingram have a POD factory there so I’d expect CS will use them, like they do in other places.

  4. Amazon has been trying to make me change to .com.au for years, but I’ve resisted. A full retail presence here in Australia may, possibly, make me change my mind. Or it may not. A 30% discount on a $30 book works out to be $9 AUD which brings the price of the book down to $21. That’s still a lot of money to pay for one book. And then there’s postage and handling on top of that.

    The other question concerns choice. Australia is a small market, so I can’t see how even Amazon can afford to stock the full range of available books [trad. published not POD]. That means we still won’t be able to get everything.

    I guess I’ll just have to wait and see.

  5. About time!!!

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