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AMAZON AUSTRALIA IS HERE

Image: Getty Images

The US-based retail giant Amazon today launched its full retail offering, with hundreds of thousands of discounted goods and one-day delivery, on its Australian website.

The long anticipated opening came with a string of discounts on Amazon’s own offering and from third party Australian-based sellers on Marketplace, plus delivery anywhere in Australia.

“It’s day one for us in retail in Australia,” an Amazon official told Business Insider as Australia became the retailer’s 14th full service country.

“Our focus is very much on every day low prices for our customers across Australia.”

Among the goods on sale today are products across 23 categories, including clothing and shoes, video games, consumer electronics, tools, toys, home improvement, beauty products, and for the first time Amazon’s Fire TV Stick.

The online retailer today also launched an Australian app to take advantage of increasing sales via mobile devices including smartphones and iPads.

Coming mid next year is Amazon Prime, an annual membership which includes free delivery plus Amazon Prime Video. It costs $US99 a year in the US, where it has an estimated 90 million subscribers, and it is key to Amazon’s strategy for dominance.

The Australian site now has an area to sign up to be notified of the launch of prime.

Amazon had been widely expected to be ready by November 24, the massive US sales day known as Black Friday, but the retailer was still testing its systems.

It instead opted for the closing weeks before Christmas, planning to pick up on a wave of shoppers looking for presents. Amazon’s warehouse at Dandenong in Victoria will be fulfilling orders from today.

“Focusing on customers and the long-term are key principles in Amazon’s approach to retailing,” says Rocco Braeuniger, Amazon’s first Country Manager for Australia. He came to Australia after being director of consumables at Amazon Germany. His previous roles have included Pet Supplies, Health and Personal Care, Baby, Beauty, Grocery and Amazon Pantry.

“By concentrating on providing a great shopping experience and by constantly innovating on behalf of customers, we hope to earn the trust and the custom of Australian shoppers in the years to come.”

The selection at Amazon.com.au includes products offered by well-known Australian brands, including small and medium-sized Australian businesses selling on Amazon Marketplace.

Amazon Australia fulfillment centre in Melbourne. Robert Cianflone/Getty Images

Globally, half of Amazon’s sales come from Marketplace sellers.

Those retailers most at risk in Australia from Amazon are those who sell electronics, apparel and cosmetics. UBS says these include Myer and the Reject Shop.

However, other retailers see Amazon as an opportunity, a vast pool of shoppers on a platform designed to make buying easy.

Adam Mills, Chief Technology Officer and Founder of Australian business KoalaSafe, an Amazon Marketplace seller since 2015, says retailers across the country should be excited about Amazon launching.

“While it can be a challenge to ensure potential customers find your website, Amazon already has hundreds of millions of customers around the world searching for new products. The visibility and access Amazon provides is an enormous opportunity for all businesses,” he says.

Delivery is free in Australia when spending $49 on Amazon fulfilled goods. For $9.99, purchases can get to an address in a capital city address within one day.

Amazon has closed deals with a string of partners, including Australia Post, to ensure delivery across Australia.

Amazon’s opening delivery schedules:

Source: Amazon

Fulfillment by Amazon, where the online retailer delivers on behalf of third party sellers, has not yet launched but is in the planning stages.

Amazon Marketplace, the centre for third party sellers, is launching with “thousands” of local Australian businesses. Amazon says more local businesses are growing each day.

Last month Amazon Marketplace sellers tested the system with a small group of local Australian shoppers.

Next year, Amazon plans to introduce Echo, a hands-free speaker controlled by voice, to Australia. Echo connects to the Alexa Voice Service to play music, news, sports scores and weather.

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