- Amazon Prime launches in Australia at $6.99 a month or $59 a year.
- It brings free two-business-day delivery, plus Prime Video, Prime Reading and Twitch Prime.
- And orders over $49 get free international delivery.
Amazon announced its next assault on Australian retailing, launching its subscription delivery service Prime in Australia at a discount.
The $6.99 a month or $59 a year subscription brings free two-business-day delivery, plus streaming media from Prime Video, e-books through Prime Reading and gaming from Twitch Prime, but for the next six months can be had for $4.99 a month.
Prime starts here as a 30-day free trial. Australia is the 17th country to get Amazon Prime. In the US, Amazon Prime costs $US10.99 to $US12.99 a month or $US99 to $US119 a year.
“This is just the beginning for Prime in Australia, as we will keep making Prime better, adding even more selection and benefits,” says Jamil Ghani, Prime International vice-president.
The Prime launch comes after Amazon announced it will no longer deliver to Australia from overseas from next month when the 10% Australian goods and services tax (GST) will apply to overseas purchases under $1000.
This effectively meant access to far fewer items than available in the US where 480 million products are available via amazon.com.
Treasurer Scott Morrison says the new GST regime will level the playing field for Australian businesses who have to pay the 10% GST while offshore retailers haven’t had to until now.
“The second biggest company in the world, run by the richest man in the world, shouldn’t get a leave pass from paying tax in Australia, and they won’t under these new laws to be introduced from July 1 that level the playing field,” Morrison says.
However, Jamil Ghani at Amazon says the new Prime service will also have “free international delivery on products from Amazon US” available to customers on Amazon.com.au.
“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.”
The online retailing giant in December launched a local website, increasing digital competition for consumer dollars among brick-and-mortar retailers.
In January, Alexa, Amazon’s digital voice assistant, arrived in Australia with a local accent. And in February, Amazon launched delivery for third-party sellers via Marketplace, Fulfilment by Amazon.
Research from Morgan Stanley shows prices at Amazon are significantly cheaper than at major Australian retailers for many goods.
Last month consumer electronics retailer JB Hi-Fi downgraded its full-year earnings forecast, citing “challenging conditions in the home appliance market”.
The Prime Australia service will include free delivery to addresses in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth, Adelaide and other major regional centres.
Orders over $49 get free international delivery. But not for everything sold in the US. Amazon says “Prime members in Australia will have access to more than 4 million products” on the US site.
The Amazon Prime shipping benefits:
“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.”
Amazon launched in Australia late last year offering tens of millions of items.
The company is growing its network of fulfilment centres as it expands to meet customer demand in Australia.
It’s now opening a fulfilment centre in Sydney, its second in Australia. The 43,000 square metre facility is in the Goodman Centenary Distribution Centre in Moorebank with easy access to the M5 and M7 motorways.
Amazon opened its first fulfilment centre in Australia at Dandenong South in December 2017.