Amazon says its Australian launch was its biggest opening day on record

Brett Hemmings City of Sydney/ Getty Images

First day orders on were higher than for any other launch day in Amazon history, says the US-based online retail giant.

Amazon wouldn’t give precise numbers for customers or dollars spent on the Australian website, the 14th country launch for Amazon.

However, it says “tens of thousands” of customers visited the website during the first 24 hours to place orders across all 23 categories.

“We are thankful to Australian customers for making this a landmark day in Amazon history. From early in the day, we experienced visitor numbers that far exceeded our expectations,” says Rocco Braeuniger, Country Manager of Amazon Australia.

“Yesterday was day one for our retail offering in Australia.

“We will be working hard today and in the long term to continue to enhance our offering and to provide customers with an ever-increasing selection of products at low prices.”

Amazon Australia fulfillment centre in Melbourne. (Photo by Robert Cianflone/Getty Images)

Amazon yesterday launched its retail offering, with millions of products and one-day delivery, on its Australian website.

Among the goods on sale are 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 also launched an Australian app to take advantage of increasing sales via mobile devices including smartphones and iPads.

And 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.

Some commentators weren’t impressed with initial prices and the difference sometimes comes down to delivery charges. Others found many products, such as headphones and toys, cheaper on Amazon. Most say it’s still early days.

Citi analysts say: “Amazon’s initial offer is patchy, with some sharp … pricing. Based on the current offer, we expect Amazon will not be disruptive to Australian retailers this Christmas.”

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However, the analysts say the Amazon Australia offer will build over time.

“The range is patchy across and within categories. For example, over 40,000 toys and games are available from a large rage of brands, while televisions are not yet available,” Citi analysts say.

Credit Suisse analysts say Amazon was launched with a significant product range and delivery options which will appeal to consumers in the lead up to Christmas.

“It would be unsurprising if Australian retailers quickly begin to revise their delivery offer in order to remain competitive,” write analysts Grant Saligari and Annabelle Diamond in a note to clients.

“Product range is extensive in categories including clothing, electronics, toys & games, beauty and home improvement.

“We expect that Amazon Prime and other additional categories (Amazon brand clothing) will be introduced in 2018. Listed items are either sold and shipped by third party sellers or shipped from and sold by Amazon AU.”

There is no fresh food yet. However, on the site now are some regular household shopping list items such as dishwashing detergent, shampoo and toothbrushes. Credit Suisse says these are priced below Woolworths and Coles.

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