The soft launch of Amazon Australia, amid a large dose of expectation, has so far been disappointing, according to analysis by Deutsche Bank.
A quick investigation by the investment bank shows local retailers with cheaper prices than Amazon.
“For shoppers that did expect to see more of Amazon’s range or pricing today (Thursday), the user experience would undoubtedly have been disappointing especially as the website contained very little details and just kept redirecting shoppers back to the home page,” analysts Michael Simotas and Daniel Wan write in a note to clients.
However, Deutsche Bank says it’s “reticent to draw conclusions” because it seems Amazon’s soft launch has not yet progressed to key brands and key categories.
“Entire categories such as televisions, mobile phones, and grocery segments such as haircare were missing,” the analysts write.
“Searches for Apple products such as iPhones, or Sony does not produce the hardware results we intended (the results would mostly be books). Indeed, we observed a number of anomalies on Amazon’s Australian website.”
Amazon Australia on Thursday opened to “a small number” of customers as a soft launch test before opening its full range of goods for sale.
Earlier in the week, the US online giant sent an email to Amazon Marketplace sellers saying the testing phase starts Thursday, signing off: “Let’s make history!”
Deutsche Bank notes says all the products seemed to be from third party sellers.
In the meantime, local retailers have not been standing still.
JB Hi Fi has introduced two hour click and collect as well as same day delivery. Kogan went on sale early in anticipation of the Friday rush.
“Based on our observation today local retailers had lower prices than Amazon for the majority of SKUs we looked at,” the analysts say.
“However, it may be too early to draw any conclusions as at full launch, Amazon may present a more competitive offer than what we saw today.”
Here are some of the price comparisons done by Deutsche Bank: