Amazon Marketplace booms in Australia

Amazon.com, Inc., doing business as Amazon, is an American electronic commerce and cloud computing company based in Seattle, Washington that was founded by Jeff Bezos on July 5, 1994. The tech giant is the largest Internet retailer in the world as measured by revenue and market capitalization, and second largest after Alibaba Group in terms of total sales. The amazon.com website started as an online bookstore and later diversified to sell video downloads/ streaming,  MP3 downloads/streaming, audiobook downloads/streaming, softwarevideo gameselectronics, apparel, furniture, food, toys, and jewelry. The company also produces consumer electronics, Kindle e-readersFire tabletsFire TV, and Echo, and is the world’s largest provider of cloud infrastructure services (IaaS and PaaS). Amazon also sells certain low-end products under its in-house brand AmazonBasics. Amazon has separate retail websites for the United States, the United Kingdom and Ireland, France, Canada, Germany, Italy, Spain, Netherlands, Australia, Brazil, Japan, China, India, and Mexico. In 2016, Dutch, Polish, and Turkish language versions of the German Amazon website were also launched. Amazon also offers international shipping of some of its products to certain other countries.

Amazon has been the talk of the entire industry in Australia, from doomsday predictions heralding the end of Australian eCommerce as we know it to talk of creating an increased global impact of Australian brands in the world’s shopping carts. The thing is, whether you think your business will suffer or flourish from Amazon’s imminent arrival, the best thing you can do for your business and your bottom line understands what selling on Amazon entails.

Australia has spent the past weeks and months in a dizzying flurry of anticipation and now finally, the time has come. Amazon.com.au has gone live. The world’s largest e-tailer sent the fully-fledged version of its Australian retail site live on December 5, 2017, finally giving Australian customers a look at what Amazon.com.au will offer. The site has hosted a Kindle store since 2013, but now, Aussies can get much more than just eBooks. The store launched with 23 categories, including electronics, DVDs, PCs, and software, as well as more general merchandise like clothing, baby and beauty products. Amazon.com.au is also selling Kindle eReaders (which were previously only available through third-party retailers) and the Fire TV Stick, a small stick that plugs directly into your TV to let you stream services like Amazon Prime Video and Netflix.

The e-commerce giant will offer products across more than 20 categories, including consumer electronics, clothing, and sports equipment, and offer free delivery on some orders, the Seattle-based company said in a statement. Australia presents a new challenge for the company, with a few local web retailers already up and running. It is seeking to bring many of them into the fold by rolling out its online marketplace, open to third-party sellers. Amazon’s impact during the holiday shopping season, a critical time of year for retailers, will be limited in Australia. Amazon has been selling e-books in Australia since 2013, but its broader retail offering marks the company’s 13th foray into a major market. With a warehouse outside of Melbourne and corporate offices in Sydney, Melbourne, Perth, Brisbane and Canberra, the company over time will “create thousands of new jobs and invest hundreds of millions of dollars in Australia,” Rocco Braeuniger, Amazon’s country manager, said in the statement.

Amazon is aiming to attract more sellers and shoppers to its revamped Australian site by offering third-party traders access to its world-renowned fulfillment services. Last February 27, 2018, traders selling on Amazon Marketplace will be able to send their products to Amazon’s Melbourne fulfillment center and pay the global e-commerce giant to store, pick, pack and ship orders to consumers in Australia and overseas and handle returns. The launch of Fulfilment by Amazon (FBA) comes less than three months after Amazon unveiled its new suite of retail products and services and signals the technology giant is confident its Australian logistics infrastructure is capable of taking on an influx of new products.

For sellers, FBA will enable them to reach more consumers in more markets and potentially ship products faster than through third-party providers. For consumers, products shipped through FBA are eligible for Amazon’s customer service, including free delivery on eligible orders over $49 and expedited one- and two-day delivery from selected areas. Products shipped through FBA will also be eligible for Amazon’s Prime fast subscription-based shipping service when it launches in Australia later this year. Amazon Australia’s head of FBA, Amit Mahto, said Fulfilment by Amazon would help level the playing field for sellers, giving them access to Amazon’s world-class logistics capabilities.

At Amazon’s first seller summit in Sydney last November, Fabio Bertolacountry leader for Amazon Marketplace, said FBA helped sellers build scale without the need to invest in costly infrastructure. The move, in line with Amazon’s play-book in other countries, underscores how the company aims to speed up delivery for shoppers and make its services more compelling. Though Australians have shopped on Amazon’s international websites for years, the US retail giant opened an Australian operation in December. The company set up a massive distribution warehouse on the outskirts of Melbourne city, on the country’s east coast where four-fifths of the 24 million population live. The decision to launch FBA in the world number 12 economy is a show of Amazon’s confidence in its main delivery partner, government service Australian Post, which has so far struggled to meet Amazon’s shipping time estimates in hard-to-reach parts of the vast country.

Amazon said its FBA service saved businesses time “as they will no longer need to individually purchase shipping materials, individually pack orders, and make multiple trips to the post office”. According to a news on March 23, 2018, Amazon Australia has hit 10,000 sellers on its Australian marketplace since launching in December. According to an article by data analytics firm Marketplace Pulse, this has doubled in size from 5,000 sellers in January. The firm attributes the rise to a change in policy, with Amazon initially requiring approval to sell on its platform. The move has increased the share of sellers shipping from China to more than half. Marketplace Pulse data indicates 70 new sellers join in Australia every day, with more than 50,000 sellers expected by the end of the year.

 

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