Work hard, have fun, make history. Started on July 5, 1994, at Seattle, Washington, Amazon is an American electronic commerce and cloud computing company. They are the largest internet retailer in the world, and second after Alibaba Group of companies in terms of total sales. Amazon started as just an online bookseller then progressed to sell video downloads/ streaming.
Now, Amazon offers a wide variety of products and services, from apparels, baby products, consumer electronics, beauty products, gourmet food, groceries, health and personal-care items, industrial and scientific supplies, kitchen items, jewelry, watches, lawn and garden items, musical instruments, sporting goods, tools, automotive items and toys and games.
Amazon Maritime, Inc., Audible.com, Beijing Century Joyo Courier Services, Brilliance Audio, ComiXology, Goodreads, Shelfari, Twitch and Whole Foods Market are the subsidiaries of Amazon. Amazon attracted over 130 million customers to the website last 2016 that is why Amazon has invested heavily on a massive amount of capacity server for the website to accommodate the traffic during Christmas season.
Amazon has localized retailers, which vary in selection and prices, they are separated through the top level domain and the country code. Amazon has separate retail website in other countries such as in China, India, Japan, Singapore, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Spain, United Kingdom, Canada, Mexico, United States, Australia and Brazil.
But today is a tough day for other retailers in Australia because Amazon has finally launched its official website after months of speculation and a few failures and it’s the season of Christmas frenzy! In November, Amazon has notified their resellers that it would start as an internal selling testing phase with a small number of customers.
Amazon promised Australia with 23 categories, one-day shipping and the promise of Prime. Amazon Australia is offering the 23 product categories including Kindle and Fire TV, offers Amazon Marketplace for 3rd party resellers, Australia wide delivery, free delivery on orders over AU $49, 1 business day delivery to eastern metro for AU $9.99, 1-2 business day delivery to Perth for AU $11.99, prime shipping from mid-2018, Amazon Alexa voice-assistant and Echo speaker launching early 2018 and delivery through a number of logistics partners.
Local retailers will see the impact of Amazon, experts suggest Amazon will aim to undercut Australian retailers by 30 percent. With nine out of 10 Australian households online, internet shopping is projected to be worth AU $1.4billion by 2022. Amazon has been selling e-books in Australia since 2013. With a warehouse outside Melbourne and some offices in Sydney, Melbourne, Perth, Brisbane and Canberra, the company will definitely create thousands of jobs and invests hundreds of millions of dollars in Australia.
Thousands of Australian brands have already signed up with Amazon to sell their products or services locally and internationally. Amazon Australia’s country manager, Rocco Braeuniger, said the company will add more products and services regularly. Amazon which had Amazon Web Services since 2012, now employs more than 1000 people. Earlier this year, Amazon confirmed it was setting up its first Australian fulfilment in Melbourne’s Dandenong South. The company recently purchased 2.11 hectares of land in Sydney’s southwest, with speculation that it could be the location of a smaller NSW fulfilment centre. As stated by Chicago economist and Freakonomics author, Steven Levitt, “I sure would not want to be a local business having to compete with Amazon. Amazon is brutal. They are good at what they do. If I were a business owner, I’d be trying to think about how to work with Amazon as opposed trying to fight them.”
The company’s arrival in Australia has put some retail industry to shake up, with predictions that Amazon Australia would put price pressure on department stores and retail chains. Although Harvey Norman, founder of Gerry Harvey, said that his retail chain would seek to match prices with Amazon Australia if it provided consistently lower prices on some goods and not just bait advertising on selected items.
A pre-Christmas opening means plenty of Australians will start clicking as the season of Christmas heats up. Although the launching is still fresh and the hype is still strong, it will remain if shoppers will stick around for the long haul.