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Amazon will probably launch its online retail and marketplace offering in Australia ahead of the spending season. Speaking at the "Amazon Marketplace Seller Summit" in Sydney on Monday, Amazon Australia head, Rocco Braeuniger said, "Let me tell you we are getting really, really close." Amazon's entry in Australia will surely hurt electronics retailers like JB Hi-Fi and department stores like Myer and David Jones.
Amazon shares more details of Australian launch
Braeuniger, however, did not give a specific date of the launch of the service in the country. Many analysts, however, believe that the company would start taking orders before Christmas, while some expect the launch to be around Black Friday or Cyber Monday shopping events on Nov. 24 and 27.
Under the retail model, Amazon will manage the entire steps including buying the products from the suppliers, deciding on the price and managing deliveries. Under the "Amazon marketplace" model, the third party can display their products on the company's websites and decide on their own prices, a strategy that sounds similar to eBay. Apart from this, the retailers would also take care of shipping and delivery.
Amazon stated that for now retailers will be able to access the Australian marketplace through invitation. Shoppers in Australia can already buy Amazon products, but a local warehouse will trim the shipping cost. "We will be focusing on listening to the Australian customer, inventing on behalf of the Australian customer, [and] delivering a great customer experience," Braeuniger said.
The retailer also talked about how the online shopping service will work when it will go live. Retailers would be required to pay a monthly fee of $49.95 plus tax to Amazon to sell their product on the website. This would allow retailers to list as many products as they want. In addition, Amazon will take between 6% and 15% of the selling price based on the category of the products.
Amazon Australia - how is it approaching the launch?
Amazon did not reveal its specific plans, but it seems they are working to establish a local customer base before coming up with products like the fast-delivery subscription service, Prime Now, or the fresh food delivery, Amazon Fresh.
It is not known what products Amazon Australia would sell direct to the customers, but analysts say that the company has signed on several major product wholesalers. In October, the U.S. firm said that about 500 Australian businesses have already registered to sell through the marketplace.
Back in August, the company stated that it bought a distribution warehouse in Australia's Melbourne area. As of now, the company is converting that 24,000-square-meter warehouse in Dandenong South, in Melbourne's outer east, into its first Australian fulfillment center, according to the Sydney Morning Herald .
Amazon performed better than expected in the last quarter, posting $43.7 billion in revenue. For the upcoming quarter, the company forecasts revenue between $56 billion and $60.5 billion, hoping blockbuster sales during the Christmas quarter and a possible Australian launch, would push sales up by 28% to 38% from the same time last year.
On Friday, Amazon shares closed down 0.33% at $1,125.35. Year to date, the stock is up over 50%, while in the last three months, it is up over 16%.
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