For years, many Australians have only been able to window-shop at Amazon.
Now, the Australian iteration of Amazon Marketplace has seemingly launched in the country on Thursday afternoon, although it’s a very, very soft launch at that.
Rumours were abound that Amazon would launch its Australian store on Thursday at 2 p.m., leaving shoppers (but let’s face it, mainly journalists) ready to check out the so-called next revolution in shopping.
There was slight confusion, as the alleged launch time was dated for Australian Eastern Standard Time (AEST). Most of eastern Australia, except Queensland, is currently on daylight savings time (AEDT).
But as the clock ticked, Amazon Australia’s website remained unchanged from its bookstore frontpage.
While a random assortment of products like phone cases, printer accessories and an $82,000 hot tub boat started showing up on the site, they remained unpurchasable.
People were left a little disappointed.
Unfortunately for shoppers, it appears like they may have to wait until Friday to get their Amazon fix.
After all, it was only in April the world’s largest internet retailer confirmed it would expand its operations in Australia.
Since then, there has been a close eye on Amazon’s movements in the country, alongside (very valid) fears from Australian retailers that the company’s expansion would wreak havoc on local business.
While the world’s largest internet retailer had a presence locally for some time, it was primarily to sell Kindle ebooks and Audible audiobooks.
If Australians wanted to buy from Amazon, often they turned to third-party shipping services, which added slightly longer shipping and processing times.
With Amazon’s first Australian warehouse in Victoria’s Dandenong South, Australians should have access to the purported advantages (same day shipping, selection etc.) that have made the retailer stand out.
Another touted advantage, is price. The “Australia tax” is a term used to explain the higher cost of goods and services paid by people in the country, but it’s still a matter of wait and see if Amazon makes any difference in this space.
It’s still very much day one for Amazon’s Australian outpost. Then again, as CEO Jeff Bezos has pushed to his employees, it’s “always” day one at Amazon.