After much speculation, Amazon has all but confirmed it will launch in Australia before Christmas.
Speaking to a crowd of around 600 at the Marketplace Sellers Summit on Monday, Amazon’s Australian country manager Rocco Braeuniger said the company is getting “really, really, really close” to launch.
Some analysts expect the e-commerce giant will be up-and-running in time to take advantage of the major shopping events, Black Friday and Cyber Monday, which will occur on 24 November and 27 November.
Braeuniger also revealed that the company will launch its first-party retail offering and third-party Marketplace simultaneously. This means that some products on offer will be sold by the e-commerce giant, which buys the items directly from suppliers and manufacturers and sets its own prices.
Other products will be sold by third-party sellers through Amazon Marketplace. While sellers typically control the price and delivery of items sold on Marketplace, Amazon has recently taken steps to discount prices on items sold through Marketplace with a ‘Discount provided by Amazon’ feature.
Globally, more than half of products sold on Amazon are sold through the company’s 12 – soon-to-be 13 – Marketplaces.
Amazon has not revealed which product categories it will offer at launch, but conversations with registered Marketplace sellers at the event on Monday indicate a wide range.
Internet Retailing spoke to business owners selling stationery products, skincare, health and beauty products, apparel and footwear, baby products and technology products, who confirmed they will sell through Marketplace when it launches in Australia.
Representatives from Sussan Group and Bendon Lingerie were also at the event.
According to Braeuniger, “many thousands” of sellers are registered to sell through Marketplace in Australia.
And Fabio Bertola, head of Amazon Marketplace in Australia, added that hundreds of these sellers are ready to launch, meaning their products have been listed in Seller Central, Amazon’s seller dashboard, and their stock is ready to ship.
Sellers have confirmed that Seller Central now appears to be fully operational, though the dashboard was rife with broken links and missing information for several months.
Nathan Huppatz, co-founder of Costumes.com.au said sellers can now set up domestic and international shipping options, including pricing based on different factors, such as order value and weight.
Delivery time-frames appear to be in line with what is currently available through Australia Post, with 3-5-day standard shipping and 1-2-day express shipping. Delivery on items shipped from Amazon’s own warehouse may be different.
However, sellers still appear unable to access Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA), Amazon’s warehousing and delivery service.
Despite spruiking FBA at the event, Amazon has not confirmed when FBA will be available in Australia. Registered sellers have been instructed to prepare to self-fulfil their orders at launch, indicating it won’t be be available for some time. Braeuniger said this is in line with the company’s rollout in other markets.
“As with other launches, in Europe for instance, you have seen we have launched with a wide selection, with great services, many product lines, many delivery options, and great prices. And then over time we even build on this. We expand the selection further, we add additional features, services and programs. And we want to do the very same here in Australia,” he said.
Besides FBA, these services include Amazon Prime, the program that gives members access to fast and free shipping for an annual fee of US$99. Currently, only Amazon Prime Video, a streaming service, is available in Australia.
This story first appeared on sister site, Internet Retailing.