Online giant Amazon is set to throw open its doors for Australian business this week with the retailer sending an email to suppliers requesting them to be ready for a soft launch of Amazon Marketplace.
Lifehacker reports that the email was sent to sellers on Tuesday afternoon calling for them to be ready to fulfil orders by 2pm AEST Thursday, November 23, at which point the internal testing phase of Marketplace would be implemented.
“As your products will be able to be purchased, please make sure your pricing and stock is up-to-date,” Amazon wrote.
Amazon signed off the email with the phrase, “let’s make history!’.
The leaked email follows weeks of local speculation that the Australian Marketplace would be ready to launch on Black Friday (November 24).
It is not yet known which third-party merchants will be active for the launch.
With the entry of Amazon, the Online Shopping industry in Australia is expected to grow at a 13.5% annually over the next five years to reach projected sales of $20.1 billion.
Whilst Australian consumers are welcoming the launch of Amazon Marketplace, the looming opening is sending tremors through the retail sector.
Department stores and electronic goods retailers are expected to be the hardest hit by Amazon’s arrival.
“Amazon’s imminent arrival into the Australian market is set to shake up the retail sector,” said Kim Do, Senior Industry Analyst for IBISWorld.
“The company intends to challenge domestic retail prices by offering items for 30% less than domestic retailers. This is expected to appeal to price-conscious Australian consumers and is likely to affect local retailers that have found it difficult to adjust to a shift in consumer spending behaviour over the past five years.
“Technology products are anticipated to be the highest selling category for Amazon, which will disrupt the electronic goods industry. Australian consumers are particularly price-savvy when it comes to electronic goods, and will often compare prices across multiple retailers to find the best value. As a result, Amazon is expected to take market share away from local electronic goods retailers such as JB Hi-Fi and Harvey Norman,” said Do.
Do suggested rather than fear the arrival of the shopping behemoth, retailers need to embrace the shift in consumer buying behaviour and expand their online footprint.
Amazon’s arrival can also be seen as an opportunity for existing Australian retailers, with the online retailing giant expected to help drive innovation relating to digital transformation, logistics optimisation and multichannel platforms.