Amazon launches Prime in Australia
Amazon launched its Prime service in Australia today, giving most Australians access to free two-day shipping, Prime Video and a number of other perks. A subscription will cost AU$59 (approximately $44) per year — as opposed to the US price of $119 — a discounted rate that takes into account a smaller selection of goods and higher prices. Amazon just launched in the country last December.
Prime comes just ahead of a new policy that will prevent Australian customers from shopping on other countries’ Amazon sites. The country has instituted a new law that requires retailers to collect goods and services tax on products shipped to Australia from abroad. And in response, Amazon has chosen to restrict Australian residents to its Australian website starting July 1st.
Amazon’s Australian site has around 60 million products, far fewer than the US’ 500 million. With Prime, Australians will have access to approximately 4 million items sold on the US site that they won’t have to pay shipping for as long as orders total more than AU$49. Amazon says around 90 percent of Australians will have access to two-day delivery. You can see a full list of regions that qualify here and they include metro areas such as Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth and Adelaide. Non-metro areas that don’t qualify for free two-day delivery will have access to an expedited three- to five-day delivery option for no additional charge.
Amazon is offering a free trial as well as a monthly payment option. Until the end of January, users can get Prime for AU$5 per month and after that the fee will increase to AU$7 per month.
Amazon is still struggling to outperform its competitors in Australia since its launch in December last year, particularly after it upset customers by banning them from using its US and UK sites.
Roy Morgan Research revealed today it has half the number of monthly visits compared with eBay, and Gumtree, which is also owned by eBay, is the second most popular site.
“Nine and a half million people at least look at an eBay website in a month, that’s followed by Gumtree at about five and a half million,” Michele Levine said.
“Amazon comes in at four point six million.”
Experts said Amazon needs to drive membership sales in order to survive in Australia.