Amazon appears set for a soft launch in Australia today, according to anonymous sources.
The e-commerce giant sent an email to some Marketplace sellers in Australia, instructing them to prepare to receive orders from 2pm AEST on Thursday, 23 November.
Internet Retailing has viewed the email, which indicates select customers will be able to make purchases starting on Thursday afternoon.
It is now understood that these customers will be local Amazon employees. However, sellers have been instructed to fulfil the orders as normal.
Anonymous sources said sellers that are not yet ready to transact have been told to make their account inactive.
Commenting on the imminent launch, Hianyang Chan, senior research analyst at Euromonitor International said “Amazon’s entry might be the moment when shopping behaviour in Australia swings decisively towards e-commerce. Internet retailing might only currently account for a small percentage of total retail sales.
“However, the entry of Amazon will very possibly spark off a much needed increased in competition that will bring both opportunities and threat for existing retailers.
“The online retailing giant is expected to not only offer competitive pricing across a wide range of products but also enhance customer’s online shopping experience.
“This disruption will likely force current retailers to better leverage their relationship with their customers, strive to offer a more exclusive range and further innovate to improve their services and product offerings to better entice consumers.
“It will be vital for retailers to embrace the changing dynamics, step out of their comfort zone and chart their own way forward or risk being left behind.”
Internet Retailing is an Octomedia publication.