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Amazon arrives in Australia

11 December 2017 - 09:33 by David Aiken

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Australia’s huge size has been a problem when it comes to promoting shopping online as an alternative to bricks and mortar retail. So the news that US e-commerce giant, Amazon, is setting up shop down under is seen as a suggestion that things are about to change.

BBC News reports that although Australian consumers had the option to make overseas purchases from Amazon, this move will see it enter the marketplace officially and root itself near Melbourne.

As well as making it easier and quicker for customers to get their hands on a huge range of products, this should also enable Amazon to sell items via safe shopping online more cheaply, which is likely to have an impact on other retailers that are already established domestically.

Around a tenth of the market is made up of online purchases in Australia at the moment, compared with close to a third in the UK. And as major investments are being made to boost broadband access and improve infrastructure across the country, now is seen as being the right time for Amazon to make its move.

Insiders are hopeful that another advantage of this launch will be that more people will be able to leverage the online marketplace functionality which will be made available to them, helping small businesses and individual sellers to connect with customers that would otherwise have been inaccessible to them.

In the days following the launch, there was some degree of criticism levelled against Amazon for not giving Australians quite as much choice in terms of the products which are available to them. Prices were also scrutinised, with claims that they are not as competitive as many had hoped.

It is early days for this firm in a new, prosperous nation but for Brits, it will still be a surprise that it has taken so long to arrive.