Amazon readying for Prime launch, but has a ‘long way to go’ in Australia

Despite its massive foothold in various international markets, e-commerce giant Amazon has conceded there is a long way to go before it becomes a behemoth locally.

Country manager for Australia Rocco Bräuniger, however, said Amazon is working very hard, with the company also confirming it is gearing up for the launch of the premium Prime service – a subscription which gives consumers exclusive benefits such as faster delivery, shopping deals and content streaming – in Australia.

Bräuniger (right) said Amazon is bringing a lot of innovation to Australia

Russ Grandinetti, senior vice president of international consumer for Amazon said the number one request from consumers was about the timeline of the Prime launch.

“We are going to launch Prime. I don’t have any news to report about it other than we are working hard on it, it will come soon.”

Grandinetti said the company’s success in Australia was assured so long as consumers woke up everyday wanting faster, cheaper and better products – something which he said is a given.

“The good thing [about planning and making decisions for the five to seven-year time time frame ahead] is there are things that you know will endure for that time. So in the consumer business, consumers always want more choice, they always want better prices, they always want faster service,” he said.

“So those things, you’re not going to wake up with customers saying ‘Can you give me less choice, and can you do it slower, and can I pay more?’”

Grandinetti: Australian Amazon launch was huge

He also said despite some negative press reports and consumer sentiment about how the Australian launch compared to international iterations of the service, the local effort was a success.

“The reactions from customers was extremely strong. Our launch in Australia was the largest order volume on a first-day country launch that we had in our company history, which is extremely gratifying,” he said.

Bräuniger said since launch, the company has been investing heavily in the Australian market.

We launched in Australia [four to four and a half months ago] and there is still a long way to go. Like internationally we heard about Amazon Go, we have Prime, and we’ve already announced Prime is going to come to Australia, and Echo is another device which we’ve got. And we’re really, really working hard, and bringing a lot of innovation here, expanding the collection and making the customer experience for the Australian shoppers, for the Australian customers much better. And Alexa is actually a really good example, which was a really big hit,” he said.


Kate Burleigh, managing director of ANZ Amazon Alexa Skills also took to the stage at the Amazon Innovation Day to talk about the voice product’s growth in the local market after its “meteoric rise” in America, and told audiences we are on the cusp of a voice-led revolution.

“Already we’ve had such excitement in this market for the potential that Alexa can bring into our homes,” she said.


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