Aussies will have almost three days to take advantage of Amazon Prime Day this year, as the e-commerce giant looks to drive subscriptions with low prices and free international shipping.
Unveiling details of its annual sale yesterday, Amazon said it has extended the event to two-days, and thrown in an extra 17 hours for Australian customers for good measure.
The event will kick off on July 15 with all the usual deals on offer, including heavy discounts on Amazon’s own products.
While an extended timeline will undoubtedly drive more sales, it also underscores the importance of this year’s event for the company in Australia.
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Amazon’s entry into the Australian market 18 months ago was more splash than wave, as local executives adopted a cautious approach to expansion.
But the launch offering and the current one are worlds apart, with the subsequent local launches of Prime, fulfilment by Amazon, and Alexa/Echo products rounding out its tried-and-tested subscription ecosystem model.
The changes, alongside a ramp-up in local marketing spend, have been paying off, with ASIC disclosures revealing Amazon Australia’s revenue skyrocketed 1,500% to $292 million in 2018.
“Starting to gain momentum”
Retail expert Pippa Kulmar of Retail Oasis says the company is “starting to gain momentum” in Australia and is approaching Prime Day 2019 as an opportunity to establish its evolved offer in the minds of consumers.
“It’s all about trying to get Australians into the Amazon family,” Kulmar says.
“They can afford to lose money, because it’s ultimately about the longer term value of customers.”
But Kulmar isn’t confident 2019 will be Amazon’s breakout year for Prime Day Down Under, saying the company is likely to try and make a bigger mark on the local retail landscape next year.
“At the moment, you’ve got early adopters or people who know Prime in the US, but I think people here are yet to understand the full value,” she says.
“It will take two to three years to become a really big thing.”
Amazon Australia country manager Rocco Braeuniger, however, appeared enthused in a media statement circulated yesterday, saying last year’s event was the company’s biggest day in Australia since its launch.
“This year will be even bigger, with Prime members Down Under not only being the first in the world to have access to Prime Day, but also having the longest Prime Day event worldwide,” he said.
“Use it to move old or end-of-line stock”
But, proximity to end of financial year (EOFY) sales raises questions for both sellers and consumers, particularly as margin pressures remain prevalent for many SME retailers.
Costumes.com.au boss Nathan Huppatz says the platform has yet to gain considerable market share locally, which could temper seller expectations.
“I could imagine some sellers might not find a lot of time and effort to put into the sale, others could do well out of it,” he tells SmartCompany.
“Even though Amazon is still relatively small here, Prime Day is part of their long term strategy to grow their share.
“It makes sense for retailers looking to reduce stock at EOFY to get involved, but I wouldn’t be using it as any form of customer acquisition — Amazon has their grips on the customer,” he says.
“Use it to move old or end of line stock.”