1. I used it last night to buy Christmas presents for family back in Australia and while the choice is not like our UK version, there was enough to start. Prices were mostly on par with other stores or cheaper. There were some stupidly expensive things though. I bought from a combination of Amazon and local retailers who are using Amazon as a secondary shopfront. There seems like there is a lot of random sellers – you have to go looking for real stores. The site is extremely fast which is more than what I can say about many other Australian online stores. Delivery is not Amazon style though – purchase on the 6th, deliver on the 11th – that’s the expedited service! Here it’s same day or next, but it’s only early days. I was satisfied mostly. It’s a bit like Amazon UK 10 years ago. One feature of the UK site missing from the AU one is being able to select deliver from Australia only. I believe there’s a heap of Chinese sellers on here and you can’t filter them out. Only when you get to the delivery stage and find it’s a couple of weeks away that you can identify the non-Australian sellers. With only a few weeks until Christmas they really need a way of alerting you to delivery times – other Amazon sites show, “Arrives before Christmas”. Pot luck with Amazon AU. Let’s see if the presents actually turn up! It was easier though than trawling through multiple slow, poorly designed online stores to find presents. Shame no Australian retailers beat them to the retailer as shopfront market idea. All they needed to do was steal the idea and no-one did until it’s too late (I believe Myer just launched one – 5 years too late!)

    1. Yes, several established retailers seemed to squander more effort over the past decade lobbying for import taxes and GST on online sales than they did getting ready to seriously compete online.

      (Go, King Canute, go!)

      But history shows you can never sustain old distribution and pricing models in the face of new and better models. You either find a way to compete sustainably, or you go out of business.

      I hope, for the sake of Australian employees and business owners, that the locals choose to step up to, compete and beat Amazon at their own game. As I blogged a few weeks ago (http://www.brandthropologist.net/less-lobbying-more-leveraging-how-australian-retailers-can-attack-the-amazon-octopus/) they *can* actually beat Amazon by leveraging their retail networks as both shipping and fulfillment centers, and providing real-time in-store offers that beat Amazon.

      A few retailers in the US are successfully doing this now. It’s a shame most established Australian retailers didn’t take advantage of the decade to get in the game.

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