Amazon is gearing up for a retail assault on Australian soil with a test launch of its local site to go ahead this Thursday before going fully live on Friday to coincide with the Black Friday sales.
Brace yourselves…and your bank accounts
In a leaked e-mail obtained by Lifehacker, the American shopping giant has reportedly told local third-party sellers to have their pricing, stock and product details ready for an “internal testing phase” which commences in 24 hours.
“Dear Seller, to prepare for the launch of the Amazon Marketplace in Australia we will start an internal testing phase with a small number of customers on Thursday 23 November 2017, 2pm AEST,” the email reads.
“Once you have passed Seller Identity Verification you will be part of this testing phase and you should be prepared to receive orders from this point onward…We are very excited to have you on board during this testing phase. Let’s Make History!”
To get people talking, Amazon is also planning to tie in an ice-cream based marketing campaign.
One of the country’s staunchest critics of Amazon’s arrival is also one of its biggest competitors. Gerry Harvey who is the founding CEO of the Harvey Norman stores said that they will counter Amazon’s arrival by leveraging the strengths of its bricks and mortar showrooms and online stores to match or beat the prices offered by American retail giant.
“To get out there and open now shows how dumb they are – they will make so many mistakes if they do this.”
“It’s not a simple case of Amazon coming in and eating our lunch – we’ll be the most formidable competitor they’ve ever seen,” Harvey told shareholders at the annual meeting in Sydney last week.
“If it gets rough we have a war chest much greater than any of our competitors in this space and we will be the last man standing.”
Harvey even went as far as calling Amazon “idiots” if they went ahead with the launch of its retail products and services before Christmas. He argued this point on the basis of local consumer knowledge and the fact that Amazon was running out of time when compared to other online businesses who usually close up by mid-December as consumers are too concerned about buying and receiving their deliveries late.
“They should be opening in February or March,” Harvey continued. “To get out there and open now shows how dumb they are – they will make so many mistakes if they do this.”
“It makes no sense, it’s just crazy. Every time they do something wrong guess who will do something about it – they are our No. 1 target.” Harvey also revealed in the meeting that Harvey Norman’s suppliers would not be supplying Amazon with any goods.
For the moment there is no data on how many customers will partake in the soft launch although there will be five hundred Australian suppliers trading in the marketplace from opening day with Amazon officials remaining tight-lipped on what kind of products will be listed for sale.
Earlier reports from Business Insider have identified products such as H.P. laptops alongside AmazonBasics own range of electronic cables, linen, dumbbells, alarm clocks and batteries. Sporting goods have also been slated to join the fray once the site officially launches.
In the interim, you can keep an eye on Amazon’s Twitter feed for any official announcements.
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