Amazon is headed to Australia for an all-out retail offering.
“Amazon Web Services launched an Australian region in 2012, we launched a Kindle Store on Amazon.com.au in 2013, and we now have almost 1,000 employees in the country,” Amazon said in a statement. “The next step is to bring a retail offering to Australia, and we are making those plans now. We are excited to bring thousands of new jobs to Australia, millions of dollars in additional investment, and to empower small Australian businesses through Amazon Marketplace. We are optimistic that by focusing on the things we believe customers value most—low prices, vast selection, and fast delivery—over time we’ll earn the business of Australian customers.”
Visitors to Amazon.com.au are greeted with a message stating, “Amazon Marketplace is coming soon to Australia,” and it encourages sellers to sign up.
Amazon currently operates websites in 13 countries outside the United States. Australia will bring that to 14 beyond the U.S. For the full year, Amazon’s international net sales totaled $43.98 billion, up 24.2% from $35.42 billion in 2015, Amazon reported in February. International sales accounted for 32.3% of total sales in 2016, compared with 33.1% in 2015.
Amazon’s total net sales for 2016 were $136.00 billion, a 27.0% increase from $107.01 billion in 2015. Of that revenue, $94.67 billion stemmed from Amazon selling products itself to consumers, and those sales were up 19.4% year over year. The rest, $41.32 billion, came from commissions from outside merchants that sell on Amazon marketplaces, the Amazon Web Services cloud computing service and other smaller revenue sources. Those “net service sales,” as Amazon calls them, grew 49.0% year over year.
Amazon’s expansion into Australia will include its first fulfillment center there. It has not announced a location, however a warehouse is most likely to be near Sydney, Melbourne or Brisbane, which are Australia’s three largest cities, all located on the country’s eastern coast. Australia’s population is 24.2 million as of September 2016, according to data released in March by the Australian Bureau of Statistics, and those cities have a combined population of almost 12 million.
There are 20 Australian retailers in the Internet Retailer 2016 Asia 500 that have combined web sales of US$1.95 billion in 2015, according to Top500Guide.com. In Australia, 2015 online retail sales were $10.76 billion, up 14.4% from 2014.
Australian consumers were projected to spend US$24.85 billion in 2016 for online goods and services, up 11.8% from $22.23 billion in 2015, according to a report released in June 2016 from the Ecommerce Foundation, a nonprofit group founded by Ecommerce Europe that conducts research and studies related to e-commerce and provides benchmarks and reports on e-commerce facts and figures.
Some other Australia e-commerce facts from the Ecommerce Foundation include:
- Clothing is the leading product group sold online, followed by media and entertainment, and shoes and personal lifestyle goods.
- E-commerce accounts for 1.8% of the country’s gross domestic product.
- 12.6 million consumers, or 65% of the 19.5 million consumers age 15 and up, shop online.
- Mobile accounts for 20% of online sales.