'Let’s Make History!': Internal email hints Amazon’s Thursday test launch in Australia

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An Amazon logo is seen on a worker's jacket at an Amazon Fulfilment Center in Wroclaw, Poland, in this file photograph dated December 3, 2015. Reuters/Kacper Pempel

Amazon’s full Australian offering will go live in time for Black Friday, an internal email suggests. The alleged email from the e-commerce giant sent to sellers on Tuesday supposedly includes details on marketing activities for the "soft launch" on Thursday.

Tech website Lifehacker has obtained the email, in which the company told Amazon Marketplace sellers to ready their pricing, stock and details for an “internal testing phase.”

“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.

The email also states that once sellers passed the Seller Identity Verification, they will become part of the testing phase and will receive orders onward. Amazon adds that it is excited to have sellers on board during the testing phase, urging them to “make history.”

The New Daily also reports an email from Amazon, said to include marketing activities such as an ice cream giveaway at Southern Cross Station in Melbourne. Retail consultant Scott Kilmartin confirmed that the retail giant's local arm is ready for business.

Kilmartin reportedly said that the Amazon Dandenong warehouse has already been inspected by the Country Fire Authority, which gave it the building clearance to operate. A number of items have popped up on the Australian site in recent weeks. These include electronic cables, dumbbells, alarm clocks and batteries, Business Insider reports.

Five hundred Aussie suppliers are expected to trade through the Marketplace. Information on the number of customers who will participate in the test is not immediately available.

Amazon has been silent on what products will be offered. Queensland University of Technology’s Dr Gary Mortimer predicted some items that will be on offer immediately. His predictions include sporting goods, clothing and electronics.

“It’s hard to tell [what will be sold] but I suspect what they will have on offer will be very similar to eBay today with categories and tabs like sporting goods, automotive, definitely clothing for ladies, children and men, electronics, sporting goods, footwear and accessories, homewares and furniture possibly, dry goods and bespoke ingredients and foods,” News.com.au reports Mortimer as saying.

Meanwhile, Euromonitor International analyst Hianyang Chan has noted that the retail giant’s Aussie launch could possibly be the moment when shopping behaviour in Australia swings towards e-commerce, adding that Amazon’s entry will  possibly spark off a much-needed increase in competition.

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