Online retail giant Amazon has finally hit Aussie shores, just in time for the mass shopping frenzy that is the month of December. Funny that. And if you're the kind of Christmas shopper that rates online stores over jam-packed shopping centres, well, amazon.com.au will most likely become your best mate during the festive season.
The just-launched local website features a huge range of products across a number of categories and it's promising quick and convenient delivery on all purchases.
So how will it work? Will it be heaps cheaper? Here's how Amazon's Australian presence will change the way you do your Christmas shopping.
YOU'LL BE ABLE TO ORDER (PRETTY MUCH) EVERYTHING IN ONE SPOT
While Amazon's Australian offering doesn't quite have the full gamut of services that it does elsewhere, the website boasts 'millions of products' across 20 categories — so it's still one seriously well-stocked online store. The lineup features well-known local brands, alongside smaller Aussie businesses and it's mind-blowingly broad. Find sports and outdoor equipment, video games, electronics, books, home improvement items, beauty products, tools, music, fashion, toys and Amazon's own devices, like the Kindle E-Reader and the Fire TV media streaming stick.
You can shop with the Amazon Shopping app or online at amazon.com.au. And, you can trawl the growing Amazon collection, track your orders and read customer product reviews all in the one place, rather than switching between windows and suppliers.
YOU'LL SAVE MONEY — BUT ONLY ON SOME THINGS
There's been plenty of talk about how Amazon's price points will be way lower than elsewhere on the interwebs. While there are pretty low prices across the site, you're not going to be scooping up the savings with every last item you click on. In fact, some may even be more expensive. Still, you might save a few dollars buying things like kitchen appliances, clothing and beauty products here, rather than from competitors or even direct from the brand's own online store.
But the really big wins are the ones you'll find in the technology department, where you can save yourself up to a couple of hundred dollars buying products like laptops, speakers and camera gear. We found a HP Laser Jet Pro printer for $666.95 on Amazon, which HP itself sells online for $899, while the Sonos Playbase speaker is going for $80 less than it is elsewhere. An online tools retailer is even selling a hydraulic rivet nut tool for a tidy $600 less as an Amazon seller than it is on its own website.
ORDERS WILL BE SHIPPED FROM MELBOURNE
In some metro areas of the US, Amazon offers free same-day delivery to its Prime members, made possible thanks to the huge collection of warehouses it has located throughout the country. Australia's currently got just the one Victorian fulfilment centre, but with Amazon's local expansion, we'll probably see delivery times shorten here as well. Although, it's hard to say how Amazon will be able to service Australia's vast spread.
Right now, shoppers will score free delivery on eligible orders over $49 that are sold by Amazon, which ain't too shabby at all. Orders will be packed and shipped from the company's new Melbourne fulfilment centre in Dandenong South, so they'll be in your hands pretty soon after purchase. One-day priority delivery — for a $9.99 to $19.99 fee, regardless of how much your order comes to — is even available in some parts of the country.