Amazon expands offering in Australia

Amazon5Amazon is steadily expanding its offering in Australia, with the launch of two new product categories in as many days.

The e-commerce giant on Tuesday announced that it had entered the automotive space, offering parts and accessories, car care and maintenance, oils and fluids, tools and equipment, lighting and more from top brands, such as Castrol and Thule Rhino Rack.

On Wednesday, it revealed a new range of hundreds of thousands of pet supplies, including accessories, beds, carriers and travel products, grooming products, toys, care items and food. Whiskas, Frontline and Purina are among the big-name brands now available on Amazon.

This brings the retailer’s total range to 24 categories and over 60 million products, up significantly from the 20 categories and hundreds of thousands of products that were on the site at launch in December 2017.

Amazon positioned the launch of pet supplies in particular as a key move into a category that has seen increased spending in recent years.

“We know how much Australians love their pets and how they are forever searching for ways to both spoil and take extra special care of them on a daily basis,” Rocco Braeuniger, Amazon Australia’s country manager, said.

However, a July 2017 report from UBS suggests that automotive and pet supplies retailers, such as Supercheap Auto and Petbarn, may not have cause for alarm, since these sectors are less susceptible to online competition.

The report cites a UBS Evidence Lab survey in the US, which found that shoppers spent a smaller proportion of their total spend on auto parts online in 2016 compared to 2015 and a decrease in the percentage of shoppers who report regularly shopping online for their purchases.

The report also suggests that Greencross Limited, which owns Petbarn, is relatively insulated from new competitive threats, given its recent integration of bricks-and-mortar stores with its vet clinics and the fact that food products are typically purchased offline.
In addition, recent research from Starcom has revealed that consumer sentiment towards Amazon has become increasingly positive, after many consumers expressed disappointment in the range and price of Amazon’s initial offering.

The research firm found that 88 per cent of social media mentions of Prime Day were positive during June and July, and positive sentiment towards the company improved to 72 per cent post-Prime Day.

“In the digital age, it is more tempting than ever to take a short-term view, to elevate the importance of immediate consumer actions above long-term brand building,” Conroy said.

“Our research has found that Australians are increasingly positive towards Amazon, are thinking differently about Amazon and visit the site with a shopping mission in mind.”

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