As the world’s largest online retailer, Amazon has already managed to find success outside of North America, including countries like the UK, Germany, and Japan. But now it seems the company’s next target is Australia, a country that has yet to fully embrace online shopping, and where physical retail stores still dominate consumers’ shopping habits.
Bloomberg reports that Amazon is now “actively looking” for warehouse space in Australia in advance of it’s starting business there. But the publication notes that the company will have a very hard time replicating its system of ordering online followed by rapid delivery. This is in part due to Australia’s sparse population combined with the fact that there can be much larger distances between cities than Amazon is used to in the US, upping the costs of shipping and deliveries.
Australians also haven’t quite taken to online shopping as much as similar nations. Data from Euromonitor International shows that internet sales in Australia made up less than 8% of all retailing in 2016, compared to more than 10% in the US; and it’s far below countries like South Korea, China, and the UK, where online shopping mades up 15% or more of retail sales.
While this initial outlook may not seem great, it’s no guarantee that Amazon won’t be able to find success. At this point it simply means they have their work cut out and they’re in for learning experiences. The company hasn’t said when or where it will open its Australian retail stores, and analysts predict Amazon Prime will be offered in some of the country’s biggest cities including Sydney, Melbourne, and Brisbane.