Amazon Prime launches locally at a third of US cost

Josh McDonnell
By Josh McDonnell | 19 June 2018

Amazon Prime has officially entered the Australian market, launching its Prime delivery service today, at a heavily discounted cost.

As an introductory offer, Australian users will pay less than a third of the cost compared to US users.

Starting with a 30-day free trial, the Prime service will only cost local users $4.99 a month, where US users pay approximately $17.50. However, from January 31, 2019, the service will go up to $6.99.

The launch follows Amazon's announcment that it plans to stop Australian users ordering from the US site.

Now, when users attempt to enter an Australian address on the Amercian site, Amazon will block the option to complete the order.

Users have previously been using the US site to access products unavailable locally and to avoid Australian sales tax.

Members of Amazon Prime receive benefits including free fast shipping, streaming of movies, TV shows and music, exclusive shopping deals, unlimited reading and more.

A key benefit of being a Prime member is the two-day shipping option, available in all metro regions, excluding Darwin, as well as free standard international delivery on orders over $49.

Prime expedited delivery reaches nearly 90% of Australians in two business days, with more cities, towns and suburbs being added over time.

“We hope that Australians will love free two business day delivery on products from Amazon Australia and free international delivery on products from Amazon US, all available to customers on Amazon.com.au,” Amazon Prime International VP Jamil Ghani says.

“We are really proud to bring Australians the most extensive set of Prime benefits at launch for any country - ever. This is just the beginning for Prime in Australia, as we will keep making Prime better, adding even more selection and benefits.”

Some users have been less than impressed with the Amazon Australia offering.

On last week's episode of The Gruen Transfer, host Wil Anderson pointed out a smattering of comments and negative reviews all relating to the significant lack of product, compared to the US site.

Amazon Prime video users have full access to the range of 'Prime Original' series', which includes Goliath, Sneaky Pete and Transparent.

The new service shows how Amazon continues to make its mark in Australia following its moves into content streaming and voice automation. In March this year Aussie brands including Airtasker, Hipages, Seek, Energy Australia, Qantas and NAB were quick to ink a deal with Amazon Alexa, as the technology became available nationwide from February.

Media companies such as SBS, News Corp, REA, Ten News, Sky News and Fox Sports are also getting on board with the new voice-based interaction platform, which rivals Google Home.

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