It’s officially Cyber Monday in the U.S. right now, which means if you want to get some serious bargains you should be checking out online retailers.
If the predictions are right, this will be the largest online shopping day in the history of the universe.
In 2015, consumers spent nearly $USD3 billion during Cyber Monday, which was up from $USD2.59 billion in 2014. This year, sales look set to top both those figures.
And although Black Friday is strictly a U.S thing, Cyber Monday can be enjoyed by everyone, provided that you can arrange shipping, which is the tricky part. There’s an awesome guide to Aussie Cyber Monday deals here.
But looks like Aussies will get lucky pretty soon. Word on the street is Amazon, the online retailing behemoth, is coming to Australia in 2017.
According to a report in the Australian Financial Review , the shopping colossus will be selling and distributing online from Australia by next September. In addition, they will be setting up physical stores in major areas.
Do you know what this means?
No more silly “this does not ship to your area” message, and no more cray shipping fees.
And by setting up Fulfillment Centres in specific locations, Amazon may give Aussies the holy grail of all online shopping: 2 day, or even same day delivery.
Just think: you click and within 48 hours your stuff arrives. What a time to be alive!
If you want to see how this is even possible, check out the real-world equivalent of Santa’s elves, the inside of an Amazon Fulfillment Centre. Even the name itself is full of promise: Fulfillment. They should have just called it the Dreams-Come-True Centre.
Before we get too excited though, we should also look at some of the side effects of Amazon invading our shores.
Like Uber, Amazon is a disruptor: an innovator that creates a new market for itself whilst disrupting an existing market.
So it’s a fancy way of saying “we stole your customers by doing it better/cheaper”.
Time recently reported on the struggles of brick-and-mortar stores to keep their doors open in the wake of Amazon’s success. And according to the Wall Street Journal, Amazon could own nearly 20 per cent of the US apparel market by 2020 (it owns 7 per cent of it now).
It would be great to get all this cheap online stuff in Australia, but the unintended consequences may be the death of many an Australian store. In fact, many Aussie stores are already bracing themselves, especially electronics retailers such as JB Hi-Fi and Harvey Norman.
But don’t take my word for it, according to Mashable, an unnamed Amazon staff member said “we are going to destroy the retail environment in Australia.” Yikes. Calm your farm, buddy.
Just a word of advice on PR too: saying you are going to destroy a nation’s retail environment isn’t probably the best way to endear yourself to the locals.
Don’t get me wrong, I love stuff and I am excited that Amazon is coming here, but I do worry about the consequences of releasing the retail Kraken upon the Australia economy. This time next year we’ll have a clearer idea of Amazon’s impact on Australia.
One thing is for sure: next Cyber Monday will be different.