Amazon Prime Australia is going to be a huge win for online shoppers when it arrives; think free shipping, access to Amazon Prime Video and Amazon Prime Music - even unlimited storage.
Amazon Prime is one of the most popular features of Amazon in other parts of the world, and with the likes of two-hour, same-day and even in-car deliveries bundled up in a feature-packed membership, it's been a game changer to the way people shop online and go about life.
So now that Amazon is making its presence increasingly felt here in Australia, what does Amazon Prime mean for Australians? And what exactly will we get out of it?
Let's take a look at all things Amazon Prime...
What is Amazon Prime?
Amazon Prime is a subscription service currently available in 11 countries: USA, Canada, UK, Italy, France, Spain, Germany, Austria, Mexico, India and Japan. It's a subscription that goes beyond online shopping perks - it's a lifestyle package.
Features vary by country, but can include free and (very) fast shipping, video streaming, data storage and unlimited music access to name a few, and the benefits of the package tend to far outweigh the monthly or annual fees. That is why millions upon million of people around the world see Amazon Prime as a household staple.
But Amazon Prime is not a local service in Australia. Yet.
Why is there no "Amazon Prime Australia"?
Many speculate that the absense of Amazon Prime Australia at this stage has to do with shipping and logistics.
Fast and FREE shipping is probably the most enticing feature of a Prime subscription, and it seems as though it's something still being nutted out by Amazon and Australian companies. We are already seeing FREE shipping on orders over $49 for eligible products, but there may still be a way to go to match the speed and efficiency of Prime deliveries in other countries.
What we do have is access to Prime Video, which is a component of Amazon Prime in other countries.
Should Australians subscribe to Amazon Prime in another country?
Most people would say no.
For starters, free shipping does not apply to international addresses, so unless you have an address in that country, you will not enjoy any of the shipping benefits - and the shipping perks are a huge drawcard for Prime overall.
Furthermore, with regards to Prime Video, which is a popular component of a Prime subscription, you may encounter geographic restrictions, making content inaccessible and limited.
All the more reason why we need Prime in Australia, right?
What is Amazon Prime Video Australia and how do I access it?
Prime Video is a low-cost, content-rich video streaming service which is bundled into the Amazon Prime membership in other countries, as well as being available separately.
Australians can still access Prime Video for as little as $4 per month (US$2.99) for the first six months.
To join, all you need to do is navigate to Shop By Department, and select Amazon Prime Video. You'll be directed to the US landing page of Prime Video where you can sign up directly.
What are the benefits of Prime Video?
Mainly the cost - it's cheap. Compared to Netflix and Stan, Prime Video Australia is arguably the most affordable option for on-demand video streaming in Australia.
But, while Amazon Prime Video boasts a collossal library of content, there are reports of geo-blocking in Australia, so the amount of quality viewing may be less than local streaming services, or Netflix.
The best way to find out if it works for you is to trial Prime Video for FREE. If you love it, you'll be getting on-demand streaming for a bargain. And who knows, with Netflix stealing so many hearts, Amazon may have to up the offerings sometime soon.
What's included in the Amazon Prime subscription in the US?
As mentioned above, Amazon Prime really is a lifestyle package, and it's put Amazon into millions of homes in some way, shape or form. For many Prime users, particularly online shoppers, it would be hard to imagine life without the benefits of the subscription.
In the US, Amazon Prime costs US$99 per year - here's what's included:
- FREE two-day shipping on Prime-eligible items
- FREE same-day and on-day shipping on Prime-eligible items (with at least $35 in your cart)
- FREE two-hour delivery (Amazon Prime Now) on grocery, food and home goods
- FREE release-date deliveries for new-realease mucis, games, videos etc
- Amazon Key In-Car Delivery for select car models
- Amazon Key in-Home Delivery in select cities
- Amazon Prime Vide
- Amazin Prime Music
- FREE Prime Reading with access to over 1000 Kindle books and works
- FREE unlimited photo storage
- Twitch Prime (gaming)
What will be included in Amazon Prime Australia once it arrives?
By all accounts, and judging from the similarity of Prime features between countries, here's our guess as to what Amazon Prime might include for Australia:
- FREE two-day shipping
- FREE same-day shipping (most likely metro areas)
- FREE release-date deliveries
- FREE unlimited photo storage
- Amazon Prime Video (already available)
- Amazon Prime Music
- FREE Prime Reading
- Twitch Prime
How much is Amazon Prime likely to cost in Australia once it arrives?
That's a tricky one, and it really is anybody's guess at this point.
Amazon Prime in the UK is £79 annually (approximately AU$142), while Amazon Prime in India is Rs. 999 per year (approximately AU$19); this indicates just how much pricing can vary between countries.
Australia is a large country with high shipping costs, and for that reason we expect to see Amazon Prime Australia priced towards the higher end of the scale.
Will it still be worth it? We think so!
When will Amazon Prime be available in Australia?
By all accounts, it's looking like the middle of 2018 at the earliest.
As mentioned above, Australians already have access to Prime Video, so we're on our way.
But it's the shipping perks we're really holding out for.
Will you be joining Amazon Prime when it arrives in Australia? Give us your thoughts in the comments below.