Welcome to the jungle

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Amazon Australia @2x

With all the hype surrounding the arrival of online retailer Amazon in Australia, today’s official website launch was meant to revolutionise the shopping experience as we know it.

But judging by the general reaction from Aussie shoppers, Amazon has a long way to go if it wants to be a major player in the Australian retail sector, with many left underwhelmed by the site’s lack of range and uncompetitive prices.

In terms of blue-ticket items like the iPhone 7 Plus 128GB, Amazon couldn’t match the price of its bricks-and-mortar competitor JB Hi-Fi ($1,375 compared to $1,199). Similarly, a GoPro Hero 5 camera, which goes for $499 at JB Hi-Fi, was priced at $560 on Amazon.

Even when moving down the price scale, Amazon was still found wanting. One particularly embarrassing oversight saw the company’s own Kindle Paperwhite e-reader going for $20 cheaper at Officeworks, $159 compared to $179.

The shopper’s paradise that we were all promised appears to be some way off. But if anyone can clear a path through the Australian retail jungle, the money’s still on Amazon.  Chris Prindiville