Nine in ten Australians said they will purchase from Amazon Australia if it delivers on its lofty promises, according to a study commissioned by parcel delivery service, CouriersPlease.

The results of an independent survey of 1,001 Australian adults who have shopped online at least three times in the last six months showed 90 per cent of Australian online shoppers think they will purchase from the e-commerce giant if it fulfils its promise to deliver low prices, vast selection and fast delivery.

The survey initially explored whether online shoppers currently prefer purchasing from retailers that specialise in a single category (such as fashion or technology) over online ‘marketplaces’, where they can shop across multiple categories from the same site. More respondents (58 per cent) admitted they prefer to shop from a specialist online retailer than a marketplace (just 42 percent of respondents).

However, when told that Amazon in Australia will focus on providing low prices, vast selection, and fast delivery, 90 percent of respondents said they would shop from Amazon.

This is where the alarm bells are ringing for the AFA when it comes to consumer safety.

‘In the past month alone there have been four recalls of cots that were sold online,’ says AFA CEO Patrizia Torelli. ‘The risk of non-compliant, dangerous products being sold to unsuspecting consumers is higher when the middle-man (informed; knowledgeable; compliant importers and retailers) are cut out of the supply chain. At this point, the furnishing industry is very reliant on customs and border control performing due diligence and auditing inspections when it comes to checking that products meet Australian Standards and comply with regulations. But put simply, customs and border control are not resourced to open every container of furniture that comes into Australia.’

According to CouriersPlease, the survey separated Amazon’s three focusses – prices, selection and delivery – to gauge what was more important for Aussie shoppers.

Lower prices are the main reason shoppers would purchase from Amazon: 68 percent of respondents cited prices as the most common reason. A wider range of products is the second most common reason – important to 55 percent of respondents – while just 30 percent of respondents said fast delivery times is the reason.

Prices were more important for younger age groups than older generations. Millennials in their 20s and 30s cited lower prices as the main reason for shopping on Amazon, 71 per cent and 70 per cent respectively. This reduces with age, with 63 percent of 50-somethings and 64 per cent of people over 60 years concerned about prices. The vast selection was more important for older generations than younger generations with the level of importance decreasing with age. For people in their 50s, a wider range of product choice would be the reason 58 percent would shop on Amazon, whereas this was only important to 46 percent of people in their 20s.

Currently, 18 percent of respondents said they purchase from Amazon and will continue to do so when it launches in Australia. Surprisingly, only 11 percent of 20-somethings currently shop on Amazon, the lowest of any age group. This jumps up to 22 percent of people in their 30s, 16 percent of people in their 40s, and 19 per cent of over 50s.

“Amazon’s promises of lower prices and faster delivery times may put pressure on existing local retailers and the supply chain, but I believe we will become better at what we do,” said Hoy Yen Hooper, recently appointed COO of CouriersPlease. “In the US and UK markets, where Amazon has a large share of the retail market, one-hour delivery through Amazon Prime and competitive prices are being offered.”

‘But for Australian consumers, we want to emphasise the top tips for buying online to protect Australian consumers and families,’ say Ms Torelli.

* Only buy from reputable and knowledgeable suppliers and retailers, either online or bricks and mortar;

* Look for the Australian Furniture Association Member mark;

* Check that furniture meets AUSTRALIAN Standards NOT other international standards;

* Do not buy furniture designed for commercial use and use it in domestic environments and visa a versa for example bunk beds designed for home use that are installed in school camp sites and fly in-fly out accommodation etc;

* Choose form and function along with aesthetic appeal remembering that furniture also acts as equipment;

* Look for furniture that comes with safety information and meets the Australian Consumer Law in relation to Warranties;

*  Look for the AFA Member approved Warning Labels as specified in AS/NZS Standards;

 *  Purchase original designs rather than rip-offs as this is a recipe for danger;

If you’re not sure, then contact the AFA at www.australianfurniture.org.au