Amazon appears set to start its Australian retail assault on Friday having reportedly told third-party sellers to prepare to receive orders, and planning an ice-cream based marketing campaign.
Retail insiders have for some time said Amazon would choose to start trading from its Australian website before this week's "Black Friday" shopping event, and the accompanying "Cyber Monday" online discounting event.
And they appear to be right. An email sent to retailers who have signed up to use Amazon's marketplace platform, which has been obtained and re-published by the website LifeHacker, says sellers should prepare to take orders from 2pm Thursday.
"To prepare for the launch of the Amazon Marketplace in Australia we will start an internal testing phase with a small number of customers," the email says.
"As your products will be able to be purchased, please make sure your pricing and stock is up-to-date".
The note finished saying Amazon was "very excited" to be working with the suppliers.
"Let's make history!" it says.
Retail consultant Scott Kilmartin has been in contact will sellers while researching for a podcast on Amazon's entry to Australia and said several of those Amazon sellers received the email confirming Thursday's soft launch.
"It's from 2pm Thursday, and my understanding is that it will just stay open," Mr Kilmartin told BusinessDay.
Mr Kilmartin said that sellers with access to Amazon marketplace's back-end systems have reported links being connected and other capabilities enabled.
In a bizarre twist, Mr Kilmartin also runs an ice cream truck business and said he was contacted this week about running a marketing event at Melbourne's Southern Cross train station.
The event was to promote and "online retail store" with a yellow/orange colour scheme. Amazon's uses an orange colour scheme in its branding.
Amazon's local boss Rocco Braeuniger last week told a sellers' conference that it would launch with both its third-party marketplace offer, as well as its own retail offer of potentially thousands of everyday products.
The company has bought a large warehouse in Dandenong South, in southeast Melbourne, and has been converting it into its first Australian "fulfilment centre".
Citi retail analysts Bryan Raymond and Craig Woolford in September told clients that Amazon would likely launch ahead of Black Friday.
Amazon has been contacted for comment.