Microsoft has expanded its retail footprint across Australia, with the launch of the Microsoft Store on eBay.
Owned and operated by the vendor’s Australian subsidiary, the Microsoft Store on eBay will provide customers with a range of Surface, Xbox, PCs, accessories and software offerings, opening up its virtual doors to 11.3 million monthly visitors in the process.
“With the launch of the Microsoft Store on eBay, we’re making it easy for the millions of Australian eBay users to discover and purchase their favourite Microsoft products with the assurance of the same safe online shopping experience, return policy and free shipping that they have come to expect from microsoft.com,” Microsoft Store online store manager A/NZ Fiona Sims said.
Sims said the Microsoft Store on eBay will offer deals and promotions that are similar to those found at the flagship store in Sydney, as well as microsoftstore.com.
According to Sims, the vendor’s return policy and free shipping deals will still apply to customers.
“We are thrilled to extend the power of the eBay platform to such an innovative brand and welcome Microsoft Store as our newest retail partner,” eBay director strategic partnerships and retail growth Yunyeong Kim added.
The move follows plans by Lenovo to also open up an eBay store in Australia, a strategy that has already caused unrest among local channel partners.
From a channel perspective, the approach comes at a time of sizeable disruption for the retail market, with Amazon’s long-awaited arrival in Australia impending.
As reported by ARN, Amazon’s move is likely to have a big impact on Australia’s existing online retailers, with tech retailers set to bear a substantial amount of the market disruption the tech giant is expected to inflict locally.
Of the online technology retailers operating in Australia today, JB Hi-Fi is reportedly set to be one of the most affected by the introduction of Amazon into the local market, according to research by Credit Suisse, with fellow retailers Myer and Harvey Norman expected to be hit as well.
Meanwhile, brokers have estimated that JB Hi-Fi would be the worst hit in the event that Amazon opens up its virtual doors in the local market, with the company’s shares set to fall by as much as 23 per cent, according to Fairfax Media.
So far, however, JB Hi-Fi chief, Richard Murray, has remained confident of the company’s position in the local market in the face of a potential Amazon arrival.
“If we continue to keep on the money on price and we have the lowest cost of doing business — that is really powerful,” Murray said, during an American Chamber of Commerce lunch late last year, according to International Business Times. “Across a basket of goods we want to be the best value in the market. Today we know we are and we plan to stay that way.”
Likewise, founder of online retailer, Kogan, Ruslan Kogan, has previously dismissed concerns that Amazon’s arrival might harm his business, which snapped up the online business of failed electronics retailer, Dick Smith, last year.
"Amazon will hurt some retailers no doubt but the ones they'll hurt are the ones that are selling the same thing as everybody else at fat margins," Kogan reportedly told AAP last year.