Amazon.com Inc has launched an international shopping feature that will enable customers across the world to shop more than 45 million items that can be shipped to their country from the United States.
The international shopping feature, which is available on a mobile browser and the mobile app for both iOS and Android devices, has been extended to users to purchase products outside their home markets and is available in five languages, including Spanish, English, simplified Chinese, Brazilian Portuguese and German, Amazon said on Tuesday.
It will allow customers to shop in 25 currencies, with more languages and currencies to be added in 2018.
Customers can also choose from different shipping options and delivery speeds.
The international shopping feature will display pricing, shipping costs and import duty estimates, with Amazon managing courier service and customs clearance in case of potential surprises at the time of purchase or delivery.
Amazon becomes more valuable than Alphabet
Amazon became a more valuable company than Alphabet, Google’s parent firm, for the first time ever in terms of market capitalization Tuesday.Amazon is now the second biggest company in the world behind Apple.Shares of Amazon closed Tuesday at $1,586.51, a 2.7 percent increase from the previous day. The upturn pushed Amazon’s market value to $768 billion. Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos now has a net worth over $130 billion.Alphabet stock remained mostly flat, sliding 0.39 percent to close at $1,095.80, leaving the company with a market cap of $761.42 billion.Amazon stock has surged 34 percent since the beginning of 2018, and the stock had already broken several record highs throughout 2017. Alphabet’s year has been far more volatile, with the stock dipping significantly after hitting a record high in late January.Both companies are still far behind Apple, with that company’s stock closing Tuesday at $175.24, roughly the same price as the day before. Apple, which has remained the most valuable company in the world since 2012, boasts a market capitalization of $889.17 billion.Investors believe one of these three companies is poised to become the first company valued at a trillion dollars.There are some concerns that the market might be running out of steam, though. A survey of global fund managers released Tuesday by investment firm Bank of America Merrill Lynch found that many are worried about recent tariffs announced by President Donald Trump as well as stagnating worker wages.However, it does not seem like investors are actually acting on these concerns just yet, especially when it comes to the three leading technology companies.“Investors have yet to act on these fears, however, as rates and earnings are keeping the bulls bullish,” Michael Hartnett, chief investment strategist of Bank of America Merrill Lynch, said in a statement.
On Amazon, a quarter of merchants' sales are cross-border
Amazon.com Inc is making a push for merchants on its website to sell goods into other countries, setting the stage for greater competition with rival marketplaces run by eBay Inc and potentially Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.More than a quarter of all revenue for sellers on Amazon globally was from cross-border transactions in 2017, up more than 50 percent from the year prior, Amazon Vice President Eric Broussard said in an interview, ahead of his Tuesday speech at the ShopTalk conference in Las Vegas.That amounts to between $50 billion and $75 billion for merchants selling to customers in another country, based on analysts' estimates for Amazon's total gross merchandise sales. Amazon does not disclose the figure.The cross-border increase - outpacing Amazon's 31 percent rise in overall net sales - represents a massive opportunity for the world's largest online retailer. That is why Amazon has encouraged merchants to list ever-more products on its websites around the world, which could make its marketplaces more desirable to shoppers than those of the competition."The speed with which sellers have been selling globally has accelerated over time," said Broussard, who oversees Amazon's international marketplaces.Global trade has been crucial to Amazon and its e-commerce competitors. In a 2015 news post online, eBay touted cross-border sales as one of its key strengths. It said cross-border represented about 20 percent of its gross merchandise volume in 2014, or $17 billion. The company declined to offer a figure for 2017.Last month, eBay's chief executive told Reuters the company planned to bring "the world's inventory into Japan" as part of its global expansion.Alibaba, meanwhile, recruits companies to sell into China, and its unit Tmall Global features products from brands in 63 countries and regions, it has said.Critics of Amazon have said there are too many counterfeit products from China on its U.S. marketplace. Amazon prohibits the sale of counterfeit goods and has said it is investing heavily in programs to keep them off its platform.So many repeat shoppers for Amazon's line-free Seattle storeFrance to take legal action against Google, AppleCut of salesFor Amazon, a key way it attracts sellers is by renting space in more than 150 warehouses worldwide so merchants can store inventory near customers - without the hassle of exporting each order. Amazon operates 13 marketplaces globally."A customer shops in German, pays in euros and gets very rapid fulfillment" for a product from a U.S. seller, for example, Broussard said.Tech Armor, a smartphone accessories maker near Los Angeles, said that its business was growing faster internationally than in the United States and that it has shipped more than 12 million units through Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) since 2012. That has come partly from Amazon's encouragement. "Someone from the FBA business called," Tech Armor co-founder Joe Jaconi told Reuters. "They wanted to talk to us about Canada."Amazon takes a cut of merchants' transactions, which for jewelry can reach 30 percent of a sale fulfilled by Amazon, said Elena Castaneda, founder of Bling Jewelry in greater New York. Amazon's net sales from seller services was $32 billion in 2017.Castaneda said this was worthwhile."Say I do $1 million in Amazon U.S. If you take all of Europe and you do all five countries (with Amazon Marketplaces), it would almost be equivalent to the amount you do in the U.S.," she said.Exports by sellers on Amazon - where merchants handle the fulfillment to foreign countries - increased by nearly 30 percent in 2017, Amazon said.
So many repeat shoppers for Amazon's line-free Seattle store
Amazon.com Inc is tracking how regularly customers shop at its store without checkout lines in Seattle - and so far, the verdict is they keep coming back."The ones who work very close, like in the building up above, will come down even just to grab a drink because it's so fast and easy," Amazon Vice President Gianna Puerini said in an interview at the ShopTalk e-commerce conference in Las Vegas.The detail offers an early glimpse at how the store, known as Amazon Go, is faring two months after opening its doors to the public. Shopping frequency, sales and other metrics reviewed by Amazon will likely inform how it thinks about expanding the concept elsewhere in the United States, if at all.Amazon Go is fashioned after small grocery stores, with a crucial difference: it has no cashiers. Customers scan a smartphone app to enter the store, and then cameras and sensors track what they remove from the shelves and what they put back.Amazon then bills shoppers' credit cards on file after they leave.Puerini said store associates spend the vast majority of their time restocking shelves - another indication of the shop's popularity.Research-focused venture capital firm Loup Ventures wrote of Amazon Go last month: "Our experience was flawless, leaving us increasingly confident that Amazon is best positioned to own the operating system of automated retail. Eventually, we expect Amazon to make this technology available to other retailers."The world's biggest online retailer first announced a test of Amazon Go in December 2016, in a challenge to brick-and-mortar rivals that are working to keep their own stores up to date.However, old practices die hard."What we didn't necessarily expect is how many people would stop at the end, on their first trip or two, and ask, 'Is it really OK if I just leave?'," Puerini said.She declined to discuss specific expansion plans and said there were no plans to add the technology to Whole Foods Market, the upscale grocery chain Amazon bought last year. Analysts have speculated otherwise.In any case, Amazon is still researching how to improve technology at the store."If you show a child a can of Coke, you have to show it to them maybe once or twice, and it's very easy for them to be able to recognize it," Amazon Vice President Dilip Kumar said in the same interview with Reuters. "Not so much with computers."The company is working to teach computers to recognize items or activities with as little information as possible - a problem that some of Amazon's thousands of experts are addressing, Kumar said.