Amazon's app goes abroad with new international shopping feature
- Amazon added an "international shopping" feature in the Amazon Shopping App and website that lets overseas customers browse and order more than 45 million items to ship from the United States, according to a press release.
- The e-commerce giant now offers shopping in five languages — English, Spanish, Simplified Chinese, German and Brazilian Portuguese — with the ability to purchase items in 25 currencies. Amazon shows pricing, shipping costs and import duty estimates, and coordinates with courier services for customs clearance to simplify the shipping process for customers.
- Those who already have the Amazon Shopping App can adjust their settings by choosing the "country and language" option and selecting "international shopping" in the country menu. They can further customize their experience by setting their preferred language and currency. The mobile app is free to download from Apple's App Store and Google Play.
Amazon is a major force and disruptor in the retail space, but before this week's addition of the international shopping experience to its platforms, the company had created localized versions of its services within separate countries around the world. The new feature aims to break down some of the global barriers to other markets and connect with overseas customers by giving them a greater variety of shopping choices.
The e-commerce giant's core service is still mostly limited to the U.S., Western Europe, the Middle East, Australia and Singapore, but the new feature makes its mobile apps usable among a wider potential market. Amazon for years has prioritized customer convenience, which makes its efforts to help people more easily move their shipments through customs a key feature of its updated service. This new streamlined feature could compel a larger group of global consumers to turn to Amazon over other retailers when looking for products.
Amazon continues to push into overseas markets in a variety of ways, and international shopping can help the company establish a foothold in markets before committing more company resources to their development. Amazon said international shopping is available in more than 100 countries, but didn't specify which ones are still off-limits. The company offers Prime Video streaming in 200 countries with the international version of its Fire TV stick, per TechCrunch. Last year, the company introduced its Echo smart speakers and Music Unlimited streaming service to 28 more countries. These efforts point to the company's broader mission toward expanding globally and connecting with consumers around the world.