Amazon appears to be nearing the launch of a new marketplace in Sweden, a move that signals its commitment to international markets even amid slowing growth.
The new marketplace in Sweden would be Amazon's third overseas service to launch this year, following the ones in the Netherlands and Saudi Arabia. Amazon has 17 total marketplaces worldwide, but the bulk of its sales, or over 70%, comes from the US.
Amazon recently added the option to sign up for a marketplace in Sweden when sellers sign up for Brand Registry, Amazon's own trademark registration tool, according to a screenshot seen by Business Insider. The option appears in a section asking sellers to choose the "country-specific marketplace" they want to sign in to. Sellers use Brand Registry for each individual country marketplace they intend to sell in to prove ownership of their brands and prevent counterfeits.
The move is likely intended to give enough time for sellers to register their brands on Brand Registry ahead of the Swedish launch, according to Rasmus Dines Petersen, CEO of Agenturium, a Denmark-based company that helps Amazon sellers. That way, sellers would feel safer when the marketplace actually launches, he said. Amazon has also purchased the domain amazon.se in 2017 and has hired a number of translation positions in Sweden this year, according to Petersen, who first spotted the change.
"That you are able to register your brand on Amazon Brand Registry Sweden is clearly an indication saying Amazon is on its way to Scandinavia," Petersen told Business Insider.
The Swedish marketplace would make sense for Amazon given the lack of a dominant online shopping service in the country, despite having high e-commerce penetration, Petersen said. The country's strong purchasing power and wide internet usage rates are also a plus. On top of that, establishing a presence in Sweden could make it easier for Amazon to launch in other neighboring countries, like Denmark and Norway, he said.
Amazon's spokesperson declined to comment.
Amazon's international sales growth hasn't been as impressive lately, despite having poured billions of dollars in overseas markets. In 2019, international sales grew just 13% from the year before to $74.7 billion, down from the previous year's 21% growth rate and the 23% expansion seen in 2017.
The sales growth bounced back in the first quarter of 2020 to 18%, but international sales still accounted for just 29.3% of Amazon's total revenue, the smallest share ever, according to Marketplace Pulse.
Still, Amazon continues to be doubling down on international markets. Earlier this year, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos pledged to invest an additional $1 billion in India, after having spent roughly $7 billion in the region previously. Last year, Amazon launched new marketplaces in the UAE and Singapore, but shuttered its service in China.
Of the 17 Amazon marketplaces globally, the US service is the largest with over $170 billion in revenue last year. But the UK, German, and Japanese businesses are also big enough to require separate revenue disclosures.
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