Amazon launched a Hebrew-language site on Wednesday (Aug. 21) in a bid to get Israeli companies to sell through the company in the country, according to a report by Reuters.
The move is Amazon’s latest foray into starting to operate in Israel. Amazon is already popular in the country, but residents generally have to order through international sites in countries like Britain, the U.S. and Germany.
There has also been talk that Amazon might be planning to build a fulfillment center in the country. Amazon contacted Israeli businesses in May to join the company’s local delivery program. The program lets businesses use Amazon to fulfill orders using inventory that’s already in the country, whether it was ordered locally or abroad.
Amazon said it would be launching its business in the country “soon,” but it didn’t provide any specifics. The news caused a 1 percent slide in shopping mall shares.
The website has interviews with CEOs of Israeli companies, who talk about how Amazon has changed the outlook of their businesses and given them a whole new market to sell to. Amazon said it was working with businesses in Israel on expanding globally.
“We hope that through this program, we will be able to provide our customers in Israel with even more local products to choose from, with quicker delivery speeds,” Amazon said.
If goods are ordered through international websites in Israel and under $75, they are exempt from added taxes in the country. Orders up to $500 don’t have to deal with customs duties.
Walmart has been focused on Israel as well, busy purchasing startups in the region. In late February it acquired Aspectiva, the Israel-based startup that is focused on natural language processing capabilities.
Walmart said the company’s technology will help it enhance the shopping experience across its channel. It has already made investments in Team8, an Israeli think tank and tech incubator, and launched a joint venture with Eko, a media and technology company.
Walmart also recently joined The Bridge, a tech accelerator program that connects global companies with the tech startup community in Israel.