Amazon is expanding in the Israeli market, reportedly inviting select retailers to sell their products locally through its website.
According to a report in Reuters, citing a source close to Amazon, in an email Amazon invited merchants in Israel to join a local delivery program. Merchants can use their existing Amazon.com account to sell and fulfill orders directly to Israel customers. Merchants are able to tap their local inventory to fulfill the orders. A source close to Amazon told the news outlet the service is a positive addition to the eCommerce giant’s offering in Israel. It also offers local Israeli businesses an opportunity to grow via Amazon.
Amazon’s expansion in the Israeli market didn’t sit well with local retailers and shopping mall owners. According to the report, shares of Israeli shopping mall owner Azrieli Group took a hit on the news as did Fox, the Israel retailer. It has long been speculated that Amazon would push further into Israel with many speculating it would open a local fulfillment center. As it stands, many Israelis order from Amazon’s U.S., U.K. or German websites, and with the cost of living high, Amazon’s popularity has been growing. That hasn’t been lost on Amazon. There have also been reports that Amazon is in the process of creating a local website that’s in Hebrew. The eCommerce giant is reportedly looking to hire translators and editors who can translate Hebrew to English.
Walmart has been focused on Israel as well, busy purchasing startups in the region. In late February it acquired Aspectiva, 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.