Major investments in international markets ate away at much of the e-commerce giant’s revenue growth. While North America reported positive operating income for the quarter, Amazon’s international segment delivered losses of $724 million for Q2
Amazon reported its Q2 2017 results last week, with revenue increasing 25% year-over-year (YoY) to $38 billion, while profits fell 77% YoY to $197 million.
As usual, major investments in international markets ate away at much of the e-commerce giant’s revenue growth. While its North America and AWS segments each reported positive operating income for the quarter, Amazon’s international segment delivered losses of $724 million for Q2. The continuing losses overseas point to an increasingly vital issue for Amazon: Will these investments allow it to replicate its success in the North American market?
Amazon is investing heavily overseas to add more international Prime members, something it has struggled with so far. While Amazon didn’t break out specific numbers for each area, CFO Brian Olsavsky noted that the high spending overseas has been going into Prime benefits like Prime Video, Prime Now one- and two-hour delivery, AmazonFresh, and expanding its supply chain and fulfillment networks to offer more products and deliver them faster. However, Prime adoption is still low outside of the US — Morgan Stanley estimated that US residents made up 70% of Prime subscribers last year. Amazon’s continued spending shows that it is confident Prime will eventually unlock foreign markets like it has in the US.
Amazon still faces crucial challenges, though, in bringing Prime benefits to markets like India, China, and Southeast Asia:
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