Amazon.com re-allows Australian shoppers on its U.S. site

The strategic decision comes a day before Black Friday and the crucial holiday shopping season in the U.S.

On Thursday, Amazon.com Inc, the world’s largest online retailer, stated it would no more block Australian shoppers from accessing its U.S. site. The development comes midst a customer backlash in the world’s 12 biggest economy.

Australian shoppers had grown used to the U.S. site following the opening of Amazon’s local platform in the country last year. Since July 2018, Amazon’s customers had complained of being locked out of a large range of product offerings that they had grown used to on the U.S. site.

“It’s a very quick backtrack on a decision that obviously hasn’t benefited them,” said Daniel Mueller, an analyst at Vertium Asset Management. “It’s probably a reflection on the Amazon Australia website not being great … I think to bolster the Australian website they’ve had to do this.”

Previously Amazon had prevented Australians shoppers from placing any orders on its U.S. website following the introduction of an Australian law which calls for the application of a 10% import tax on goods imported to the country that are worth less than A$1,000 ($726).

While 32 U.S. states are expected to pass a similar tax measure, Australia was the first to implement it.

Amazon’s reversed its position on the eve of its Black Friday sales, saying it had figured out a way to levy the tax without blocking access to the U.S. site.

Although Amazon does not disclose sales figures in Australia, according to the National Australia Bank, in the last 12 months upto September, the growth of online sales was just under 9% of the broader retail market.

($1 = 1.3774 Australian dollars)

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