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Shira Ovide

Amazon Isn’t Looming as an Automatic World Conqueror

Its robust sales growth in North America isn’t translating overseas yet.

Amazon has been bulking up its bet on India.

Amazon has been bulking up its bet on India.

Photographer: Noah Seelam/AFP/Getty Images

International expansion is one of Inc.’s greatest opportunities. The company generates close to two-thirds of its e-commerce revenue in the U.S., but it has been bulking up its bet on India and stretching its Prime shopping club into more countries to bring Jeff Bezos’s online bazaar to the world.

The scale of those international efforts makes it surprising to see Amazon’s relatively lagging growth outside its home market. Amazon posted roughly the same or quicker e-commerce revenue growth in North America than outside for 11 out of the last 14 quarters, adjusted for foreign-currency movements and making a rough estimate of the lift from Amazon’s acquisition of Whole Foods.