Amazon has started to roll out the first new language on Amazon.com since the original site's creation over 20 years ago.
A spokeswoman for the Seattle-based online retailer told CNET on Thursday that the website has begun adding Spanish. The change will let the US' more than 40 million native Spanish speakers and over 10 million bilingual Spanish speakers toggle between English and Spanish on the site. The US is now the second-largest Spanish-speaking country in the world, after Mexico.
"Customers will be able to shop, browse and search for millions of products, view their shopping cart, and place orders in Spanish on Amazon.com and through the Amazon Mobile Shopping app," the spokeswoman said in a statement.
"We will continue to roll out the shopping experience over the coming weeks," the spokeswoman added. "More and more customers should expect to see the option to shop Amazon.com in Spanish soon."
The change comes as Amazon, the world's largest e-retailer, looks to attract growing Spanish-speaking audiences in both the US and Mexico. Amazon said Tuesday that it had launched its Prime subscription service in Mexico, letting customers there sign up for unlimited shipping for about $46 a year. Expanding into both markets could be critical for Amazon's growth, as the company may be reaching a saturation point for English-speaking Prime customers in the US. Analysts estimate US Prime membership has grown to more than 60 million people.
Looking to keep up its growth, Amazon brought Prime to China and India last year. The company also made Prime available in the US through a monthly subscription, in hopes of bringing in more members. Prime is also available in Canada, the UK, Spain, Italy, France, Belgium, Germany, Austria and Japan.
The new Spanish-language version of Amazon.com comes in addition to Amazon.com.mx, which is Amazon's Mexico-based website that's already available in Spanish, and Amazon.es, the Spain-based version of the site. Other Amazon sites already offer multiple languages, such as Amazon.ca in Canada, which lets people shop in both English and French, and Amazon.de in Germany, which offers German, English, Dutch, Polish and Turkish.
A cluster of other foreign-language sites exist for different countries, including Amazon.fr in France.
In comparison, fellow e-retailer eBay said it doesn't have a Spanish-language version of its site for US customers. However, it has local-language sites like eBay.de and directs overseas shoppers on eBay.com to translated listings that are available in their respective countries.
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