Amazon's mobile app simplifies shopping for international customers

Import products from the US with a few taps.

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Thomas Trutschel/Photothek via Getty Images
Thomas Trutschel/Photothek via Getty Images

It's easy to take Amazon for granted if you live in a country with an official portal, but what if you live in a country where imports are your only realistic option? If you have your phone close at hand, it should now be relatively easy. The company has launched an International Shopping feature in its Android and iOS apps to let you shop Amazon US goods that are eligible to ship to your corner of the world, complete with localized pricing and duty estimates. The app will use its location to automatically enable International Shopping if you're a first-timer in a country where the feature is necessary, but you can always switch it on yourself and customize the currency or language.

At launch, the feature supports five languages (English, Brazilian Portugese, German, Simplified Chinese and Spanish) as well as 25 currencies. You can use it to deliver orders to over 100 countries, however, and there are promises of wider currency and language support in 2018.

This isn't the same as having a truly local Amazon store in your country, and there are some products that simply won't be an option no matter how much you're willing to spend (particularly devices that require access to US-only services). However, the addition could make Amazon's shopping app genuinely useful in regions where it was previously little more than a curiosity.

Update: We'd reached out to Amazon, and it noted that the announcement focused on 11 countries and regions: Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Peru, Thailand and Uruguay.

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