Sales outside of the United States contributed $US16.1 billion, with international sales growth slowing to 16 per cent for the quarter.
Amazon does not break out individual global markets in its financials. Documents filed with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) last month revealed its Australian operations generated $292 million in its first year of operations here – a small slice of the overall global sales recorded.
The company’s global operations still ran at a $US90 million loss, but that was a significant drop on the $US622 million loss in the first quarter of 2018.
Prime to speed up
Presenting the earnings result in a conference call, Amazon’s finance chief Brian Olsavsky said the company was working to overhaul its default Prime delivery to get products to customers in just one day.
Amazon’s Prime service, which launched in Australia this year, at the moment offers customers a standard two-day delivery in return for a subscription fee.
Olsavsky told investors the retailer had started investing in one-day shipping options in the US, and planned to eventually take them to Prime subscribers around the globe.
It was important to cut down delivery times to “increase the available selection [of products] in consideration” when customers log on to Amazon, he said. The vast majority of Amazon’s inventory is only available in a two-day delivery window at best, making it important that the retailer increase the stock that could ship in one day to “open up convenience to those consumers”, he said.
In an annual letter to shareholders earlier this month, Amazon chief executive Jeff Bezos said the company had invested significantly in programs like Prime, initially at great “financial risk”, and had continued to do so because it had “meaningfully improve[d] the customer experience”.