Amazon's headquarters in Seattle (AP /Elaine Thompson, File) AP /Elaine Thompson, File
Amazon's headquarters in Seattle

Amazon’s Israel launch is hoping to catch holiday shoppers before the Jewish New Year, which falls at the end of September this year.

By United With Israel Staff 

Online retail giant Amazon’s race to launch e-commerce services in Israel is reportedly in the final stretch before a September deadline.

“The main question that remains to be decided is whether the company’s project managers in Israel can fulfill the demands set by the company’s headquarters in Seattle in time for an official launch next month,” reports Globes, an Israeli business media outlet.

The Haaretz daily reported on July 24, citing retail industry sources, that the launch in Israel had been delayed due to Amazon’s “struggles to recruit local resellers.” It had been earlier scheduled to start its Israel e-commerce operations in June or July, the daily notes.

At last word, Amazon’s U.S. representatives, who have been supervising the establishment of Amazon Europe’s activities in Israel, “have yet to ratify Amazon’s readiness for the launch,” says Globes.

Two factors reportedly making the September deadline important are the September 17 Knesset election, a national holiday, and the weeks-long Jewish holiday season which begins at the end of the month.

A fallback would be to at least launch operations before Black Friday on November 29 and Cyber Monday December 2, according to multiple reports.

“One thing is clear to everyone,” writes Globes, “Amazon wants its launch to take place at a time when Israeli consumers are gung ho for shopping and ready to whip out their credit cards at a moment’s notice.”

“Amazon won’t go live until it is 200% ready. They have things to solve, including regulatory and language issues and recruiting resellers,” said one retail industry source who has been working with the company, quoted by Haaretz but who asked not to be identified.

“The criteria imposed by Amazon U.S. include both the number of suppliers interested in operating on Amazon and their level of readiness according to criteria such as mapping the catalog, and diversity, pricing, uniform images that conform with Amazon’s rigorous requirements, and writing content,” says Globes, adding that another factor is “the ability to put a website on the air on the launch date that provides a first-rate user experience in Hebrew, or else to launch a website in English, which will be less effective.”

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