In an enterprising move from Amazon, in the next few weeks, the main Amazon.com site will be available not just purely in English but Spanish too. This is the first time that the mothership Amazon site has been available in two languages and it reflects the developing nature of of United States’ demographic and cultural balance.
Desperate as President Trump is to build a big wall, already more than 40 million Americans are native Spanish speakers and a further 10 million are bilingual. So the move makes canny sense in a country with 319 million people all told. That said, it is tempting to wonder whether Jeff Bezos isn’t making an anti-Trump, pro-hispanic point with this bilingual language initiative. But who can say?
Amazon says: “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. We will continue to roll out the shopping experience over the coming weeks. More and more customers should expect to see the option to shop Amazon.com in Spanish soon.”
What’s not clear is exactly how the new bilingual site will work. Whilst it is quite simple to translate the site architecture, individual catalogue entries will be more tricky. especially when they are made and maintained by third parties. We’ll see how they render that.
Such a move like this isn’t a huge novelty in America. During the last Presidential election Hillary Clinton made a point of courting Hispanic voters with Spanish language materials and ads. Indeed, Jeb Bush was mooted as an attractive Republican candidate because he speaks Spanish. There are, needless to say, Spanish language TV and radio stations. But it’s an interesting move from Amazon who do have a keen nose for following the money.