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Amazon employees could populate a small country

By Chris Dawson April 30, 2018 - 10:00 am

Amazon are now of a size where it only makes sense to compare them to a small country. If Amazon employees were a country they’d be the 170th most populous in the world out of the 233 countries recognised by the United Nations.

Amazon have an insane number of employees – some 560,000 people work for Amazon around the world and, to put that into perspective, it’s 130,000 more workers than live in Malta where there’s an estimated 429,362 population. Amazon’s headcount is just 15,000 smaller than Luxembourg’s population of 575,747.

What’s somewhat surprising about Amazon is their most recent count is 2 million third party sellers who, for the first time in 2017, shipped more than half of the units sold on Amazon worldwide. That’s a 1:4 ratio of Amazon employees to third party merchants – If you are an Amazon merchant then someone at Amazon is devoting a quarter of their working week to look after your business.

Amazon position themselves as a global business – their Global Selling program grew by over 50% in 2017 with cross-border ecommerce by SMBs now representing more than 25% of total third-party sales. The reality however is that Amazon only have 12 country sites (5 in Europe, 3 in the Americas plus India, Japan, China and most recently Australia), plus a couple of local sites such as Brazil and the Netherlands which only sell media based products. In reality Amazon have hardly scratched the surface and their potential to expand into new geographies is almost unlimited.

With Amazon’s relatively small global footprint, they still have over 100 million Prime subscribers who order an average of one item per week from Amazon. Prime is available on most Amazon country sites plus the Netherlands, and Luxembourg where full country sites don’t exist but that still leaves most of the world without Prime leaving a huge opportunity for expansion.

Amazon are, even in a limited set of territories, expanding rapidly, in 2017 they welcomed 130,000 new employees around the world. There are 40 countries around with world with a smaller population than the number of new starters in a single year at Amazon and they show no signs of slowing.

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