A quarter of Amazon merchants revenues are from international sales

Tim Maytom

According to a report by Reuters, over a quarter of all revenue for sellers on Amazon globally last year came from cross-border transactions, up over 50 per cent on the year before, as the eCommerce giant continued to encourage third-party sellers to trade with other countries.

The figure comes from Eric Broussard, vice president of international marketplaces and retail at eBay, who disclosed it in an interview ahead of his speech today at the ShopTalk conference in Las Vegas. Based on analyst estimates, the cross-border revenues amount to between $50-75bn (£36-54bn).

The increase in cross-border sales outpaces Amazon's overall net increase in sales, which was 31 per cent in the most recently disclosed finances for the retailer. Global trade has become more central to Amazon and its competitors over the past few years, and the boost in international sales represents a huge opportunity for the firm. In 2014, cross-border sales already represented about 20 per cent of its gross merchandise volume, totalling $17bn, and it has only grown.

"The speed with which sellers have been selling globally has accelerated over time," said Broussard.

Amazon's rivals are also pushing cross-border trade, particularly as a way of remaining competitive in areas where they lack a strong presence. eBay recently announced plans to bring its inventory to Japan as part of a global expansion, while Alibaba is recruiting companies to sell into China, with its Tmall Global unit featuring products from brands in 63 countries and regions.

Amazon has attracted criticism from some, however, over the number of counterfeit products from China available on its US marketplace. Counterfeit products are prohibited on Amazon, and the retailer says it is investing heavily in programs designed to keep such goods from off the platform.