Amazon and the case of the missing globalization

Being an American guy married to an Italian woman and living in Austria, I don’t really have a problem with “globalization”. Actually, I’m something of a fan, which is one reason I’m disappointed in the globalization of Amazon’s services.

If you order a book from Amazon.com in the US, it will be shipped to you from the nearest shipment center. If you go to a large site like Google, Microsoft, or Yahoo, it’s quite likely that they provide services in your language.

Amazon, however, appears to be completely split up along country lines. Your amazon.com account is completely seperate from your amazon.co.uk account, and amazon.de isn’t even available in English! This completely violates the sensible reasoning behind the two features outlined above. If you’re somewhere like Italy or Denmark or Eastern Europe, you should be able to log in to amazon.com, in your language, order a book, and have it shipped from the nearest shipping center. Instead, you have to log in to each site (they don’t share account info), which is only available in one language. So, for instance, an English speaking guy in Austria wanting to order books from the nearest country with an Amazon site goes to amazon.de and finds that there is no option to get the site in English. If I want to order from amazon.co.uk I have to enter all my login information from amazon.com again, and don’t get the same recommendations and other features that come from Amazon knowing about my purchasing history.