The history of Amazon.com
Amazon is synonymous with online shopping. If you were to ask around or make a poll you will surely end up with a vast majority who have shopped sometime or another on Amazon.com.
However while everybody knows that Amazon.com is a leading online store where you can find anything and everything, there are many who do not have any idea of how Amazon started off, and how long it has been in operation. So it will be interesting to delve a bit into the history of Amazon.com.
Jeff Bezos is the founder of this website, who back in 1994, wanted to start it off as an online marketplace principally for books. The headquarters were located in Seattle, primarily since Microsoft was located there. He chose the name Amazon because it started with the letter A, which is the first letter of the alphabet, and also because of the vast South American river. He wanted Amazon.com to be as vast as the river and the first and foremost on the market, just like the letter A. And we can safely say that his goal was achieved, even though he aimed really high. His decision that books were the most logical product to sell online was surely a good one, because since then the company continued to grow and expand exponentially.
Later in 1997 the company went public, and a year later Amazon started to sell music and videos too. Shortly after the company also started to sell electronics, video games, software, furniture, toys and home improvement products too. Later Amazon expanded considerably as it started to sell various other items, including furniture, apparel and jewelry, among other things.
One of the major steps was in 2017 when it even purchased the Whole Foods Market chain. However over the years there were several merchant partnerships taking place, which further improved Amazon’s standpoint as a leading platform and online seller. Some of these included a 10 year agreement in 2000 with Toys “R” Us, a partnership with DC Comics in 2011, with the United States Postal Service in 2013, with Nike in 2017, and with Apple in 2018.
Amazon’s product lines focus a lot on media, including books, DVDs, CDs and software. It is also important to mention that Amazon is the manufacturer of the popular e-book reader Kindle. There is no denying that the popularity of e-book readers was pushed considerably thanks to the promotion Amazon made for these devices. Many consider Amazon as being a major disruptor for the book publishing market as a result. However there is no denying that the increase in demand for e-book readers was still going to take place in this day and age, although it was considerably increased through the demand for Amazon’s Kindle, which was introduced on the market as a relatively affordable option to buying books and having to find where to store them physically.
Bezos always wanted to stick to his ideology of getting big fast. In fact this slogan, ‘Get Big Fast’ was printed on Amazon’s employees’ t-shirts because he wanted to instil this idea in everyone’s minds. And there is no denying that the company did grow by leaps and bounds. After just one year in operation there were some 180,000 customer accounts and that is saying something since we are talking of the year 1996, when the internet was not as available as it is these days. Then, less than a year later, the 180,000 accounts increased to a million, which is simply staggering. Needless to say revenues were also awesome. From $15.7 million in the first year of operation, they grew to $148 million in the following year, and up to $610 million in the next! No wonder Amazon is so powerful online right?! Even back then it was a huge success, and now, over 20 years it is still going strong, and that’s to say the least of course, considering the vast success it has in all the categories in which it sells products.
In order to sustain all the growth Amazon required more than the private investors that it had at the time. So shortly after it started off, in May 1997, it became a public company. At the time it raised $54 million on the NASDAQ market. Over the years, as Amazon started to increase its variety of products, it attracted more and more customers from all over the world. It also acquired more customer loyalty, and needless to say, its profitability increased exponentially. The fact that customer reviews started to be published helped a great deal as it made the site even more appealing to customers who felt that they could trust it since such reviews helped them to make a well informed buying decision. This is in fact one of the main strong points of the website, and many refer to it as a community of customers as it is common for people to check out customer reviews on Amazon prior to buying anything.
Even though Amazon started off as a bookseller and then moved on to include so many other products in its extensive product range, Bezos always pointed out that Amazon was and still is a technology company. Thus he placed a great deal of importance on ensuring that online transactions were simplified for customers, while also offering convenience and a great shopping experience.
In 2002 Amazon also launched the Amazon Web Services which focused on offering statistics and data on internet traffic and other relevant patents to marketers and developers. Later in 2006 its portfolio was expanded further by the Elastic Compute Cloud and the Simple Storage Service, which rented computer processing power and data storage on the internet.
By now Amazon is considered to be one of the so called Big Four technology companies. This is because it is actually a multinational technology company that began to focus on e-commerce, as well as cloud computing, AI and digital streaming, among others. By now, Amazon is the biggest e-commerce marketplace as well as cloud computing platform and AI provider in the world, if you were to measure by its revenue and market share.