15 Interesting Things You Should Know about Amazon.com
Amazon is well known for being an online bookseller, but today, the
company is much more than that. The American electronic commerce firm is based
in Seattle, Washington, and is the largest online retailer in the world. It
began as a bookstore, but now it sells CDs, video, DVDs, MP3 downloads,
software, electronic equipment, toys, food and pretty much anything else you can
imagine. Not only that, but the company now even has its own brand of electronic
devices, making it a company that has diversified to meet market demands, and a
company that has grown quickly since it was incorporated in 1994.
There are lots of interesting things to note about Amazon, including
amazing statistics and features of the company that benefit the consumer. We’ve
listed 15 of the most impressive statistics and things to remember about
Amazon that could benefit you.
Bezos came up with the idea for Amazon with a view to avoiding any regret for
not getting involved with the online revolution any earlier, and it certainly
proved fruitful. He left his job as the Vice-President of a Wall Street company
called D.E. Shaw & Co and moved to Washington.
It was here that he began creating a list of 20 products that could be
marketed and sold online, and later narrowed this list down to a just five
products that showed the most promise for being sold on the Internet. He decided
that books, videos, software, CDs and computer systems were had the most
potential for being sold online, but later decided that his business should
focus solely on books. Little did he know that his online book store would soon
go back to the original five products that he considered.
The name Amazon was chosen, along with its logo, to show that anything could
be sent to anywhere in the world – hence the line moving from A to Z. The
company was created, and Amazon was later incorporated by Jeff Bezos, and
the website went live in 1995. The initial business plan of the company
suggested that there would not be any profit for between four and five years,
which meant that stockholders were not happy with the thought of investing.
However, the Internet grew and Amazon survived, and quickly began growing
quicker and quicker, earning a revenue of more than $1 billion by just 2001.
This began a whole new trend of online shopping and a brand new way to purchase
books, software and computers.
14) Wish List
Wish lists are a pretty neat feature on Amazon. This is a personalized
list that you can create which includes all of the things that either yourself,
or your business/organization, would like to own from the Amazon store.
Friends, family, fans and benefactors can simply take a look at your wish list
and get you the perfect present. It’s a really simple way to ensure that your
birthday, Christmas or other holidays bring you the best presents!
You can create your own wish list by signing up to Amazon. You can add
items by simply browsing the store and when you find a product that you’d like
to own in the future, click the ‘Add to Wish List’ button at the top, which
should be near the shopping basket. You’ll then be asked to name the list that
you would like the product to be listed under, and to confirm privacy settings.
You can create a wish list that just you and a couple of others can visit, or one
that anybody can see.
As well as creating your own wish list, you can search for other wish lists
that have been created. You can look people up by their name or their email
address, meaning that you can buy the best presents for your loved ones by
finding the products they’d love to own online.
13) Number One Selling E-Tailer
Did you know that Amazon is now the biggest electronic retailer on the
started as a simple bookstore has grown to a company worth more than $48 billion
in online sales, and which enjoyed a huge 40.6% growth in 2011. The company is
going from strength to strength, and it is significantly bigger than the second
largest online retailer, Staples, which has made online sales of over $10
Amazon has become so successful due to its newfound diversity and ease of use
offering customers the chance to purchase nearly anything they can think of from
other users online for discount prices. You can purchase used and new products
alike, and look for the best deal, which other retailers often cannot offer. On
top of this, Amazon now has its own range of products like the Kindle, as
well as Kindle apps that have become immensely popular on a range of platforms.
The company is growing rapidly and is set to remain the largest online e-tailer
for the foreseeable future.
12) 137 Million Customers Per Week
We know that Amazon is popular, but when you consider that it serves more
than 137 million customers every week, everything is put into perspective. This
incredibly number is unmatched by any company that operates online. Furthermore,
there are now more than 152 million active Amazon customer accounts on the
website, and while it may have taken eight years for the company to make a
profit, today it is one of the most important online companies in the world. It
has changed the way we shop and created a culture of convenience that may not
have appeared without the innovative bookstore website.
With 137 million customers each week, Amazon has more than 19.5 million
customers every day, which is roughly the same amount of people who live in
Beijing, China. It’s also the same amount of American citizens who earn and live
off less than $6 thousand per year, and one third more than the entire voter
turnout for the Presidential elections in 2010! An astonishing figure indeed!
11) Unique Users 5X More Valuable Than Ebay’s
What exactly does more valuable mean? Well, this figure suggests that Amazon
customers spent five times more than the average eBay user. It’s been shown that
the average eBay user will spend around $39, whereas the average Amazon user
spends roughly $189.
This means that even if eBay were to continue catching up
with regards to unique user accounts and activity on its site, it still wouldn’t
be able to match the sales that Amazon makes, simply because these customers
tend to spend more.
10) 1/10 of North American Ecommerce
If you were to split up all of the ecommerce and sales in North America into
a pie, then Amazon would have a 1/10 slice of it. This might not sound like
much, but when you consider that Office Depot, Wal-Mart, Apple, Dell
and Sears all share a slice of this pie that is around the same size as Amazon’s
own slice, it is put into perspective. The rest of the pie is essentially made
up of crumbs. More than 1,000 other online retailers are left fighting over
what’s left, and picking up little more than just a bit of crust!
This further backs up claims that Amazon is the most successful and popular
company online, but it also proves the diversity of the products made available
through the company. Companies like Office Depot, Staples and Apple all offer a
very limited range of products. Amazon, in fact, offers products that all three
of these different retailers can.
9) Amazon for Our Planet
Amazon values corporate responsibility, and this can be seen in its
planet-saving concept called Amazon for Our Planet’. This concept is based on
Amazon’s drive to find ways to reduce their impact on the natural environment.
Due to the nature of online shopping, it is significantly friendlier than
traditional forms of shopping, but it’s still not perfect. Online shopping means
that there are air miles for products, there is packaging that often goes to
waste and a great deal of resources are used to create and distribute the
One such concept that Amazon has developed is ‘frustration-free
packaging’. This is an initiative that has been in the making for a number of
years, and is designed to make is much easier to access their products from
within their packages. This means you won’t be cutting your hands on difficult
plastic packaging or risking opening boxes with sharp kitchen knives. As well as
being much easier to open, these new kinds of packaging are also 100%
recyclable, meaning that the impact on the environment is significantly reduces.
There are not more hard clamshell cases, and no more environmentally unfriendly
Furthermore, most orders are now shipped on corrugated containers that are
made from more than 40% recycled fibers. Then, when these have been used, the
whole container is recyclable and can be used in future paper products. Even the
air pillows in Amazon packaging are recyclable and non-toxic. The company has
taken huge steps to ensure that they are responsible and green, which is
something many companies simply don’t take the time for.
8) Cloud Platform
Amazon has now even branches out into offering its own web services. The
company has created ‘Amazon Web Services’, which is a new cloud computing
service. This online service is ideal for people that need flexibility and
access to files no matter where they are. Amazon has a huge range of services
available from its AWS website, including auto scaling, elastic load balancing,
marketplace, Amazon Route 53, Amazon Virtual Private Cloud and Direct Connect.
There are also content delivery services found in the form of CloudFront,
payment and billing services and database options.
Ultimately, Amazon Web Service is all about accessing files wherever you
need, them, storing important and confidential information, creating online
payment systems and managing online database systems. This is a service that can
be used on a personal level as well as a professional level. You can even try
AWS for free and get 750 hours of Amazon EC2 running Windows, Mac or Linux.
Amazon is using some of the most incredibly technology to ensure that it gets
maximum efficiency and accuracy when it comes to shipping orders that have been
placed. In Amazon’s many warehouses, and in all of the new warehouses that are
appearing across California and the rest of the United States, robots are used
to find the right product and pack it in the appropriate boxes for customers.
These robots come from Kiva, an the Kiva system works with three components.
The first components is the retrieval robots that are small and on wheels.
These robots move around the warehouses, and then there are the tall and upright
racks of products, which are known as pods in the industry. Finally, there are
the human workers that make sure the robots are working properly and performing
the right tasks. This Kiva system means that humans can get on with their job,
while the robots take care of retrieval of products across the vast warehouse
Kiva System Robot
Human workers are used to pick the products from a specific shelf when a
robot goes to that area. As orders come in, the Kiva software will assign each
robot as box, and will tell the human worker which box on the robot that the
item needs to be placed on. The robots use a laser pointer to show human workers
which item they are seeking from the rack.
This isn’t the only example of how Amazon utilizes the newest technology to
ensure that workers can do their job to the best standard possible. In fact,
Amazon spent more than $2 million on installing air conditioners in each of its
fulfillment centers when workers were finding the heat difficult to work in. Not
only that, but Kiva warehouses that do not use humans can also be kept in the
dark. Robots do not need light to function, so many warehouses for Amazon
function in the dark and totally autonomously.
6) 49 Minute Downtime
Amazon has been making more than ever recently, with 2012 seeing the
company achieve net sales of more than $60 billion, which means it has tripled
its net sales over the last five years. This means that for every minute that
Amazon is operating, it makes, theoretically, $116,229.07. When you consider
that Amazon recently had an uncommon downtime, in which its home page was down
for 49 minutes, it’s easy to see how Amazon executives might have been pulling
their hair out.
With website downtime of 49 minutes, Amazon has made a predicted loss of more
than $5.7 million! This huge sum of money could make up nearly 700,000 emergency
thermal blankets, or 28,643 Amazon Kindle Fire HD tablets. It’s a huge sum of
money, which is why Amazon have commented that this shouldn’t happen again, and
that consumers should be able to continue enjoying their usual seamless
experience on the Amazon shopping website. Regardless, this experience really
hits home how much this huge company makes. Imagine earning nearly $6 million in
less than an hour!
The Amazon Kindle was the very first venture into electronics for Amazon.
The initial device was a white e-book that used e-ink to display text as if you
were reading from a book. The Kindle series of e-book readers were designed,
marketed and sold by Amazon, and users of the device were able to browse and
download e-books, magazines and newspapers directly from Amazon using its
wireless network capabilities. The device is designed to give people the chance
to carry a huge number of books with them at any one time, but not have to stare
at a glossy, LCD screen that may reflect light. The screen is designed to look
just like a piece of paper with ink, making it easy to read in direct sunlight,
and with its backlight, easy to read in the dark as well.
The Kindle has had a number of redesigns now, and has recently entered its
sixth generation. The most modern version of the Kindle is the Paperwhite 2013,
and as well as existing as an e-reader, there are now also a number of tablets
available under the Kindle brand. These tablets were designed to compete with
the iPad by offering a lower price, different features and conveniently smaller
screen. These LCD tablets include the original Kindle Fire, the Kindle Fire HD
and the most recent Kindle Fire HDX.
4) Amazon Prime
Amazon Prime is a new paid membership to Amazon that comes with a number of
benefits. When you sign up, you can enjoy the services for 30 days free, before
you begin making payments. Membership of Amazon Prime means that you can enjoy
free one-day delivery that’s totally unlimited on millions of items across the
store. Not only that, but there is no minimum order size, meaning that you can
enjoy one-day and free delivery on anything that you order.
If that wasn’t enough, Amazon Prime also brings you more than 350,000 Kindle
books to you for free that you can borrow and return whenever you want, or use
on your Kindle. For all of this, you pay just $79 per year. You’ll also enjoy
unlimited instant streaming of thousands of TV shows and movies, as well as the
new prime Instant Video service.
Fire Phone with Amazon Prime
You can start your 30 day free trial by visiting the Amazon website and
signing up if you’re not currently a member, or simply upgrading your current
account if you have signed up for Amazon services in the past. It’s a great
service that shows that Amazon is dedicated to continuing diversifying,
providing new products and services for its valued members and customers.
3) Sell on Amazon
Another great feature on Amazon is the sell feature. This can help you earn
extra cash by getting rid of objects you no longer need, want or use. If you
only want to sell a little, then you can sign up for a basic Amazon account.
This lets you sell in 20 different categories on the website, and you will pay a
small fee for everything you sell. However, if you wish to sell professionally
on the sign, then you can sign up for a monthly fee of $39.99.
With this, you can sell products on Amazon, and place your trust in the
website’s ecommerce and trading system. You’ll also enjoy fraud protection and
access to millions of customers shopping online, which other ecommerce sites
simply cannot offer.
Fulfillment by Amazon also means that you can sell it, and Amazon will ship
it. The company has spent more than a decade working with millions of customers
and orders and now has one of the most efficient fulfillment networks in the
whole world. You can let Amazon professions store, pack and then ship the
products that you want to sell, meaning that you don’t have to do this yourself
or even manage your own warehouse. This takes a load off your own back and
increases your sales. Simply sit back, pay a competitive monthly fee and watch
millions of customers come flying by!
Finally, you can even use Amazon product ads to improve your visibility on
the website. These ads have no monthly fees and no minimum spend requirement,
and can let you set a daily budget with cost-per-click. When a customer sees
your advert and they are interested, they can click and purchase the product
directly from you.
Amazon doesn’t just offer great opportunities with regards to buying products
or selling. In fact, Amazon is always recruiting and its website has great
options for people who are leaving university and people who want to work in the
customer service industry. Applicants will be best suited for a career with
Amazon as long as they wish to become a master of the skills necessary to meet
and exceed customers' expectations again and again.
Amazon aims to be the most consumer-centric company in the world, allowing
people to find everything they want. For this reason, the work environment at
Amazon is fast-paced and always evolving, meaning that applicants to work with
the company need to be passionate about their role and delivering results not
only for the company, but also for the many dedicate customers.
The brightest minds are hired by Amazon, and each new team member will be
challenged to improve their abilities throughout their career with the company.
Those hired must be decidedly the best people for the position as well as a
positive individual who will help reflect only positive sentiments about Amazon;
essentially becoming an ambassador for the company. Service sector employees
must be competitively compensated and they must have a better than average
relationship with the company they are working for. Disaster occurs in service
marketing when front-line employees are not suited for the responsibilities due
to personality or other character flaws like an abrasive speech tact.
Contact with unsuited employees, in the long-run, only decrease Amazon's
positioning with consumers and many thousands of dollars in potential sales. The
perfect Amazon employee should be a master of what's known as service recovery
(service marketing term designating a situation where some employee must go
above and beyond to keep the customer who was initially wronged by some action
or communication with the company). An example of service recovery that is
specific to Amazon's business model would be if say an order did not ship when
it was supposed to and the customer calls to complain. Immediately the
representative should upgrade the customer's shipping arrangements to the most
expedient option necessary and apologize for any inconvenience.
Amazon is an incredible example of a successful ecommerce company, and to
understand how it performs so well, you simply need to look at the revenue
figures for the company. One particular area of revenue for Amazon is often
forgotten about, but in fact, the ad revenue for the company is pretty
The ad revenue for Amazon recently show that last year, the online trading
company made more than $610 million in net ad revenues, and that this year, it
is expected to top $835 million. The figure for 2012 shows an increase of 45.5%
from 2011, and the expected figure for this year will make a further increase of
Without advertisements, however, Amazon still has incredibly substantial net
revenue. In just the first quarter of 2013, Amazon has announced that they have
made a huge $16.07 billion, increasing by 22% over last year’s figures. This
figure beat the estimates from the Wall Street journal, leading to speculation
that the company will once again outperform in upcoming quarters.
As for ad revenues, it is expected that Amazon will continue developing its
strategy and making consistent growth in the field. Amazon will continue
gathering data from businesses and through its retail sales and improve its
current strategy. By reaching out to precisely the markets they need, Amazon
will no doubt break even more records and net the expected $1.1 billion in ad
revenues by 2015.
Amazon is one of the most successful examples of how pushing yourself to do
something can result in success. It is also a sign of how the markets are
changing, and these interesting facts show that we should expect significant
changes over the next five to 10 years. Amazon is always adapting and changing
and manages to stay ahead of the game. We may well see further improved services
from the company, or totally new innovation from competitors.