The advantage of being first in the game has led many technology companies to earn a hefty share in the market. But, it’s often the most innovative companies that left an indelible mark on the history of the world. One such company was launched in 1995, which changed how customers used to buy products. It started as an online bookstore and soon grew to include various consumer products in its list. If you guessed right, we are talking about the large online seller company, Amazon.
Amazon was founded by Jeff Bezos, the serial entrepreneur. He had the vision to make it easy for the common people to order and buy the products of daily use. Before Amazon, Computer Literacy was selling books which was a Silicon Valley startup. So, Amazon also faced tough competition from popular booksellers of that time. Like the companies Borders and Barnes and Noble. But it’s his hard work and consistency with Jeff that allowed him to spend the tough time with patience. He became the biggest online seller, not in the books category but in other mass products of daily usage as well.
The Origin Story Of Amazon
Jeff Bezos founded Amazon in July 1994 to realize his dream. He dreamt of creating mass products accessible to everyone online. If we talk about Amazon going public, it happened in 1997 after 3 years of its creation. It raised $54 million and used it to invest in its rapid expansion and growth. In 1998, it started selling videos and music. And just after a year, it started selling video games, software, house items, toys, and gadgets. Luckily, this quickly affected the growth of Amazon and it grew over the following years.
Within a full year of its operation, around 200,000 users signed up for Amazon and at the end of 1997, up to 1 million users had signed up for it. During this rapid growth phase, Amazon’s revenue jumped from $16 million in 1996 to $148 million in 1997. It was followed by a massive revenue amount of $610 million in 1998.
Jeff Bezos History
Jeff Bezos is an American entrepreneur, founder, astronaut, and technocrat. Though, he was born in New Mexico but spent most of his time in Texas. He completed his graduation from Princeton University in Computer Sciences and Electrical Engineering. In his teenage, he founded Dream Institute. Its mission was to develop creative thinking ability in youngsters. Soon, he found a job as a cook in McDonald’s restaurant. After he completed his graduation, he joined an international trade company, Fitel.
After doing a couple of jobs he joined D.E Shaw and Co, an investment bank in New York. Jeff was destined to play a significant role in the development of modern e-commerce. After 4 years of his service at D.E Shaw and Co as vice-president, he quit the job. He got settled in Seattle, Washington to pursue his dream.
He founded Amazon as an online book store. But expanding it to everything store, in his own words, and a technology company. Amazon has transformed how customers buy products online. He remained CEO of Amazon for over 20 years and stepped down on February 2021. Yet, he chose to remain executive chairman of amazon for the foreseeable future.
Amazon works on cloud technology which combines the best practices of e-commerce, and digital marketing. This combination helps it to deliver a world-class user experience. Furthermore, it sells books, music, movies, gadgets, furniture, and many more items. This platform was user-friendly. It allowed the buyers to post their feedback after the sale. It offered suggestions to the users based on their search history and some other factors.
Seeing the tough competition, Amazon started offering hardware, electronics, and wardrobe items and accessories. Soon, it became the go-to choice for customers all over the world. As one could buy anything ranging from Christmas gifts to electronic devices.
The launch of Amazon Kindle and AWS was an incredible event in the history of Amazon. But, it had its own challenges as well. Book publishers soon became worried about the low prices offered by Amazon. After some issues with the leading book publishers, Amazon settled the matter. Amazon’s half profit was provided by Amazon Web Services in 2018. While in 2020, the company reached a record revenue of more than $100 billion. It was partly due to the fact that the Corona pandemic urged users to buy from the comfort of their own homes.
Jeff Bezos claimed that Amazon is not only a seller of physical products but a complete technology company. And to back up his claim, AWS (Amazon Web Services) was launched in 2022. It was a cloud service that provided internet traffic patterns and customer data.
Storage and Computing Resources
It expanded its cloud service in 2006 by starting working with the Elastic Compute Cloud. This company gives computer storage on rent. After some time, Simple Storage Service also came under the umbrella of Amazon. It made it easy to store a lot of data online even if your personal computer didn’t have enough space. Soon after the launch of Simple Storage Service, 10 billion files were uploaded that year. After just 5 years, around 900 billion files were uploaded. Just imagine the power of cloud computing which Amazon popularized.
The Boom of the Self-Publishing Industry
One feature that makes Amazon different from others is that it sells kindle ebook readers. These ebook readers have disrupted the ebook publishing business. So, no more persuading traditional book publishers to publish and market your book. Now the reign is in your own hands. Many common people have become self-published authors due to Amazon’s self-publishing program.
Some Personalization Features
One important strategy that made it unique from its competitors is its personalization feature. Keeping in view the buy history of the customer and buyers of the same items, it recommends products to them. Apart from this feature, the option of leaving reviews from real buyers created a sense of community. It also helped Amazon keep its loyal customers.
Furthermore, one-click checkout and buy, along with a superior search algorithm make it unique from its competitors. Its advanced level algorithm makes it workable for the user to find the most relevant products based on the Keyword types. Optimizing listing on Amazon needs several hours of courses to understand. Many vendors do this for providing enough information for the buyers to help them in their buying decision. It’s difficult to find the same level of advanced features on other competitor sites.
Amazon shows the results based on their demographics and preferences. It creates a hyper-personalized user experience delighting the customers quite much.
One other distinguishing feature is its competitive pricing. It offers products at lower prices compared to its competitors. Its strong logistics ensure 2-day shipping and delivery. It has a Prime Now Function. With the help of it, it offers 1-hour instant delivery of over 25000 items in 30 cities by its Prime Now function.
Another unique fact about Amazon is that unlike other tech companies it didn’t invest in mainframe technology. Like buying dozens of data centers and other high-cost technology integration. Instead, it made a shift to the cloud with its AWS technology and built its resources in-house, unlike some Silicon Valley startups. Operating from far away offices has proved more expensive due to the gap between the workforce and other resources.
List of Amazon products and services
Amazon products and services span various categories. Let’s dive into some main products and services of this tech giant.
- Amazon Echo
- Amazon Kindle
- Amazon AWS
- Amazon Music
- Amazon Business
- Amazon Family
- Amazon Prime Video
➜ Amazon Echo series
Amazon produced a series of different products and services to fill the market gap in the technology field. Keeping in view the voice search technology, it released Amazon Echo products. These products consist of wireless speakers and virtual assistant devices. These devices were connected to the Amazon Alexa app with the help of the internet. Using Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning, allowed users to perform basic tasks. Tasks like sorting out to-do lists, asking questions, and playing music by using voice commands. Moreover, other products in the series included Amazon Echo Dot, Echo Plus, Echo Plus, Echo Tap, Echo Show, and Echo Look.
➜ The product Amazon Kindle
Amazon is a series of e-readers used for reading ebooks, magazines, newspapers, and articles online. It was launched in 2012 and improvised with time bringing forward various e-readers with advanced features. It is like a tablet and works on the Android operating system.
You can store up to 1400 books in it, with built-in 4g and wifi connection. Its battery can last up to a month if wifi and 4g data are off. Moreover, it is a lightweight device that you can carry with you wherever you go.
➜ Cloud technology – Amazon AWS
Amazon Web Services is the world’s largest cloud platform which consists of over 200 services. These services comprise more functionality. It has a customer base of millions of interested people. It includes IoT, machine learning, artificial intelligence, and other technologies like computing, storage, and databases.
AWS supports the functioning of entrepreneurs, large enterprises, military as well as government institutes. So, it is made highly flexible and secure. It also provides a great platform for engineers and developers to store highly sensitive data and create cutting-edge applications.
➜ Amazon Music
Until now, Amazon Music has more than 50 million subscribers all over the world. It was launched in beta version in 2007. Then, it expanded and entered the UK, Germany, France, and other countries in the upcoming years. At launch, Amazon Music offered 2 million songs from around 2 lac artists. It included thousands of labels including the reputed labels of Universal Music Group and EMI Music. In the following years, Warner Music and Sony BMG followed the suit. Amazon Music has two tiers, Music Prime and Music Unlimited. In Music Prime, Amazon Prime members can benefit from unlimited use of a limited catalog, However, in Music Unlimited, standalone subscription users can enjoy unlimited streaming of the whole catalog of music.
➜ Business suite – Amazon Business
Every marketplace and social media platform knows that they will benefit from serving the businessmen. Amazon didn’t leave this sphere untouched. It launched Amazon Business in 2015 to cater to the needs of business owners. It looks like regular Amazon, but it contains more features and benefits for business people. Hundreds of business people can access the products offered by thousands of business sellers.
There are features like multi-user accounts, discounts on bulk purchases, specialized pricing, purchase monitoring, and setting up of buying limits.
Amazon Business is operational in the following countries:
➜ Amazon Family
Amazon Family is a platform that is created for families with children. It gives huge discounts on baby products like diapers and baby food. You can add up to two adults, 4 teenagers, and 4 children in one family account. This system is different from Amazon Household.
It also has a knowledge base of articles consisting of tips and tricks and how-to guides on raising successful children.
➜ Amazon Prime Video
Amazon launched Amazon Prime Video as Amazon Unboxed in 2006 and rebranded it as Amazon Instant Video in 2011. But, it didn’t stop here. In 2015, the tech giant dropped the word ‘instant’ and renamed it only Amazon Video. Some people call it Amazon Prime by Video because one can enjoy this service free of cost as part of their Amazon Prime subscription. However, if you are not a Prime member, you can still avail of this service as a standalone service.
Amazon prime included thousands of movies and original shows along with popular TV shows. You can also rent or buy additional shows and movies which are not included in the subscription. Now only this, you can opt for selecting up to 100 channels.
Amazon Video supports advanced audio and video formats. It lies somewhere in between other competitors like HBO Max and Apple TV Plus. This comparison is about cost and possesses some overlapping features with competitors.
The history of Amazon company is rich and full of constant growth and expansion. When the Pandemic hit back in 2019, the next year Amazon did its record sales. It earned more than $100 billion in revenue making Jeff Bezos the second richest man on earth. Amazon is the pioneer consumer products retailer which works in the technology space as well. It moved the world towards cloud computing and advanced user experience. It will continue to grow in near future owing to its innovative and strategic approach to market needs and shifts.
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