Amazon has been around since the mid-1990s and has since grown into one of the largest online retailers, making the company’s owner Jeff Bezos the richest man in the world.
However, if you’ve never used Amazon before, you may be curious about what exactly this company is and why it’s so popular. If you’d like to learn more about Amazon, keep reading this article for further insight!
What Is Amazon?
Amazon is a technology company available in multiple countries and focuses on e-commerce, digital streaming, and artificial intelligence. Currently, Amazon sits among the Big Five companies based out of the US in information technology. As well, Amazon is considered to be highly influential in modern culture and is the World’s Most Valuable Bran.
If you’d like to learn more about Amazon as a company, why Amazon was initially created, how it operates, and more, keep reading this article for more useful facts, tips, and information!
Why Was Amazon Launched?
When Amazon was launched by Jeff Bezos, the company was intended to serve as an online bookstore at its outset.
In time, the plan was for the company to expand its technology aspirations, with the goal of simplifying the way that online transactions were conducted.
Initially, Amazon’s business model was largely met with criticism, as many in the business world did not yet see the Internet as being reliable or profitable for the retail industry.
However, Jeff Bezos believed the internet offered greater growth potential for Amazon and continued to expand gradually, and by 1997, Amazon was serving over 1 million customers worldwide, only three years after the website’s initial launch.
When Did Amazon Launch?
Amazon was launched in 1994 from Jeff Bezos’ home garage in Bellevue, Washington, on July 5th of that year. Amazon quickly expanded as a company, reaching 180,000 customers after one full year of operations.
Further, Amazon’s revenue went from $15.7 million in 1996 to $148 million in 1997, and by 1999, the company was generating over $600 million.
In fact, in 1999, Time magazine labeled Amazon’s founder as Person of the Year. Overall, Amazon proved to be quite successful after its initial launch and has continued to grow since.
How Does Amazon Operate?
Amazon’s main operations, next to technology development, are focused on sales, shipping, and handling. Amazon has multiple fulfillment centers around the world, where they stock the majority of their products that are available for purchase.
Amazon purchases wholesale stock from businesses, manufacturers, and individual sellers and gives Amazon ownership of said products through Amazon Vendor Central.
Once Amazon has ownership of its stock, it is marketed and placed on sale through Amazon.com and its subsidiaries.
What Does Amazon Specialize In?
Amazon specializes mainly in retail distribution and technology development.
Part of Amazon’s business model revolves around selling items online with a department store set-up, packaging the items, shipping and delivering them to customers.
To accompany the sale and shipping aspect of the company, Amazon developed Amazon Prime, which is a membership that customers can sign up for to increase the speed of their shipping times, as well as receive discounts.
In addition to retail, Amazon also focuses heavily on developing innovative technology, such as their Echo Dot, which is a voice command device developed through artificial intelligence.
Amazon has also developed devices such as the Kindle and Fire Tablet, which are mobile devices mainly used for reading e-books.
Additionally, Amazon has made all its fully developed technology available for purchase through its website, merging the two main aspects of the company seamlessly.
What Does Amazon Sell?
Amazon sells products in most categories on the main website, including (but not limited to) the following:
- Smart Home
- Arts & Crafts
- Beauty and personal care
- Women’s Fashion
- Men’s Fashion
- Girl’s Fashion
- Boy’s Fashion
- Health and Household
- Home and Kitchen
- Industrial and Scientific
- Movies & Television
- Pet Supplies
- Sports and Outdoors
- Tools & Home Improvement
- Toys & Games
- Video Games
- Kindle E-readers and Books
While Amazon sells in all of the above categories, the company is most well-known for its high sales ranking in the Book and Technology industries, which are regularly mingled through Amazon’s products and promotions.
For example, Amazon promotes its website heavily by advertising the Kindle e-reader and featuring popular books that are available for the Kindle.
Additionally, Amazon has a large foot in the door in the audiobook department, as the company owns Audible, one of the leading audiobook apps in the world, which features many popular books, including audiobooks developed for the app called Audible Originals.
Why Is Amazon Popular?
Amazon has gained popularity for a variety of reasons, one of the main reasons being its innovative approach to online consumerism.
Customers who shop on Amazon are able to locate products such as books, clothing, and electronics for much lower prices than regular stores and are treated to fast and reliable shipping through Amazon Prime.
Up until Amazon’s launch, there were very few online merchants, and none of Amazon’s predecessors were able to accomplish reliable shipping and product distribution in the same way.
In fact, Amazon has been regarded as one of the main reasons both the world’s economy and shopping culture have shifted so much since the late 1990s.
Overall, Amazon is one of the main founders in the e-commerce world, and due to staying true to its original business model (which was to make shopping more convenient for the average consumer), the company has continued to remain popular.
What Makes Amazon Different from Other Online Stores?
Amazon’s approach to online shopping has differentiated the company from other online merchants for many years, which most online retailers have yet to copy.
For example, Amazon has multiple shipping fulfillment centers all over the world and employs 1.3 million employees as of 2021.
Due to Amazon’s large number of employees and shipping centers, the company is not only able to package and ship orders quickly but is able to do so within customers’ native countries due to all fulfillment centers carrying Amazon’s main stock.
By shipping packages within the countries they are ordered from, Amazon is able to better guarantee a reliable shipping speed, as each shipping estimate is based on the postal services and traffic of those countries.
Another contributing factor to Amazon’s differentiation from other businesses is the number of perks that the company offers.
Customers are not only able to locate products easily and at lower prices, but they’re able to take advantage of Amazon Prime shipping, stream films, and TV through Prime Video, store photos and videos through Amazon Photo, and a large number of other benefits.
Overall, Amazon is considered to be superior in its field, as the company is able to provide a level of service to customers that most online retailers are unable to fully match.
Does Amazon Sell High-Quality Products?
Amazon sells a large variety of products on its website, but due to the varying categories available to purchase, the quality of the items available tends to differ.
For example, customers can find high-quality electronics through Amazon, such as refurbished iPhones and Acer laptops. However, Amazon’s selection in categories such as stationery and gifts tends to be made cheaply and is generally sold by off-brands.
Nevertheless, customers can find a large variety of high-quality merchandise on Amazon as long as they know what they’re searching for.
Items such as hardcover books, DVDs, women’s clothing, etc., can be located from well-known brands at a slightly discounted price than if they were purchased from those brands directly.
In full, Amazon’s selection can be cheap depending on the category a customer is searching in, but Amazon will have high-quality merchandise scattered throughout every category, which customers can locate if they know what they’re looking for.
Therefore, it’s recommended that customers first look up the brand names of products they wish to purchase and then search for the name in Amazon’s search bar in order to locate the specific quality of the product they prefer to purchase.
How Successful Is Amazon?
In recent years, Amazon’s success has been found to be unparalleled in the e-commerce industry, as Amazon is now considered the largest online retailer in the world and the second-largest private employer in the United States.
Additionally, Jeff Bezos (the owner and founder of Amazon) was declared the richest man in the world in 2018, when he registered a net worth of $112 Billion, which rose to $201.5 Billion in 2021.
Overall, Amazon’s success is significant both within popular culture and from a historical standpoint, making its mark on the world as the most successful online retailer in the world.
How Has Amazon Changed?
Amazon has changed impermeably since its initial launch in 1994. When Amazon first went live, it was a simple method for purchasing books online with reasonable prices and reliable shipping.
However, since then, Amazon has expanded into one of the most reliable online shopping centers in the world, as well as one of the leading technology development companies in the United States.
Amazon has gone from selling books primarily to selling in a wide variety of categories, such as home goods, furniture, clothing, pet products, and their large selection of electronics and technology, many of which were developed by Amazon itself.
As well, Amazon has broadened beyond retail and product development but now owns its own video streaming service and film studio, streaming both popular films and TV series as well as Amazon Original content.
Overall, Amazon has changed from being a simple online shopping center to being a juggernaut for multi-media content and technology development.
Is Amazon a Good Company to Work For?
While Amazon is very popular worldwide with many consumers, many employees who work at Amazon have stated that it’s not a good company to work for in many respects.
For example, Amazon runs on very strict schedules, particularly in warehouses and fulfillment centers. Employees who are full-time are required to work overtime hours, and breaks are extremely limited during the workday.
As well, parents who work at Amazon have stated in recent years that Amazon is not considerate towards parents whose parental obligations interfere with the schedules they’re given, such as not being able to pick up their children from school.
Therefore, it’s reasonable to conclude that while Amazon is successful with consumers, the company does not do well in terms of accommodating staff members, regarding the company as having a negative work environment.
What Is Amazon Prime?
Thirteen years after Amazon launched, in 2007, the company started Amazon Prime, a service intended to quicken shipping speeds and allow certain perks for customers who have an Amazon Prime membership.
Nowadays, Amazon Prime still serves as a shipping service, which enables customers to receive packages as early as the same day they ordered, depending on where they’re located.
However, Amazon Prime now has a number of perks under its belt that customers with a membership are able to take advantage of.
For example, Amazon Prime members are automatically given an Amazon Prime Video account at no extra charge. As well, Prime customers are given unlimited storage on Amazon Photo, a cloud storage service for photos and videos.
Finally, Amazon Prime also discounts prices for select products and every summer, Amazon hosts Prime Day, a company-wide sale that features discounted prices and faster shipping for nearly all orders placed.
Why Does Amazon Promote Amazon Prime?
Amazon heavily promotes its Prime membership on Amazon.com, through internet and TV ads, as well as in physical publications such as newspapers.
There are many reasons why Amazon promotes Prime so much, one of the main being that the company’s consistent goal is to increase Prime memberships worldwide, and the company continues to add incentives to the membership to make it worthwhile for consumers.
By increasing Prime memberships, the company will grow its profit, as well as gain more loyal customers who will return to the website regularly to make purchases.
Did Prime Change Amazon as a Company?
When Amazon introduced the Amazon Prime membership, it further emphasized Amazon’s initial goal when the company launched, which was to make online shopping a convenient consumer experience.
So, by introducing Prime, customers were able to not only have reliable shipping and tracking, but shipping times were now faster, and customers were even able to get discounts with their Prime account.
In fact, as of April 2021, Amazon Prime boasts over 200 Million subscribers worldwide. Therefore, Amazon Prime, while not necessarily changing the focus of the company, further emphasized Amazon’s goal for customer convenience by increasing shipping speeds.
Is Amazon a Film Studio?
Amazon, in addition to being an online retailer and technology development company, also owns its own film production company Amazon Studios.
Amazon Studios was developed for Amazon Prime Video in order that Amazon could create its own original content to further entice customers to subscribe to its streaming service.
In fact, Amazon’s film productions have succeeded exponentially, making Amazon Prime Video the first streaming service to win an Oscar for Amazon Studio’s 2017 film Manchester by the Sea.
Is Amazon Still Growing?
Amazon has grown significantly since its initial launch in 1994, as the company is now one of the most successful companies in the world. However, Amazon is still growing and expanding in a number of areas.
For example, Amazon announced along with Apple and Google that the three companies would be collaborating on technology developments revolved around AI (artificial intelligence) to further synchronize the compatibility of the Amazon Echo, Google Assistant, and Siri applications.
Amazon is therefore continuing to expand in the technology development aspect of the company. However, some professionals have noted in recent years that Amazon currently runs the risk of expanding too far, which may cause the company to go bankrupt.
In fact, Jeff Bezos (Amazon’s owner) stated that he expects Amazon to go bankrupt at some point, noting that most large companies do not outlast the 30-year mark of being in business.
However, Bezos also stated that he intends to prevent Amazon from becoming bankrupt for as long as he is able, therefore leaving the door open for more potential expansion, provided the company continues to remain solvent.
Is Having an Amazon Account Worth it?
Amazon is well worth having for consumers who shop online on a regular basis, in particular, customers who purchase their books and technology from online stores.
Customers are further recommended to open an Amazon Prime account, as the fast shipping speeds, discounts, and perks are worth paying the monthly (or yearly) subscription fee, as customers will receive a lot for what they’re paying for.