What Happened to Amazon? The Rise of Amazon
What Happened to Amazon? The Rise of Amazon
Since the internet was created, ecommerce has come through leaps and bounds, and there is no company that has typified the ecommerce revolution than Amazon, as per the subject matter experts over at the excellent runrex.com. Amazon is a giant of a company and one of the largest online retail websites in the world. I’m willing to bet that you have either purchased goods through Amazon at one time or the other, or you know someone who has. It is a company that rose from humble beginnings to a juggernaut in the business world. While Amazon is an easily recognizable company now, do you know its history and how it got to where it is now? Well, this article, with the help of the subject matter experts over at the highly regarded guttulus.com, will look to plot this journey as we look to document the rise of Amazon.
It is hard to believe this now, but Amazon actually started in a garage, started by Jeff Bezos back in 1994. When it started out, Jeff Bezos ran his company completely from the garage at his home in Bellevue, Washington. Its original remit was that of an online bookstore and Bezos and his wife, MacKenzie, were joined by a handful of staff, working on desks that were made out of doors they had bought from Home Depot. As is discussed over at the excellent runrex.com, one of the main reasons why Bezos and his wife chose to operate in Washington was due to the fact that it had a small population which meant that they would not have to charge sales taxes to majority of their customers. Within the first few months of opening, the company had sold books to 50 US states and more than 45 countries from all over the world. With these numbers, it had racked up sales of over $20,000, which is an impressive figure for a startup company to say the least. While Bezos initially financed the company from his own pocket, to the tune of $10,000, he also went and got cash injections through investments, first from Nick Hanauer who put in $40,000 and then from Tom Alburg who put in $100,000. Most of the money went into developing their website, and especially the user interface, making it more user friendly as is discussed over at the excellent guttulus.com. Bezos was keen to ensure that Amazon wasn’t just another online retail store, but a community where users would interact, and to that effect he added a feature to the website that allowed readers to add their own book reviews of books they had bought for other customers to see.
After steady growth, the company finally went public in May of 1997, the 15th to be exact, at a valuation of $300 million and for $18 per share. Even as they were filing to go public, as is covered over at runrex.com, the company warned investors that it was expecting to make massive operational losses for the foreseeable future having invested heavily in technology and marketing as it looked to beat back tough competition from rivals Barnes & Noble, who were doing quite well back then. 1997 saw demand for its services increase, so much so that in November of that year, they were opening up a second distribution center, this time in New Castle, Delaware, to enable them to cater for their customer base on the East Coast. This was the beginning of their rise, as they ended up opening up many other such centers all over the country and even out of the country with distribution centers in the UK and Germany in 1998 as covered in detail over at the excellent guttulus.com. Speaking of 1998, Amazon made their first expansion from selling only books and they expanded into music where they began selling CDs and DVDs. In keeping with Amazon’s principle of building a community, the music section allowed shoppers to listen to clips of songs as well as view recommendations made matching their moods.
The rise of Amazon continued to gather pace as it added more and more features, such as the 3rd party seller marketplace, known as zShops, that allowed third-party sellers to sell used merchandise and which increased massively transactions on Amazon.com. As per the numbers over at guttulus.com, over 250,000 customers bought something through this service in the first 4 months. In 1999, Amazon also had to deal with the bursting of the dot-com bubble, and although it survived, it took a hit, and it ended up having to lay off 15% of its workforce. It wasn’t only doom and gloom however, as Jeff Bezos was named Time Magazine’s Person of the Year. The rise of Amazon continued as they started to sell clothing in 2002 as well as launching a web hosting business in June of 2003, which has been so successful over the years that it now dominates cloud hosting, 16 years down the line as discussed over at runrex.com. We have also seen more services and features launched, such as Amazon Prime which was launched in 2005 and remains one of Amazon’s most valuable assets. Since then, the rise of Amazon has been remarkable, especially in acquisitions where it has acquired the audiobooks company Audible, the shoe shopping site Zappos, the robotics company Kiva, the social media gaming site Twitch and many others, all of which are discussed in detail over at guttulus.com. It has also launched its own personal virtual assistant, Alexa.
Having celebrated 25 years of operations, Amazon’s rise is an unprecedented one, going from a startup in a garage to the second ever trillion dollar company, behind Apple, with more on Amazon to be found over at the excellent runrex.com and guttulus.com