First launched in November 2014, Amazon Alexa is one of the most popular AI-powered virtual assistants. It was first used in the Amazon Echo and the Amazon Echo Dot smart speakers developed by Amazon Lab126. Thanks to Alexa, we can make voice requests, play music, make to-do lists, set alarms, stream podcasts, play audiobooks and get real-time information. Alexa has become an integral part of pop culture.
No wonder the What did we do before Alexa? Superbowl commercial
was one of the biggest advertising winners of 2020.
A is for ALEXA
B is for BEZOS
Everyone has heard of Jeff Bezos (or Jeffrey Preston Bezos, to be specific). The founder, chief executive officer, and president of Amazon has become
a household name. But did you know that he is also an internet and aerospace entrepreneur, media proprietor, and investor? And were you aware that he was the first centi-billionaire on the Forbes wealth index? The so-called “richest man in modern history”? In 2018, Forbes called him “far richer than anyone else on the planet” when Amazon became the second company in history to reach
a market cap of $1 trillion. Lend us a fiver will you, Jeff?
C is for CIA
It was 2013 when the CIA awarded a contract to Amazon Web Services worth up to $600 million over 10 years. The deal with the CIA, handled in secret back then, included cloud computing storage. The CIA long relied exclusively on Amazon for its cloud computing. Now, it is planning to hire multiple companies for lucrative cloud computing deals in a new program that will give rivals a chance to take on the market leader.
D is for DRONE DELIVERIES
Amazon wants to use drones to safely deliver packages to its customers.
How? With Amazon Prime Air - ‘a future delivery system designed to safely get packages to customers in 30 minutes or less using uncrewed aerial vehicles (drones). Prime Air has great potential to enhance the services we already provide to millions of customers by providing rapid parcel delivery that will also increase the overall safety and efficiency of the transportation system.’ The order must be less than 2.25 kg, must be small enough to fit in the cargo box, and must have a delivery location within a 16km radius of a participating Amazon order fulfilment centre. Prime Air has not been properly rolled out just yet, but watch
this space as it certainly won’t be long.
E is for EARTH’S
What was the first strapline Amazon used to entice consumers?
Let’s go back in time to 1995. The company officially opened for
business on July 16th 1995, as an online bookseller. With 1 million
titles in its catalogue, Amazon advertised itself as ‘Earth's biggest bookstore.’ Who would have thought that Amazon would go from
an online bookstore to a space where we can buy (almost)
anything we want.
F is for FRESH
It goes without saying that customers want to have their groceries delivered safely and on time. That is precisely what AmazonFresh has done since 2017.
A grocery delivery service currently available in some U.S. states, Berlin (including Potsdam), Hamburg, London, Munich and Tokyo, Amazon Fresh helped many people get hold of food supplies when lockdown was at its height. Its recipe for success? Rolling out its services gradually, targeting specific parts of various metropolitan areas and partnering with local speciality stores for delivery of local items. With reports that the etailer is looking to open its own Amazon Fresh supermarkets, this is clearly
a strategy that’s worked.
G is for GO
Looking for the store of the future? Amazon Go is a great example. Set up as a chain of convenience stores in the US with 26 store locations in Seattle, Chicago, San Francisco and New York City as of 2020, Amazon Go offers an automated shopping experience, with customers able to purchase products simply by scanning into the store with an app. No check outs, no cashiers, no problem. Amazon Go stores offer meal kits, groceries, and a tipple or two - the essentials!
H is for HOUSES
Many people think they can buy anything - even a house - on Amazon and, unbelievably, they are right. Amazon offers home kits for around $26,000. They are created by Chinese company Hebei Weizhengheng Modular House Tech Co. (WZH Group) which sells the 20ft x 40ft insulated, expandable container homes via the etailer. They even come with solar energy panels, perfect for the eco-conscious shopper.
I is for INSTINCT
It’s interesting to see the tactics that brands bring out when they go head to head with a competitor. During Amazon’s early tussles with Barnes & Noble, Bezos hired a mobile billboard company to circle around outside Barnes & Noble locations. The billboard said, “Can’t
Find the Book You Wanted?” and then listed Amazon’s web address.
Risky, but clever.
J is for JOBS
Amazon, as the most prominent e-commerce site in the world,
creates thousands of jobs. In 2019, Amazon employed 798,000
full- and part-time employees. The multinational ecommerce
company is the leading etailer in the United States, with
around $280.5 billion in 2019 net revenues.
K is for KINDLE
Who still reads paper books, when you can carry a Kindle? Amazon released its first eReader on November 19th 2007 for $399 and it
sold out in five and a half hours. Amazon Kindle devices enable
users to browse, buy, download, and read ebooks, newspapers, magazines and other digital media via wireless networking to
the Kindle Store.
L is for LOGO
The current Amazon logo was introduced in 2000. It depicts a smile with the yellow line that starts at the ‘A’ of Amazon and ends with an arrow at ‘Z’. Jeff Bezos stated that the logo ‘signifies that the company
is willing to deliver everything to everyone, anywhere in the world.’
A bold statement, but one the company increasingly delivers on.
M is for MIND-BLOWING
As Amazon does a lot more than just selling products, the company statistics are often astounding. For example, 55% of consumers begin their online shopping journey by searching on Amazon, and 9/10 consumers check the price of a product on Amazon as part of their product research. Find more Amazon insights here.
N is for NARRATIVE
Amazon banned PowerPoint presentations in 2004 as part of a culture shift meant to promote careful thinking about new ideas. Instead of PowerPoint presentations, any new concept that is being pitched by an employee must be written into a 4-6 page document called a “narrative.” Sixteen years later, this process seems to be paying dividends.
O is for OVER 1M NEW
SELLERS LAST YEAR
It goes without saying that Amazon is a fantastic place to buy and sell things. To be specific, 1,029,528 new sellers joined Amazon in 2019. That’s the equivalent of 2,975 new sellers every day. Can you imagine,
if the same amount of shops opened every day in your hometown?!
80% of these sellers also offer their products on other platforms, but they know that they have to be on Amazon to be at the front of
P is for PRIME
Amazon Prime is a paid subscription service to premium Amazon features, including free two-day delivery, music and video streaming, and other key benefits. In January 2020, Amazon reported that Prime had
more than 150 million subscribers worldwide. Prime's ability to drive customer spending is often compared to Costco's membership program.
Q is for QUITTING
At Amazon, you can start your job with style, and quit it with benefits.
In 2014, Amazon launched a ‘Pay to Quit’ program aimed at reducing the number of unmotivated warehouse employees at its fulfilment centres.
If a worker who has been employed for at least a year hands in their resignation, they’ll receive between $2,000 and $5,000 depending on how long they've worked for the company. It’s enough to make
anyone consider a change of career...
R is for REVENUE
In October 2019, Amazon reported earnings for its third fiscal quarter, including revenue of $70.0 billion, net income of $2.1 billion, and earnings per share of $4.23 billion (compared to revenue of $56.6 billion, net income of $2.9 billion, and earnings per share of $5.75 in Q3 2018).
S is for SUBSIDIARIES
As a multinational technology company, Amazon owns over 40 subsidiaries, including Shopbop, Diapers.com, Goodreads, TeachStreet, and IMDb. You might not realise it, but the top seven companies now owned by Amazon are Whole Foods Market, Ring, Zappos, PillPack, Inc., Twitch Interactive, Kiva Systems (now Amazon Robotics), and Audible.
T is for THE SPHERES
The place where you invent fantastic solutions matters. In 2018, Amazon opened the Amazon Spheres, three spherical conservatories that are part of the Amazon headquarters campus in Seattle. Designed by NBBJ and landscape firm Site Workshop, the three glass domes are covered in pentagonal hexecontahedron panels and serve as an employee lounge and workspace. The domes, which range from three to four stories tall, house 40,000 plants as well as meeting spaces and retail stores. The spheres are reserved mainly for Amazon employees but are open to the public via weekly headquarters tours and an exhibit on the ground floor.
U is for UK
The United Kingdom is one of the most precious markets to Amazon. Almost 90% of UK shoppers use the site, and 40% have access to its Prime subscription service, according to research that lays bare the challenge for high street retailers.
V is for VIDEO
Netflix and HBO Go have enormous competition from Amazon
Prime Video. Launched on September 7, 2006, as Amazon Unbox in the United States, Amazon Prime Video is a video-on-demand service that is developed, owned, and operated by Amazon. It offers television shows and films for rent or purchase and a selection of Amazon Studios original content and licensed acquisitions included in the Amazon's Prime subscription. In some countries, Prime Video also offers Amazon Channels, which allows viewers to subscribe to other suppliers' content, including HBO in the United States.
W is for WAREHOUSES
The vast amount of sellers on Amazon means a huge number of products and the need for numerous storage warehouses. The retail giant now operates more than 175 fulfilment centres around the globe, 110 of
which are in North America, and employs 250,000 full-time associates. During the holiday season, the company hires additional workers
(a reported 120,000 in 2017) across its logistics and warehouse network. However, in 2018 the company only hired 100,000 holiday temp workers because investment in robotics meant a reduced need for seasonal staff.
X IS FOR XMAS TIME
For Amazon, Christmas has become the best time to break world records. In 2019, Amazon.com Inc.’s stock had the most significant advance on the S&P 500 Index after the ecommerce giant said its holiday season this year was ‘record-breaking’ with billions of items shipped and ‘tens of millions’ of Amazon devices, like the Echo Dot, sold. Five million new customers started Prime free trials or paid memberships globally. At the same time, the number of items that were delivered with one-day or same-day shipping quadrupled compared to the previous holiday season. Independent third-party sellers, meanwhile, sold more than a billion items, Amazon reported.
Y is for YOUNG CUSTOMERS
As people of all ages sell and buy on the Amazon platform,
the massive group of young customers seem to be extremely brand
loyal which, in a world full of choices, is rare. 43% of teens say that
Amazon is their favourite shopping site. Young people eagerly use Amazon’s services like online stores, physical stores, third-party seller services, subscription services, and AWS (Amazon web services) that
make up the majority of their business model.
Z is for ZAPPOS
One of the Top 7 brands that Amazon owns, Zappos.com is an online shoe and clothing retailer based in Las Vegas, Nevada. The company was founded in 1999 by Nick Swinmurn and launched under the domain name Shoesite.com. In July 2009, Amazon acquired Zappos in an all-stock deal worth around $1.2 billion at the time. From books to shoes, Amazon has it all.
Amazon became the second company in history to reach a market cap of $1 trillion
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