Amazon.com is well-known for being one of the most major retailers on the Internet. The company was founded in 1994 by Jeff Bezos, and he initially handled everything out of his garage. From these humble beginnings, an international success was born. In fact, Amazon.com now has a physical presence in 12 countries, including France, Slovakia and China.
The company’s profits have been steadily increasing, and they reported a revenue of $13.2 billion in the first quarter of 2012.
How did Amazon.com become such a Big Company?
When Amazon.com first launched online in 1995, Bezos’ company only offered books. This quickly changed, however, and movies and music were both added in 1997. In addition to expanding their catalog, Amazon.com also had their initial public offering (IPO) in 1997. Although the IPO started at a robust $18 per share, the price skyrocketed to almost $24 within one day. The IPO earned Amazon $54 million, and it enabled them to move forward with several changes, including the 1998 launch of their first international websites in Germany and the United Kingdom.
Important Moments in Amazon.com’s Timeline
In addition to the moments listed above, Amazon.com was able to get an even bigger hold on Internet shoppers in 2001 when they introduced the “Look Inside” feature for books. Now in addition to reading the synopsis and reader reviews, customers can actually sample a few pages from most of the books that the website offers. This function pleased hardcore readers who preferred to peruse their local bookstore’s shelves in order to find new books.
Amazon has spent a lot of time and money acquiring websites and businesses all over the world, including the Internet Movie Database, Audible.com and CreateSpace.com. These acquisitions, along with Amazon’s other investments and subsidiaries, have helped the company have access to a wider product selection and increase their overall profits.
The launch of Amazon Prime in 2005 helped the company compete on a larger scale with local stores. Not only did it enable customers to receive their purchases within two days, but an Amazon Prime subscription also began including free access to Amazon Instant Video in 2011.
The company entered the competitive world of tablet manufacturing when they released their first Kindle in 2007. Because Amazon.com has been selling books since the beginning, it made sense for them to tackle the growing consumer desire for high-tech e-Readers. According to a report from Amazon.co.uk, eBooks are now selling at a higher rate than traditional books.
Why are People so Enamored with Amazon.com?
Even though it is often quicker to go to a local store to pick up the latest book, DVD or video game, Amazon.com typically offers the best prices. The website also enables customers to pre-order highly anticipated titles at a greatly reduced rate. In addition to saving money, Amazon.com offers free sales tax in many area, and the site can also help people find items that are not available locally. When you tie all of these factors into the convenience of shopping from home, it is no wonder that Amazon.com is the top ranked Internet retail store.
What does the Future Hold?
Amazon.com will soon be charging sales tax in most areas, but they are planning to combat this by offering same and next day shipping to almost anywhere in the country. Even though customers will be disappointed by the added cost of sales tax, Amazon.com is still likely to offer the best prices on most items, and if you can get anything delivered within 24 hours, there is truly no reason to go to a brick and mortar store.
Travis Leary is a freelance writer and blogger based in the great city of Seattle, home of Starbucks, year-round rain clouds, and very possibly a new NBA team. Travis focuses his efforts on technology, gadgetry, and business. Lately he has taken a particularly strong interest in high-end espresso makers. Truth be told, espresso makers form a powerful market in the ecommerce world; to learn more click to view a top ecommerce outfit in the home espresso maker market right now.