A Summary of Amazon

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A summary of Amazon’s business strategy and revenue model
I’ve used Amazon in my books for over 10 years now since many companies, from startups and small businesses to large international businesses, can learn from their focus on the customer and the approach of using technology and analysis to improve results. It consistently outperforms other companies in its ACSI customer satisfaction rating too. I aim to keep the case study up-to-date for readers of the books and Smart Insights readers who may be interested. In it we look at Amazon’s background, revenue model and sources for the latest business results. I recommend anyone studying Amazon checks the latest Amazon revenue and business strategies from their SEC filings / Investor relations. The annual filings to give a great summary of eBay business and revenue models. A good summary of the latest business model initiatives is available in this Amazon annual report summary for 2011. For Q4, 2010: North America segment sales, representing the Company’s U.S. and Canadian sites, were $7.21 billion, up 45% from fourth quarter 2009. International segment sales, representing the Company’s U.K., German, Japanese, French, Chinese and new Italian sites, were $5.74 billion, up 26% from fourth quarter 2009. Excluding the unfavorable impact from year-over-year changes in foreign exchange rates throughout the quarter, sales grew 29%. Amazon has come a long way since it launched in 1995:

From:
and it’s offices…

to it’s current Seattle headquarters:

Amazon performs exceptionally efficiently measured against revenue per visitor, which is one of the key measures for any commercial website, whether it’s a media site, search engine, social network or a transactional retailer or offers travel or financial services. Of course profit per user would be quite different due to the significantly lower costs of other .coms like Facebook and Google.

Note: SEC is the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) which is a government agency for which companies have to submit an open evaluation of their business models and marketplace conditions. Further Amazon case information

This case study created by FaberNovel “Amazon.com: The Hidden Empire” one of five “Most Favorited” slideshows and one of the five “Most Popular Technology Presentations” of 2011. Recommended: Amazon Case Study Context

Why a case study on Amazon? Surely everyone knows about who Amazon are and what they do? Yes, well that’s maybe true, but this case goes beyond the surface to review some of the ‘insider secrets’ of Amazon’s success. Like eBay, Amazon.com was born in 1995. The name reflected the vision of Jeff Bezos, to produce a large scale phenomenon like the Amazon river. This ambition has proved justified since just 8 years later, Amazon passed the $5 billion sales mark – it took Wal-Mart 20 years to achieve this. By 2008 Amazon was a global brand with other 76 million active customers accounts and order fulfillment to more than 200 countries. Despite this volume of sales, at December 31, 2007 Amazon employed approximately 17,000 full-time and part-time employees. In September 2007, it launched Amazon MP3, a la carte DRM-free MP3 music downloads, which now includes over 3.1 million songs from more than 270,000 artists. Amazon Vision & strategy

In their 2008 SEC filing, Amazon describe the vision of their business as to: “Relentlessly focus on customer experience by offering our customers low prices, convenience, and a wide selection of merchandise.” The vision is still to offer “Earth’s biggest selection and to be Earth’s most customer-centric company. Consider how these core marketing messages summarising the Amazon online value proposition are communicated both on-site and through offline communications. Of course, achieving customer loyalty and repeat purchases has been key to Amazon’s success. Many dot-coms failed because they succeeded in achieving awareness, but not loyalty. Amazon achieved both. In their SEC...
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