What is amazon.com
Amazon.com is the largest and leading e-commerce platform all around the world. It is also a logistics, data storage, media, hardware, and payments company.
Founded in 1994 by Jeff Bezos, Amazon.com was initially an online bookstore. Since then, the website has expanded to sell furniture, video games, music, toys, food, clothing items, and more.
Today, Amazon.com has become the most massive online business marketplace and a cloud services provider worldwide.
What makes Amazon the best e-commerce platform?
1. Innovation: Amazon's CEO and his executive employees keep a progressive mindset, and they always work towards finding better solutions to satisfy their customers.
2. Customer service and a vast social media presence: Amazon leaders' innovative minds results in client retention and more sales. They have an impeccable customer service always trying to get their clients' orders right and make a quick delivery. Amazon.com have a feature that allows customers to track packages easily. Amazon.com also offers his clients a personalized experience, discounts and a great return policy.
Amazon uses social media to connect with its customers and keep them engaged. Customers can use that platform to voice their concerns through feedback which will later be addressed by Amazon customer service employees.
3. Diversification: You can find a wide range of products and service on Amazon.com at competitive prices. The products vary from foods, music, movies, electronic and so on to services like IT support or furniture assembly.
Amazon Services and Subsidiaries
The giant eCommerce company, amazon, offers more than 15 services including:
1. AWS (Amazon Web Services)
AWS offers a pay-as-you-go cloud computing platform which provides its users with compute capacity, database storage, and big data management as their businesses scale and grow. By subscribing to AWS, Amazon will offer your website compute power at a lower price compared to setting up your servers.
2. Amazon Prime
Launched in 2005, Amazon Prime now has more than 100 million members worldwide. Its membership program costs 119$/year, and it gives its members access to exclusive deals on all eligible purchases such as free fast shipping, and discount, exclusive savings, streaming of TV shows, movies, and music, unlimited reading, amongst others.
Amazon Prime members get access to their Prime wardrobe service where they can try on clothes and accessories before buying them for seven days.
Amazon Pantry is another service only reserved to prime members. Prime Pantry allows the delivery of non-perishable grocery goods and other household products. It costs 4.99$ a month, and you get free delivery on all purchases of 10$ and more.
Prime members also get to enjoy big discounts and deals on Prime Day which is similar to "Black Friday."
3. Amazon Drive
Amazon Drive is cloud storage for your photos, videos, plus 5GB of other files for the cost of 11.99$/year and 59.99$/year for unlimited storage.
You can access this feature through a web search, desktop, mobile and Fire devices.
Amazon Fresh is an Amazon service that offers same-day delivery and pick-up of grocery products in selected areas. Prime members can get access to this service for an additional monthly fee of 14.99$ and a 30-day free trial.
5. Amazon Game studios
Launched in 2012, Amazon Game studio is an Amazon branch dedicated to the development of new video games.
AmazonWireless offer includes a wide selection of cell phones (Nokia, LG, Samsung, Blackberry and more) with service from major carriers such as AT&T, Verizon Wireless, Sprint and T-mobile for low prices and A free two-day delivery.
7. Amazon Alexa
Alexa is an Amazon's voice assistant installed in electronic devices such as Echo. Alexa is a cloud-based voice service that enables you to play music, lock doors, turn off lights, create to-do lists, shop online, get the weather report and so on merely by speaking to an Echo smart speaker without interacting with your smartphone.
Amazon Alexa is now integrated in smart cars such Audi e-tron 2019; Ford 2016 and later: Taurus, Mustang, Fusion, Focus, Flex, Explorer, Expedition, Escape, Edge, C-max, Fiesta, F-350, F-250, F-150; Lincoln 2016 and later: MKC, MKS, MKT, MKX, MKZ, Navigator, and Continental 2017 and later; Toyota Avalon, Camry, sienna, corolla Hatchback model 2019 and later.
8. Amazon Appstore
Available in more than 200 countries, Amazon Appstore enables its customers to download games and mobile apps on their device.
9. Amazon Kindle
Amazon Kindles are devices which allow you to buy and download new books. Kindles are a sort of portable e-books readers.
10. Amazon Kindle Worlds
If you are a fanfiction author or aspire to be one you can start publishing your books on Kindle Worlds and earn some money.
How does it work? Kindle Worlds presents you with a variety of scenarios called "Worlds" and provides you with content guidelines for the plot of your choice. You then write your story, create a cover and upload it. Once your book is selected, it will get published on Amazon and Kindle devices, and you will start earning royalties.
11. Amazon Fire Tablets
Fire Tablets are computer tablets developed by Amazon, and they are becoming an alternative to iPads due to their affordable prices. Amazon Fire Tablets are ready for Alexa, and you can use them as an Echo device.
12. Amazon Fire TV
A Fire TV is a media streaming device which you can plug in your TV and watch movies, series, listen to music, play video games directly from the internet on your TV.
13. Amazon Video
Video prime allows Amazon subscribers to watch movies and TV shows on Internet-connected devices instantly.
14. Amazon Music and Music unlimited
Amazon prime music offers prime member with a selection of 2 million+ songs and thousands of playlists. The difference between the two features is that Music unlimited offers way more songs than Prime music and it enables a better set of voice commands for Alexa users. Music unlimited costs 7.99$ for prime members.
15. Amazon Dash Button
Dash button is a physical button that you press to re-order a particular household product.
Amazon subsidiaries are companies that are wholly or partially owned and controlled by Amazon. To this date, Amazon rightfully owns over 40 subsidiaries. The most notable are:
Whole Foods is one of Amazon's newest acquisition (2017). It is a supermarket chain with 497 stores in the US and the UK that sells organic foods. The Whole Foods Store is a natural-foods and environment-friendly company, however, many people consider their prices to be high.
Prime members shopping at Whole Foods will get exclusive savings (5% back if they own an Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Card) and free 2-hour delivery.
Purchased by Amazon in 2009, Zappos is a large and well-known shoe and online clothing store.
Amazon recently started investing in Ring (2018). Ring is a home security company whose main product is the Ring Video Doorbell. A Ring Video Doorbell is an internet-connected device dotted with a high-definition camera, night vision, a microphone, and a motion detector.
Since people started using the device, break-ins have significantly decreased.
Woot.com is an online store with a specialty of offering one discounted product each day. Discounted products can be electronic gadgets, T-shirts, household products and so on. Amazon acquired Woot in 2010.
Acquired in 2008 by Amazon, Audible sells audiobooks, magazines and radio programs. It is the largest producer of audiobooks across the US.
Formerly Kiva Systems, Amazon robotics is a wholly owned Amazon's subsidiary acquired in 2012. Amazon robotics main mission is to improve Amazon fulfillment centers' operations through automation using methods such as mobile robots, object recognition, power management and much more.
Goodreads.com is a website that allows you to search through their huge books database, create your catalog library and reading lists. You can also share your catalog with your friends; simultaneously you will be able to see what your friends are reading.
Amazon.com bought Abebooks in 2008 which is an online marketplace where you can purchase rare books, fine arts, and collectibles items.
Twitch is a live video streaming platform acquired by Amazon in 2014. Twitch offers video game live streaming, real-time game events, and live multiplayer gaming.
IMDb has been an Amazon.com subsidiary since 1998, is an online database that provides movies and TV series information such as movies casting and their biographies, fan reviews and ratings.
Createspace offers a self-publishing platform. It is an on-demand service that allows independent writers to publish their work and distribute it.
Amazon studios is an Amazon subsidiary specialized in producing and distributing TV series and films which will later stream at theaters and on Amazon video. For motivated writers interested in movie making, they can submit their scripts to Amazon studios' employees and gain up to 55.000$ once they select your script for development.
Earlier this year (2019), Amazon.com purchased PillPack. PillPack is an online pharmacy that packages and delivers your medication at the doorstep. To get started, all you need to do is provide your actual medications, your doctor and insurance information and your new prescriptions. PillPack will also take care of your refill.
Amazon Leadership Principles
With an estimated number of more than 100 million Amazon Prime subscribers only in the US, It is needless to mention that Amazon is now the world's biggest online retailer.
How did Amazon grow from an online bookseller to become "The Most loved Brand in America"?
There many reasons why Amazon.com is the most trusted brand in America including the fact that Amazon.com offers the most extensive selection of products and services, free and fast shipping, and also returns on customer's purchases. It also uses identifications numbers on different products, making shopping easier for their customers. Also, Amazon.com has a talented and innovating management team plus a remarkable customer service.
Amazon promotes 14 leadership principles to create a compelling customer-centric culture:
1. Customer obsession
Amazon aspires to make itself an example of what a customer-centered company should be. Therefore, they work hard to keep the customer satisfied. They listen to their customers' needs, invent for them and offer a personalized service. To earn the customers' trust, they have to make the customer feel valued.
Amazon requests its employees to think long-term, prioritize long-terms over short term goals, and always act on behalf of the entire company.
For example, if there is a work to do in the immediate, don't wait for the person assigned to it, instead if you have the time and right skills get to it. At Amazon.com, everything is your job.
3. Invent and simplify
Amazon leaders encourage their teams to think outside the box, look everywhere for inspiration and to have a passion for the invention to simplify the customer's lifestyle.
4. Are right, a lot
Jeff Bezos, Amazon CEO, believes that good leaders are right, a lot. That doesn't automatically mean that Amazon leaders never make mistakes. Instead, it says that it is okay to change your mind once you have realized that you made a mistake or things have changed from the moment you made a particular decision. Don't allow your beliefs to keep you stuck, have a flexible mind, consider your team members' perspective, make adjustments and if necessary, change the whole plan.
At Amazon, leaders believe that you should accomplish more with less resource. Consistently think about reducing costs and maximize revenue. They also believe there is a need to subdivide your teams, a small team of 10 to 12 people is more communicative, thus more productive not to mention cheaper.
6. Hire and develop the best
Amazon leaders have set up a recruiting process that attracts smart, talented and hardworking individuals. Not only that, but they also continually coach and develop their employees into future leaders.
7. Insist on the highest standards
Many people think that Amazon's working standards are a bit harsh. However, Amazon leaders insist on strict coaching of their employees so that they deliver the best quality of products and services.
The world is evolving; hence leaders try to keep ahead of technology and satisfy their customers.
8. Earn trust
This principle is applicable both externally and internally: Externally, Amazon leaders aim to make the customers feel valued, they listen to their needs, invent to provide a solution to their problems and deliver a personalized service. Internally, leaders believe in self-criticism and in treating team members with respect.
9. Bias for Action
This principle is quite simple but confusing as well. Leaders at Amazon advise their employees to be bold and think fast. The concept is not to lose time focusing on what's failing. Truth is most mistakes are reparable; thus, don't let what is not working hold you back, keep moving forward.
10. Learn and be curious
Leaders never stop learning; they have a desire to continue improving themselves. They are curious and keep experimenting with new possibilities. Most important, true leaders embrace failure as a learning opportunity.
11. Have a backbone, disagree and commit
This principle states that it is all right to oppose with your colleagues, but once a decision is made, no matter how uncomfortable you are, you will have to commit to it respectfully.
For example, you are part of X company's leaders, and you can't seem to agree on a new marketing strategy. Eventually, they will come up with a decision, and whether you still disagree or not, you will have to give full support in the realization of the new project.
12. Dive deep
Leaders are skeptical when the data and their intuitions don't align.
It means that before making a significant decision, leaders should carefully consider all details instead of making an emotion-based decision.
13. Think big
Amazon leaders are required to keep thinking of new ways to improve themselves, the quality of their products and services to keep the customers happy and satisfied. They are to set realistic long term goals and keep working toward achieving them.
14. Deliver results
Leaders are not the ones to generate ideas and give orders to their subordinates to execute them. Instead, they thrive on putting their words into actions, always aspiring to achieve greatness and never settle. Amazon leaders' goal is to overcome obstacles and deliver the highest quality of products patiently.
These leadership principles are the secret to Amazon's huge success, and they granted the amazon CEO with many titles such as America's best leaders (by U.S. News and World Report in 2008), Businessperson of the year (by Fortune in 2012), greatest leader of the world (by Fortune in 2015) and many more.