Home >> “AMAZON.COM” The Largest Online Shopping Company in the World

“AMAZON.COM” The Largest Online Shopping Company in the World


“The only important thing is to focus obsessively on the client. Our goal is to be the most customer-focused company on earth.”

Jeff Bezos, Founder

What is Amazon.com?

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Amazon is a technology company available in multiple countries and focuses on e-commerce, digital streaming and artificial intelligence. Currently, Amazon sits among the Big Five companies based out of the US in information technology. As well, Amazon is considered to be highly influential in modern culture and is the World’s Most Valuable Brand.

Amazon.com is an American tech multinational whose business interests include e-commerce, cloud computing, digital streaming, and artificial intelligence. In addition to being an online retailer, Amazon allows individuals and businesses to sell and display products for sale online. Amazon is one of the most popular online markets used by both individuals and businesses, the site is available in many different countries and languages. Lastly, Amazon offers software and infrastructure solutions for business and individuals.

History of Amazon

In 1994, Jeff Bezos started Amazon.com as an online marketplace for books. Over the next few years, the company expanded to include videos, music, and games, today, Amazon.com is a global marketplace for virtually every category of material goods in existence.

From a Bookstore to Nearly Everything

Amazon started out as an online bookstore, constantly making news with its product volume. In the late 1990s, after adding CDs, videos, DVDs and games, Amazon offered more than four million titles. It continued to add new lines of business including toys, consumer electronics, software, power tools, home improvement products, online auctions and cloud computing services, the latter a significant profit center for the company.

In 2000, Amazon opened its e-commerce platform to non-Amazon vendors. Similar to Apple opening up its iPhone platform to third-party developers, Amazon acquired millions of sellers. Today, nearly every legal product that can be shipped is available on Amazon’s site.

Amazon Prime Membership

In 2005, Amazon Prime was introduced as an annual subscription. Prime offers free one-day and two-day shipping on most products Amazon stocks in its warehouses. Prime membership increasingly offers other benefits, including unlimited video and music streaming, photo storage and e-book lending (Prime Video, Amazon Music, Amazon Photos and Kindle eBooks).

In the late 2000s, the company began to offer Amazon-branded items, including e-book readers, tablets, smartphones, cables and other devices.

How Amazon Works

The story is an e-commerce dream, and Jeff Bezos was Time magazine’s Person of the Year in 1999. The innovation and business savvy that sustains Amazon.com is legendary and, at times, controversial. The company owns dozens of patents on e-commerce processes that some argue should remain in the public domain. We’ll find out what Amazon does, what makes it different from other e-commerce Web sites and how its technology infrastructure supports its multi-pronged approach to online sales.

  • Amazon.com Basics

Amazon.com sells lots and lots of stuff. The direct Amazon-to-buyer sales approach is really no different from what happens at most other large, online retailers except for its range of products. You can find beauty supplies, clothing, jewelry, gourmet food, sporting goods, pet supplies, books, CDs, DVDs, computers, furniture, toys, garden supplies, bedding and almost anything else you might want to buy. What makes Amazon a giant is in the details. Besides its tremendous product range, Amazon makes every possible attempt to customize the buyer experience.

When you arrive at the homepage, you’ll find not only special offers and featured products, but if you’ve been to Amazon.com before, you’ll also find some recommendations just for you. Amazon knows you by name and tries to be your personal shopper. The embedded marketing techniques that Amazon employs to personalize your experience are probably the best example of the company’s overall approach to sales.

Know your customer very, very well. Customer tracking is an Amazon stronghold. If you let the Web site stick a cookie on your hard drive, you’ll find yourself on the receiving end of all sorts of useful features that make your shopping experience pretty cool, like recommendations based on past purchases and lists of reviews and guides written by users who purchased the products you’re looking at.

  • Amazon E-Commerce

Both retailers and individual sellers utilize the Amazon.com platform to sell goods. 

Large retailers like Nordstrom, Land’s End and Target use Amazon.com to sell their products in addition to selling them through their own Web sites. The sales go through Amazon.com and end up at Nordstrom.com, Land’s End.com or Target.com for processing and order fulfillment. Amazon essentially leases space to these retailers, who use Amazon.com as a supplemental outlet for their online sales.

Small sellers of used and new goods go to Amazon MarketplaceAmazon z Shops or Amazon Auctions. At Marketplace, sellers offer goods at a fixed price, and at Auctions they sell their stuff to the highest bidder. Amazon z Shops features only used goods at fixed prices. If an item listed on z Shops, Marketplace or Auctions is also sold on the main Amazon.com, it appears in a box beside the Amazon.com item so buyers can see if someone else is selling the product for less in one of the other sales channels.

The level of integration that occurs on Amazon is a programming feat that few (if any) online sales sites can match.

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Another sales channel called Amazon Advantage is a place where people can sell new books, music and movies directly from the Amazon warehouse instead of from their home or store. Sellers ship a number of units to Amazon, and Amazon handles the entire sales transaction from start to finish.

  • Amazon Technology

The massive technology core that keeps Amazon running is entirely Linux-based. As of 2005, Amazon has the world’s three largest Linux databases, with a total capacity of 7.8 terabytes (TB), 18.5 TB and 24.7 TB respectively. The central Amazon data warehouse is made up of 28 Hewlett Packard servers, with four CPUs per node, running Oracle 9i database software.

The data warehouse is roughly divided into three functions: queryhistorical data and ETL (extract, transform, and load — a primary database function that pulls data from one source and integrates it into another). The query servers (24.7 TB capacity) contain 15 TB of raw data in 2005; the click history servers (18.5 TB capacity) hold 14 TB of raw data; and the ETL cluster (7.8 TB capacity) contains 5 TB of raw data. Amazon’s technology architecture handles millions of back-end operations every day as well as queries from more than half a million third-party sellers. According to a report released by Oracle after it helped migrate Amazon’s data warehouse to Linux in 2003 and 2004, the central task process looks something like this.

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­ In the 2003 holiday season, Amazon processed a top-end 1 million shipments and 20 million inventory updates in one day. Amazon’s sales volume means that hundreds of thousands of people send their credit card numbers to Amazon’s servers every day, and security is a major concern. In addition to automatically encrypting credit card numbers during the checkout process, Amazon lets users choose to encrypt every piece of information they enter, like their name, address and gender.

Amazon employs the Netscape Secure Commerce Server using the SSL (secure socket layer) protocol. It stores all credit card numbers in a separate database that’s not Internet-accessible, cutting off that possible entry point for hackers. Customers who are particularly cautious can choose to enter only a partial credit card number over the Internet and then provide the rest by phone once the online order is submitted. Aside from the usual security concerns regarding online credit-card purchases, Amazon suffers from the same phishing problem that has plagued eBay and PayPal, so watch out for fake e-mails asking for your Amazon.com account information. Check out Anti-Phishing Working Group: Amazon.com for details on how to recognize a fake.

  • Amazon Tools, Marketing and Community

The implementation is complex, massive and dynamic. Amazon’s marketing structure is a lesson in cost-efficiency and brilliant self-promotion. Amazon’s associates link to Amazon products in order to add value to their own Web sites, sending people to Amazon to make their purchases. It costs Amazon practically nothing. Some associates create mini-Amazons — satellite sites that do new things with Amazon data and send people to the mothership when they’re ready to buy. Amazon Light, built and maintained by software developer Alan Taylor, is one of those satellite sites.

The level of customer tracking at Amazon.com is another best-of-breed system. Using the data it collects on every registered user during every visit to the Web site, Amazon points users to products they might actually be glad to discover — and buy. 

Amazon recommends products that are:

  • similar to what you’re currently searching for (on-the-fly recommendations that use up tons of processing power)
  • related to what you’ve searched for or clicked on at any time in the past
  • purchased by other people who’ve searched for what you’re searching for or have bought what you’ve bought

You can even customize the recommendations by giving Amazon more information about yourself and your interests and rating the products you’ve already purchased.

A recent development in customer tracking actually collects information on people who may have never visited Amazon.com. Amazon’s gift-giving recommendations collect data on the stuff you buy for other people. 

Despite concerns about Big Brother Amazon, tons of people love the personalized experience Amazon offers. It’s not just sales offers — there’s a community on Amazon.com that’s based on people providing even more information about themselves to other Amazon users.

Amazon Web Services(AWS)

Amazon web service is an online platform that provides scalable and cost-effective cloud computing solutions.

AWS is a broadly adopted cloud platform that offers several on-demand operations like compute power, database storage, content delivery, etc., to help corporates scale and grow.

Amazon Web Services (AWS), the cloud platform offered by Amazon.com Inc (AMZN), has become a giant component of the e-commerce giant’s business portfolio. 

AWS made up of many different cloud computing products and services. The highly profitable division of Amazon provides servers, storage, networking, remote computing, email, mobile development, and security. AWS can be broken into three main products: EC2, Amazon’s virtual machine service, Glacier, a low-cost cloud storage service, and S3, Amazon’s storage system.

Amazon Business

If your business is selling B2B (Business to Business), Amazon may not be on your radar as a sales platform for your products.  However, Amazon isn’t just B2C (business to consumer). It’s in fact one of the fastest growing platforms for B2B sales in the world. Amazon has been making huge strides in the B2B marketplace through its ‘Amazon Business’ platform. Amazon Business is a rapidly growing part of the unstoppable. Essentially, Amazon Business is just like regular Amazon, but scaled up and with a number of business-friendly features.

This includes the option for a free ‘storefront’ that’s like your own hosted ecommerce website. You also get paid on time! Business buyers find the platform easy to use because they’re already very familiar with ‘regular Amazon’.  In fact, you can sell on ‘regular’ Amazon as well as Amazon Business, if that works with your business model.

Not only does it represent a fabulous opportunity right now, but getting in at this relatively early stage will also give you a head start on your competition. By the time your rivals have woken up to the fact that Amazon Business is a force to be reckoned with (and growing, fast), you’ll be well established and leading the field.

It’s clear that Amazon is taking the growth of its B2B sales platform very seriously. The company has invested in huge European based sales teams, tasked with working to create solutions for businesses all over Europe.

Amazon Prime

If you’re not a Prime member, you’re probably wondering what is Amazon Prime or if it merits your money. Amazon Prime is more than just expedited shipping. It’s a subscription service that gives members access to a variety of Amazon perks. Benefits include fast shipping, access to exclusive Amazon deals, free movie streaming, and access to other services. For many shoppers, Amazon Prime is a no-brainer for the shipping perks alone.

Prime members receive a wide variety of perks. The biggest perk, however, is free one- or two-day shipping on most items sold by Amazon. 


Amazon is a company that has grown exponentially from their e Bookstore beginning. The internet boom certainly contributed to the success of Amazon. However, the company has found ways to stay innovative and relevant; Amazon has used their internet marketplace to help consumers and third party retailers buy and sell goods conveniently from the comfort of home. The company has a goal of same day delivery, that way buying something on Amazon will have no drawbacks. They have already accomplished two day and same day delivery to urban are as with their subscription based services. Amazon Prime Air will make it possible to send items out of the fulfillment center the same day without a third party delivery service which will cut down on the time it takes for the consumer to start using the items that they purchased. With the launch of Amazon Prime Air, the company will get closer and closer to their goal of same day delivery.

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