Amazon.com, Inc. is an American multinational conglomerate which focuses on e-commerce, cloudSMTP computing, digital streaming, and artificial intelligence. It is one of the Big Five companies in the U.S. information technology industry, along with Google, Apple, Microsoft, and Facebook. The company has been referred to as “one of the most influential economic and cultural forces in the world”, as well as the world’s most valuable brand.
Jeff Bezos founded Amazon from his garage in Bellevue, Washington, on July 5, 1994. It started as an online marketplace for books but expanded to sell electronics, software, video games, apparel, furniture, food, toys, and jewelry. In 2015, Amazon surpassed Walmart as the most valuable retailer in the United States by market capitalization. In August 2017, Amazon acquired Whole Foods Market for US$13.4 billion, which substantially increased its footprint as a physical retailer. In 2018, its two-day delivery service, Amazon Prime, surpassed 100 million subscribers worldwide.
Product And Service:
Amazon.com’s product lines available at its website include several media (books, DVDs, music CDs, videotapes and software), apparel, baby products, consumer electronics, beauty products, gourmet food, groceries, health and personal-care items, industrial & scientific supplies, kitchen items, jewelry, watches, lawn and garden items, musical instruments, sporting goods, tools, automotive items and toys & games. In August 2019, Amazon applied to have a liquor store in San Francisco, CA as a means to ship beer and alcohol within the city. Amazon has separate retail websites for some countries and also offers international shipping of some of its products to certain other countries. In November 2020, the company started an online delivery service dedicated to prescription drugs. The service provides discounts up to 80% for generic drugs and up to 40% for branded drugs for Prime subscribe users. The products can be purchased on the company’s website or at over 50,000 bricks-and-mortar pharmacies in the United States.
Customer reviews have become central to online commerce, playing a huge role in determining which products succeed or fail on Amazon and other sites. A study by Northwestern University’s Spiegel Research Center found that nearly 95% of shoppers read online reviews before making a purchase.
But the authenticity of some Amazon customer reviews is coming under new scrutiny after a data leak exposed unidentified sellers coordinating to pay customers for fraudulent reviews. Products from device makers Aukey, Mpow and Tomtop were removed from Amazon after these reports surfaced.
“One of my complaints about Amazon is their inconsistency in enforcing their own terms of service. So I was really happy about the news,” said former Amazon seller Jason Boyce, founder and CEO of Avenue7Media, co-author of the “The Amazon Jungle,” and resident expert on GeekWire’s Day 2 podcast.