Amazon’s 25th Anniversary: 5 Key Learnings from World’s Most Valuable Enterprise

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Amazon celebrated its 25th Anniversary earlier this year on July 5th, 2019. That’s the day Jeffrey Preston Bezos founded the company that went on to become Amazon. As we’re tabulating the Prime Day results and what it means for the Ecommerce space, in general, we’re taking a look at Amazon and their stratospheric trajectory.

It’s a legend now how Jeff ditched his job at a New York hedge fund and drove around the country with his then wife, Mackenzie, and launched Amazon from a garage in Seattle. He founded Amazon in late 1994, the company began as an online bookstore and has expanded to a wide variety of other e-commerce products and services, including video and audio streaming, cloud computing, and artificial intelligence.

Despite the humble start, Bezos hit a weekly sales of $20,000 within 2 weeks of start to begin a mind boggling ascent that hit a market capitalization of $1 trillion in 2018.

Amazon’s story is the stuff of dreams for not just modern day start-ups and eCommerce players but any company that’s want to do it right in today’s increasing complex and digitally wired world.

 

Let’s take a look at 5 key takeaways from Amazon’s success:

 

Customer Focus – One of Amazon’s overarching missions is to become the planet’s most customer-centric company—and the brand’s dedication to this goal has paid dividends. Amazon has been leading the race when it comes to their focus on customer, they have been focusing on the customers first and then working backwards to consider the competition when creating a new product or service. As per Bezos it’s all about giving customer what they want before they know it. Amazon is always obsessed about them and is always on the lookout for ways to improve upon how to serve them better.

 

Innovation Many of the successes of Amazon largely come from their undivided focus on innovative technologies and practices. It’s this focus on innovation that Amazon today is a multibillion-dollar provider of cloud-based services for millions of business customers around the world, including government agencies and universities. It’s also a major player in consumer electronics–not only by offering devices such as Fire tablets and TV boxes, but also via its Alexa AI assistant service. And then there is Amazon Go, a physical food/grocery store in Seattle with a killer feature: No checkout lines. Using the company’s “Just Walk Out” technology, customers use an app to enter the store, pick out the products they want, and then head out the door. To anyone who’s ever stood in a grocery checkout line for 20 minutes, Amazon Go is pure bliss.

 

User Experience Amazon is known to create outstanding user experience. Here – again – their focus on great UX is almost surgical. A phenomenal UX makes it easy for e-commerce customers to find what they’re looking for, resulting in more sales. Amazon has a full UX team consisting of professionals from all disciplines from user research and interaction design to web development. These UX experts collaborate with Amazon’s engineers, product managers and executives to create seamless customer focused user experiences that drive conversions. 

 

Diversification Although Amazon started off as a book store, it now offers pretty much everything from music to grocery to clothing. On the business side as well Amazon has charted new growth paths through cloud services, hardware (Kindle & Echo) and even physical stores (Amazon Go). In fact, AWS (Amazon Web Services) represents over 60% of the total operating income of Amazon. By diversifying and taking calculated risks Amazon has been continuously driving reach and staying relevant.

 

Long Term Play When the dot com bubble burst Amazon was one of the few survivors and within a year of this Amazon had declared its first profitable quarter but much to the chagrin of Wall Street, Bezos noted that there had been a mistake and they were couple of years away from making profits. This was one of the initial signals that Amazon wasn’t looking at a speedy cash out but working towards a longer timeline world domination.

 

Closing Thoughts

While building a business that is as wildly successful as Amazon isn’t easy a smart thing to do would be to follow the principles of companies who have already done what you aspire to do and apply them to your own business and operations. In that Amazon provides a very good template to emulate.

 

McFadyen Digital has helped some of the world’s largest brands deliver innovative Ecommerce and online marketplace solutions to their customers for over the past thirty years. Please contact us at info@mcfadyen.com if you’d like to have a conversation about taking your own digital commerce experience to the next level.

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