Amazon com Inc   (AMZN)
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Amazon com Inc

Business Description

Amazon.com, Inc., a Fortune 500 company, opened its virtual doors on the World Wide Web in July 1995 and today offers Earth’s Biggest Selection. We seek to be Earth’s most customer-centric company, where customers can find and discover anything they might want to buy online, and endeavor to offer customers the lowest possible prices.

Amazon.com and its affiliates operate retail websites, including: www.amazon.com, www.amazon.co.uk, www.amazon.de, www.amazon.co.jp, www.amazon.fr, www.amazon.ca, and www.joyo.com. We have organized our operations into two principal segments: North America and International. The North America segment includes the operating results of www.amazon.com and www.amazon.ca. The International segment includes the operating results of www.amazon.co.uk, www.amazon.de, www.amazon.fr, www.amazon.co.jp, and www.joyo.com. In addition, we operate other websites, including www.a9.com and www.alexa.com that enable search and navigation; www.imdb.com, a comprehensive movie database; and Amazon Mechanical Turk at www.mturk.com which provides a web service for computers to integrate a network of humans directly into their processes.
Business Strategy

Our business strategy is to relentlessly focus on customer experience by offering our customers low prices, convenience, and a wide selection of merchandise, to provide e-commerce solutions and services to other businesses and to offer web services applications to developers.


We endeavor to offer our customers the lowest prices possible through low everyday product pricing and free shipping offers. We also strive to improve our operating efficiencies so that we can pass along the associated savings to our customers in the form of lower prices. We enable third-party sellers to offer products on our sites, in many instances alongside our product selection, and set their own retail prices.


Our software engineers, computer scientists, and management team focus on continuous innovation to provide further convenience for our customers. We work to earn repeat purchases by providing easy-to-use functionality, fast and reliable fulfillment, timely customer service, feature-rich content, and a trusted transaction environment. Key features of our websites include editorial and customer reviews; manufacturer product information; gift guides; Web pages tailored to individual preferences, such as recommendations and notifications; 1-Click® technology; secure payment systems; image uploads; digital content; searching on our websites as well as the Internet; browsing; and the ability to view selected interior pages and citations, and search the entire contents of many of the books we offer with our “Look Inside the Book” and “Search Inside the Book” features. Our community of online customers also creates feature-rich content, including product reviews, online recommendation lists, wish lists, buying guides, and wedding and baby registries.

We endeavor to fulfill customer orders quickly, and to provide intuitive self-service features that assist our customers when they have questions. We communicate our fulfillment promise in several ways, such as presenting up-to-date inventory availability information, delivery date estimates, and options for expedited delivery, as well as delivery shipment notifications. Additionally, customers can use the “Your Account” website features to track order and shipment status, review estimated delivery dates, cancel unshipped items, change delivery instructions and payment options, combine orders, edit gift options, and return items.

We fulfill customer orders in a number of ways, including through our U.S. and international fulfillment centers and warehouses; through fulfillment centers operated under co-sourcing arrangements, including our fulfillment center supporting www.amazon.co.jp; through outsourced fulfillment providers, including our fulfillment providers supporting www.amazon.ca; and through other third-party fulfillment arrangements. We operate customer service centers globally, which are supplemented by several co-sourcing customer service arrangements with third parties. See Item 2 of Part I, “Properties,” for additional information about fulfillment centers and customer service locations.


To provide the widest possible selection for our customers worldwide, we have designed our websites to enable millions of unique products to be sold by us and by third parties across dozens of product categories such as:

• Apparel, shoes, and accessories
• Home, garden, and outdoor living products
• Baby care products
• Jewelry and watches
• Beauty
• Kitchenware and housewares
• Books
• Magazine subscriptions
• Camera and photography
• Music and musical instruments
• Cell phones and service
• Office products
• Computers and computer add-ons
• Software
• Consumer electronics
• Sports and outdoors
• DVDs, including rentals and videos
• Tools and hardware
• Gourmet food
• Toys and video games
• Health and personal care

Amazon.com Retail

We source and sell a broad range of products to our customers worldwide across dozens of product categories. Additionally, through our Syndicated Stores program, we utilize our e-commerce services, features, and technologies to sell our products through other businesses’ websites, such as www.borders.com.

Third-Party Sellers

Through Amazon Services, we offer Amazon Marketplace and Merchants@ programs that enable third parties to sell their products on our websites, allow customers to shop for products owned by third parties using our features and technologies, and allow individuals to complete transactions that include multiple sellers in a single checkout process. We are not the seller of record in these third-party seller transactions, but instead earn fixed fees, sales commissions, per-unit activity fees, or some combination thereof.

Amazon Marketplace generally serves individuals and small businesses, enabling them to offer their products for sale on our websites alongside our products and products made available by other third-party sellers. Our Merchants@ program generally serves larger, branded businesses and is primarily focused on expanding the selection of new products available on our websites. We also sometimes offer fulfillment-related services to third-party sellers.


Amazon Enterprise Solutions (formerly known as Merchant.com) provides third party retailers with back-end e-commerce and fulfillment solutions to enable third party e-commerce businesses operating under their own brand name and website address (e.g. www.target.com). We also offer web services applications to developers. In addition, we have co-branded credit card agreements and marketing and promotional services, such as online advertising.


The environment for our products and services is intensely competitive. Our current and potential competitors include: (1) physical-world retailers, catalog retailers, publishers, vendors, distributors and manufacturers of our products, many of which possess significant brand awareness, sales volume, and customer bases, and some of which currently sell, or may sell, products or services through the Internet, mail order, or direct marketing; (2) other online e-commerce sites; (3) a number of indirect competitors, including media companies, Web portals, comparison shopping websites, and Web search engines, either directly or in collaboration with other retailers; and (4) companies that provide e-commerce services, including website development; third-party fulfillment and customer-service. We believe that the principal competitive factors in our market segments include selection, price, availability, convenience, information, discovery, brand recognition, personalized services, accessibility, customer service, reliability, speed of fulfillment, ease of use, and ability to adapt to changing conditions, as well as our customers’ overall experience and trust in transactions with us and facilitated by us on behalf of third-party sellers. For services we offer to business and individual sellers, additional competitive factors include the quality of our services and tools, our ability to facilitate sales for third parties we serve, and the speed of performance for our services. Other companies also may enter into business combinations or alliances that strengthen their competitive positions.

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