On July 5, 1994, Amazon was born in a Seattle garage. Since then, the online book business has grown into a technology giant whose tentacles now extend beyond e-commerce.
When Jeff Bezos launched Amazon in 1994, the Internet is still in its infancy, only 0.45% of the world’s population has access to the web. Yet the one who works in finance on Wall Street is convinced of the future of e-commerce. He decided to start selling books online by creating a company that he first named Cadabra.
Finally, he opts for Amazon. At the time, the sites are listed in alphabetical order, so he wants a name starting with the letter A. Amazon, which means Amazon in English, seems perfect in his eyes: the name of the largest river in the world will also be that of the largest e-commerce company on the planet.
Figures that make you dizzy
Successful bidding as Amazon is now one of the top three companies in the stock market. Last summer, its market capitalization reached the threshold of 1000 billion US dollars. And its sales climbed to 232.9 billion US dollars (305 billion Canadian dollars).
This success has made Jeff Bezos the richest man on earth, with a fortune estimated at 131 billion dollars.
Amazon is also the largest technology employer. Last year, 647,500 people worked for Amazon worldwide, compared to just over 130,000 for Apple and Microsoft, and 98,771 for Alphabet, the conglomerate that includes Google.
A prolific diversification
The time of selling just books is over; the company now sells everything. And it has revolutionized the retail industry with the introduction of the Amazon Prime program, whose speed of delivery has won over 100 million customers worldwide, as well as one-click ordering, personalized shopping recommendations, order-free shopping and more. computer thanks to the Dash button or the groceries without a cash register.
Amazon also launched the Kindle Reader in 2004, and two years later, a video-on-demand platform that became Amazon Prime Video and, in 2014, the FireTv multimedia streaming key , the connected Echo speaker and its virtual assistant Alexa .
In 2010, the group also created Amazon Studios, which produces movies and TV series.
In 2006, the official launch of its Amazon Web Services (AWS) cloud division marks a turning point for the company, as cloud computing has become a particularly lucrative business for Amazon. Last year, AWS raised $ 25.65 billion ($ 33.5 billion Canadian). A figure that exceeds that of McDonald’s sales around the world.
A future placed under the sign of AI and robots
In the future, Amazon is determined to be more present in our lives. Indeed, its appetite for innovation is far from being satiated, especially in the field of automation. The company plans to generalize delivery both by drones and robots . And she’s currently testing robots to replace people working in her warehouses.
It has also embarked on the path of artificial intelligence (AI), especially machine learning to further optimize the delivery of its orders.
The voice of the future
The goal is also to make Alexa a conductor of connected devices in our homes and a champion of what is called the voice economy or conversational economics.
Amazon is competing with Google in this market of voice-activated technology, a field that is growing rapidly. More than 100 million devices running with Alexa have been sold worldwide.
Buying online, chatting with your car, booking a meeting room at the office or asking your coffee machine to prepare a latte through voice will soon be part of our daily lives. According to Amazon, Alexa’s ecosystem is already rich with 80,000 voice commands.