6 Amazing Facts about Amazon.com

Daniel Ganninger
September 18, 2014
Amazon Warehouse Photo by sippingtea

Amazon.com, the largest retailer in the world, made $74.45 billion in revenue for 2013.  Yes, that’s billion, with a “b”, and that is more than the GDP (Gross Domestic Product) of over half the countries in the world.  With that being said, Amazon didn’t burn up the track in actual income.  It only made $274 million in profit during 2013 after losing $39 million the year before in 2012.  But I’m not here to talk business.  I’m here to tell you about some amazing facts about the company that serves over 137 million customers, a week.

1. How It All Got Started 
Jeff Bezos started the company in his garage in Seattle. He originally wanted to call the company “Cadabra”, but his lawyer thought he was wanting to call it “cadaver”.  Bevos instead came up with the name Amazon, to indicate the large size, and also to ensure his company’s name would come up first in website listings (as they were categorized back then).

photo by mikeblogs

2. The Iconic Logo
The logo for the company, as we have all seen, has the word “Amazon” with a smiling mouth going from the “A” to the “Z” in the name.  This was to convey the point that the company would deliver anything, anywhere, from “A” to “Z”.

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The First Book Sold at Amazon  Quora

3. The First Shipment
The first item Bezos sold from his garage was in 1995, and was a book titled, Fluid Concepts & Creative Analogies: Computer Models of the Fundamental Mechanisms of Thought.  John Wainwright bought that first book and even has a building at the South Lake Union Amazon campus called the Wainwright Building named after him.

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4. The Reach of Amazon
Amazon controls over 10% of the all e-commerce in North America.  Staples, Wal-Mart, Office Depot, Dell, Apple, Liberty, and Sears all share together 10%.  The remaining retailers must fight for the left over 80%.

5. The Size

Photo by sippingtea

Everything at Amazon is on a huge scale.  Its S3 Cloud Platform could store 82 books for every person on earth.  Even the warehouses of Amazon are grand.  The company has 80 distribution centers, and the largest one could hold 28 football fields inside. They also use 1,400 Kiva Systems robots throughout the company to move product in the warehouses.  Even when things don’t go as planned they’re huge.  Once, in 2012, the Amazon site went down.  In that time the company missed about $5.7 million dollars in sales.

6. The Employees
Amazon even has an interesting take on customer service.  Each employee of the company is required to spend two days every two years handling customer service calls so they can understand the customer service process.

The Future?
The future of Amazon is still not predictable.  The company continues to invest heavily in its infrastructure and cites this as the reason for the low profits over the company’s history.  But Amazon doesn’t seem to be ready to stop innovating, despite nervous investors.  Bezos has already announced plans for a flying robotic delivery service.  You never know anymore, one of those things might be depositing a smiling box on your doorstep in the near future.

Related Post: 5 Crazy Expensive Things at Amazon