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What we can learn from Amazon

A greater understanding of Bezos' world giant

Amazon is by-now a household name and more than a renowned brand. It has shaped the online retail market, providing a diverse choice of products and services. You can buy almost anything on Amazon and choose for it to arrive the next day. Amazon offers a range of services such as Amazon Video, Prime and Amazon Music, the spectrum growing year by year.

It can be estimated that Amazon is reaching a $1 trillion net worth with the share price recently hitting over $1000 as of July 2017. How did Amazon achieve such success? What did Bezos vision with Amazon? There is a very long list of things we can learn from such a giant like Amazon and it is certain that Bezos' creation hasn't even reached its maximum potential.

Long term value

Amazon has also pushed to render useful service for the long term and Bezos has always backed this vision up. By focusing on the long term value of the company when other companies are often chasing profitability within the first several years, Amazon has always kept their aims of pursuing long term sustainability and growth.

Amazon had always been built on long term decisions; for example, the development of Amazon Prime to retain customers for the future. Allowing customers to purchase goods and providing a range of perks and benefits for an annual fee resulted in not only customer retention but also loyalty. Loyalty which meant that customers would stay with Amazon for the future, no matter.

It was the combination of smart thinking and thinking ahead which has left Amazon in a reasonably high position compared to the likes of other retailers. Striving for long term value has always been a definite aim which successful businesses and companies, not only Amazon, have encouraged. A lesson that Amazon has shown is that although the short term may not be favoured, the compromise is enough to achieve a prosperous long term value.

Customer-orientated

It brings a level of difficulty when you try to explain what Amazon has done with its customers. Words can merely express the constant ability for Amazon to keep customers at the top of their agenda. When companies were focused on their competitors, Amazon had only one focus and that was their customers.

Amazon was willing to provide the lowest prices to customers and it didn't care much about anything else. When customers were given an online platform to not only purchase goods seamlessly, but also at their lowest prices, why would anyone shop someone else? Perhaps, there are a few things you can't buy on Amazon but then what about all the things you can buy? The spirit of Amazon was and still is heavily swayed by the customer.

Even Bezos himself has an email address in which customers can email him directly and his team will sort and direct whatever comes into his inbox. So if you do have a problem, query or suggestion, I think Mr. Bezos would be happy if you dropped him a message.

Frugality

Ever heard about those technology companies which offer "excessively" extravagant perks. Jaw-dropping facilities like spas, sports courts and even music rooms. What about irresistible free food and perfectly designed rooms to kick back and chill? It's almost like every company paints that image, especially those Silicon Valley ones. Amazon is different. Amazon has always had the belief of putting the customer first as I have re-iterated quite a few times.

It does this by ensuring that money and resources are well allocated so that it benefits the customer at the end of the day. Being frugal enables Amazon to maximise potential, ensure that they have productive efficiency and well allocate their resources to the best possible use. It not only saves money, but it saves time and it prevents bureaucracy. It's simple and it works.  

The constant strive for innovation that matters

“Do not confuse motion and progress. A rocking horse keeps moving but does not make any progress.” ~ Alfred A. Montapert. If we apply this message to innovation, we can see that innovation can be both good or bad. If you are innovating, it is possible that your new method, idea or way, is not needed. Innovation that matters is what we should all emulate.

If there is no demand for your innovation, it is not an innovation. Amazon has repeatedly and consistently grown because of its strong ability to innovate and tailor those innovations to their demands. Let's use Amazon Prime as an example. A subscription fee giving customers access to a selection of benefits such as free one-day delivery, video and music services.

This still successful and ever growing innovation was based on the idea that there are two groups of people. As Brad Stone put it in his book "The Everything Store", he delivers a message along these lines: "there are two groups of people whose needs are time sensitive and everyone else".

By this, Stone evaluates the idea of time being a major influence on consumer preferences. In more simple language, you have the group of people who want or need their purchases as quick as they can possibly be delivered and then you have the majority of the population; those who can wait a little longer.

Although everyone wants their purchase as soon as possible, only a percentage of the population will pay to do so; hence, creating the distinctive two groups. Amazon has delivered supply to untapped demand in the form of evaluating the behaviour of their customers and tailoring innovation through consumer truths.

Success takes time but that's the only way

With Amazon, there has always be an underlying sense of steady progress. Amazon has shown us that building a successful company is never an overnight success, but in fact a continuous learning process, striving to reach the best possible version and always encouraging innovation in all ways which will enrich the community.

It has been a long road for Amazon since 1994 when Bezos made the life decision of pursuing a goal he had envisioned. We should accept that many businesses and companies have had no choice but to end because of the ever-growing Amazon. However, just imagine a world without Amazon? How boring would it be? Where would you purchase things you wanted or needed?

Perhaps if Amazon never existed, that would almost be an identical "substitute" to Amazon because it's just an online retailer. There are thousands and thousands of online retailers so why is Amazon so different.

Amazon is unique because Bezos capitalised on aspects Amazon was good at. Low prices. Customer trust. Significant innovative paths. Amazon was a combination of a captain and a crew with long term vision and in pursue of enriching the world with value.