How Amazon Went from Bookseller to e-Commerce Monolith

By LeadsConAdminMarch 1, 2016

by Michael Foster.


If you want an interesting technology story, the story of Amazon is one of the most interesting you can find. A Wall Street veteran, Jeff Bezos left his firm to move west and establish as a behemoth shopping site that would make Web commerce a reality for every American. But back in 1995 when Amazon started up, it was mostly known as an online bookstore.

The world had no idea that this was just the beginning of an empire that would eclipse rival Target, rival Walmart and fundamentally change how we buy and sell goods, watch television and communicate. Amazon’s diversification and growth have been amply rewarded by the stock market, which has given it a market cap of $323 billion despite the fact that Amazon rarely makes a profit. For instance, last quarter Amazon’s net income was $79 million — off $25.4 billion in revenue. While most CEOs would be fired if they delivered a 0.3 percent profit margin, Amazon’s stock has just gone higher and higher.

Since its IPO, Amazon has soared to astronomical heights. For every dollar invested the first day the company went public, investors now have $39,037. While the stock fell steeply during the dot-com crash — it lost as much as 80 percent of its value from peak to trough in the dark days of 2001-2002, Amazon very slowly recovered and has become one of the best-performing tech stocks of the post-2008 world.

Partly this is because investors have learned to trust Bezos’s vision for the future, which includes everything from drones to space rockets. And even if these things don’t seem easily monetizable in the short term, the market trusts that Bezos will figure it out at some point.

The Secret to Bezos’s Success
How did Bezos go from online bookseller to master of the future in the eyes of Wall Street? Durability is a big part of the story. From 1996 to today, Amazon has consistently grown revenue and survived economic calamities. While 2008 immediately springs to mind, Amazon also survived the biggest apocalypse of its own world: the dot-com bubble crash, while sites like became footnotes in history.

How did Amazon do it? Simple: marketing.

Amazon, much like Bezos’s old Wall Street firm, has always put data at the center of its success. Bezos knew that the zero-sum competition of online marketing could only be won if he was first and best to market. Thanks to a data-driven approach to marketing, Amazon won out.

Bryan Eisenberg will discuss the company’s success and what it means for lead generation marketers at this year’s LeadsCon, where his keynote speech, "Uncovering Amazon’s Performance Secrets to Set the Gold Standard in Lead Gen” discusses in depth how Amazon anticipated the best practices in lead generation — and what this means for lead generators today.

Click here to register for LeadsCon Las Vegas 2016.


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