Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) is a multinational technology company that operates an ecommerce website, which houses both its own and third-party products. It also offers cloud computing, hardware, advertising, physical retail stores, and content streaming. Amazon is one of the Big Five tech firms (GAMAM) and is ranked second in the Fortune 500 list, a spot it has maintained since 2020. The company made its public market debut in 1997—three years after its founding—and reached USD 1 trillion in market capitalization for the first time in September 2018.
Amazon began as an online bookstore in 1994 and, nearly three decades later, had over 350 million products listed on its marketplace, accounting for almost 60% of online retail purchases in the US (2021). Amazon offers online and physical stores that are home to a range of its own and third-party products, along with subscription services, such as Amazon Prime, which offer features like free and fast shipping and exclusive video content. Amazon Web Services (AWS), the company’s cloud computing arm that was a result of its infrastructure needs, now hosts nearly a third of the internet.
The company’s ecommerce website operated in over 18 countries (October 2022) and attracted over 2.6 billion visits monthly (November 2022). Meanwhile, AWS served customers from over 190 countries (November 2022) through data centers from across 30 regions. Overall, revenues from the US accounted for nearly 70% of the company’s top-line in 2022.
Given the scale of its ecommerce operations, Amazon made continuous investments in technological and physical resources to streamline its logistics and fulfillment process. In 2022, it committed USD 1 billion for investments into startups innovating in these areas. The company also aimed to become net zero by 2040, and to accelerate this, it set up a USD 2 billion fund in 2020, investing in sustainable tech startups. Further, as part of its sustainability initiatives, Amazon aimed to have 100,000 electric delivery vans on US roads by 2030.