Amazon.com was one of the very first mega sites on the internet and since it began it has come to dominate the landscape of internet commerce. Not only does Amazon.com dominate the media market on the internet, it has forced physical retailers such as Barnes & Noble to change the way they do business as well.
Amazon achieved its position because it perfectly timed its entrance into the world of the internet and was able to establish itself and maintain its position as the internet went through the well known growing pains of the dot com bubble bursting.
Have Things Really Changed?
While there is no doubt in anyone’s mind that Amazon is a retail giant, the question of whether it has forever changed the retail landscape is not a simple one to answer. On one hand Amazon provided a framework for other mega sites to follow in order to achieves success, but on the other have things really changed that much?
For any business to be credited with changing the retail landscape it must do something that changes the way business is done in a major way. Henry Ford changed how manufacturing worked in America (and the rest of the world) by inventing the assembly line.
By using the assembly line Henry Ford was able to get more done with less resources than everyone else and this revolutionized how we made things. Amazon has done something similar with how the world buys and sells retail.
The basic concept behind Amazon is that by eliminating a retail front they save a large amount of money on having to maintain a physical location. They don’t have to pay for buildings, employees or any of the costs that come with operating a physical store.
By saving this money Amazon is able to reduce the price of goods that it offers and this encourages people to buy what they offer. While this may not have been a big thing at the time, its affects have changed how retail works forever.
Had Amazon not been successful chances are we wouldn’t be having this conversation at all, but the fact is that Amazon hit the market perfectly. Today when people shop for something on the internet more often than not they buy it from Amazon. While this fact only points to the idea that Amazon is a successful business, it’s what internet shopping has done to our economy that we need to look at.
New Industries Have Sprung Up
Because of the success of Amazon, millions of business have created websites in order to stay competitive. Today if you don’t have an internet site you are not going to be successful. It doesn’t matter if you are a retail business or a restaurant, when people want to find something the first place the look is the internet.
Even if they have to visit a physical location, they will still look on the internet first to find a place to go. This means that even if you don’t sell something, you still need a website so people will know that you exist. The fact the internet is so important is directly linked to the success of Amazon.
Not only did Amazon make the internet relevant, it also forced other businesses to make their pricing more competitive. Because people are willing to shop on the internet, if a store doesn’t match Amazon’s price they are going to lose business.
While this has been harmful for small business, it has benefited most Americans by forcing everyone to lower their prices. Has Amazon changed the retail landscape forever? The evidence would suggest that yes indeed, it has.
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David Marshall writes for factoryfast.com.au who offer some of the most inventive products and widest range of bargains available in Australia.