Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN) is an American multinational electronic commerce company with headquarters in Seattle, Washington, United States. It is the world's largest online retailer. The company also produces consumer electronics - notably the Amazon Kindle e-book reader - and is a major provider of cloud computing services.
A recent development in customer tracking actually collects information on people who may have never visited Amazon.com. Amazon's gift-giving recommendations collect data on the stuff you buy for other people. For instance, if you buy a toy train set in December and ship it to your nephew, Amazon knows you give gifts to a boy aged four to 10 who lives in Ohio and likes trains. Might your nephew enjoy the latest addition to that train series? Might he also have an interest in RC cars? Amazon will give you all sorts of ideas about what to get your nephew when the next holiday season rolls around.
Amazon.com uses recommendation algorithms to personalize the online store for each customer. The store radically changes based on customer interests, showing programming titles to a software engineer and baby toys to a new mother. There are three common approaches to solving the recommendation problem: traditional collaborative filtering, cluster models, and search-based methods. Here, we compare these methods with our algorithm, which we call item-to-item collaborative filtering. Unlike traditional collaborative filtering, our algorithm's online computation scales independently of the number of customers and number of items in the product catalog. Our algorithm produces recommendations in real-time, scales to massive data sets, and generates high quality recommendations.
Amazon’s cloud-computing service is now putting other supercomputers to shame. The service is based on the company’s Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2), the backbone of Amazon Web Services, which many digital businesses, including Foursquare and Reddit, use instead of building and maintaining their own services. EC2 also helps the Kindle Fire’s silk browser run quickly.
The company made the leap from selling others' products to selling its own when it introduced the Kindle, a reader with the capability of downloading books wirelessly, in 2007. A few other companies, notably Sony, had been selling electronic book readers, but Amazon's approach seemed to create a completely new experience, offering users the chance to buy virtually any book at any time anywhere.
The Seattle-based company reported first-quarter sales jumped 34% to $13.18 billion, compared with $9.86 billion in the first quarter of 2011. Estimates were for $12.9 billion.
Since 2004, Amazon has begun to rapidly expand its web services arsenal. Products such as Amazon EC2 (Elastic Compute Cloud) and Amazon S3 (Simple Storage System), Amazon Route 53 have been large successes.
Amazon.com, Inc. seeks to be Earth’s most customer-centric company, where customers can find and discover anything they might want to buy online, and endeavors to offer its customers the lowest possible prices
At first, the company operated out of Bezos' garage, until it was clear that it was going to be a success, necessitating a move to a Seattle office, which served as the customer support, shipping, and receiving area. It was interesting that, because of the Internet, such a small venture could realize such a broad scope so quickly; within a month of launching the web site, Bezos and Amazon.com had filled orders from all 50 states and 45 other countries.
Jeff Bezos, Amazon.com founder and CEO, dreamed about books. In 1994, he created Amazon.com, Inc., which he labeled as “Earth’s Biggest Bookstore.” The ecommerce company went online in 1995 and soon expanded into other media, including DVDs, VHS, CDs, MP3s, and eventually a wide range of other products, including toys, electronics, furniture and apparel. As such, the tagline soon changed to “Earth’s Largest Selection.”
The People’s Republic of China (“PRC”) regulates Amazon’s and its affiliates’ businesses and operations in the PRC through regulations and license requirements restricting (i) foreign investment in the Internet, IT infrastructure, retail, delivery, and other sectors, (ii) Internet content and (iii) the sale of media and other products. For example, in order to meet local ownership and regulatory licensing requirements, www.amazon.cn is operated by PRC companies that are indirectly owned, either wholly or partially, by PRC nationals.