News24 – 4 July 2018 | 15:34:39 Amazon has become a “public relations juggernaut” in the last three years, it has been revealed.
The retail giant has become an “inspiration to the whole industry” and has “become a true marketing powerhouse”, according to former executive chairman Jeff Bezos.
Amazon has been described as a “leading innovator in online advertising”, and the company’s stock price has soared to a record high.
Mr Bezos was quoted in a Forbes article last year as saying Amazon “is doing the right thing for the world” and “will continue to do so”.
Amazon’s recent earnings report highlighted Amazon’s push to become more transparent with its financials.
Amazon now discloses a “share price per share” in its financial results and other information.
The company also announced a series of initiatives to improve the way it handles customer support, and in January this year it announced a $250 million investment into a new digital agency.
The investment will help it “strengthen the agency’s capability to help customers in a range of areas, from finding the best delivery service to managing customer disputes”, the company said.
But the company has also been criticised for its poor response to customer feedback and its failure to adequately compensate those who have taken it to court over allegations of fraud.
Mr Amazon is the first chief executive in US history to be named as one of the most influential people in the US.
The list of those who are being honoured includes John Legere, a former chief executive of the Coca-Cola company, and former Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella.
“Jeff Bezos has been a huge influence in how we think about our companies, how we work, how people live and interact,” former Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos said.
“He has always been a leader in how to drive forward change.”
Amazon’s earnings statement revealed that its online sales have increased by more than 500% in the past year, with Amazon now making $3.2 billion a year from online sales, up from $1.7 billion last year.
The online sales growth has been driven by Amazon’s acquisition of Whole Foods, which has grown by $250m in the two years since the deal was completed.
Mr Nadell said Amazon’s focus on online business had been successful, with “the company now making more money online than it did offline”.
“We are in a golden age in the retail industry.
This is a very important period for Amazon and we are in it because we have the right people who are building a great business,” Mr Nader said.
Amazon also reported strong revenue growth in the third quarter, as it expanded its business outside of its retail outlets.
The number of retail customers in the United States increased by 6.3% to 4.6 million, compared with 6.4% in 2014.
Sales at its online retail businesses also increased by 8.5% to $5.9 billion, up 15% from $5 billion in the previous quarter.
In terms of revenue growth, Amazon said that it was “the largest online retailer in the world”.
Mr Bezos also said the company was going to become “a very strong digital business”.
He said the Amazon Digital business would now generate over $100 billion in annual revenues by 2021.
“We will do everything we can to make our businesses easier to use and help our customers get the best service and products possible,” he said.
The Amazon CEO also revealed that Amazon had bought a number of online services including AmazonFresh, a program that provides free delivery of groceries and other household items to customers.
“The AmazonFresh program is the fastest growing business in the country,” Mr Bezos said, adding that “we are building an AmazonFresh store for every store in America”.
“This will be a great place to grow the company.”
Amazon said its overall business had increased by 12% to a staggering $6.7 trillion.
It reported that it had raised $3 billion to date, and said it was spending $5 per share on dividends and capital raising.
Amazon is expected to report earnings in early 2021.