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The Everything Store

Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon

By Brad Stone
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The Everything Store by Brad Stone

Despite being a billion-dollar company today, Amazon was built on humble beginnings in Jeff Bezos’ garage. From the get-go, Bezos was driven by the grand vision of creating an Everything Store – which has, in the meantime, virtually come true. Focusing equally on the company and its founder, this book shows how he turned his dream into a reality.

The Washington Post and Forbes both dubbed The Everything Store the best book of 2013. 

Key idea 1 of 9

Everything for the customer: an unlimited focus on service and comfort.

From the very beginning, Amazon has championed taking customer orientation to a higher level in every industry worldwide.

The online store has, step by step, added new features and functions that people initially considered unfounded, but were always conceived to benefit the customer.

For example, despite resistance from publishers, Amazon introduced the customer review feature that provided users with independent and often critical information in addition to publishers’ blurbs. Similarly, the decision to give sellers and individuals the option to sell used products also met with internal opposition at first, but ended up being just what the customers wanted.

What’s more, Amazon is constantly working on optimizing its logistics and delivery systems in order to meet customers’ desire to receive the products they’ve ordered as quickly as possible. The complexity of Amazon’s fulfillment centers is hidden from the customers’ view.

Jeff Bezos quickly recognized one huge advantage e-commerce had over traditional business: that it was extremely easy to analyze customer behavior, which Amazon now does almost obsessively. Every time customers access the site, product recommendations pop up based on their previous site behavior. This feature has consistently yielded increased sales as customers discovered relevant products that they wouldn’t have stumbled upon otherwise.

Clearly, Jeff Bezos and Amazon are driven by an almost compulsive customer orientation. And Amazon – rather immodestly – formulates this in its business model as follows: “Our goal is to be Earth’s most customer-centric company.”

In fact, at the company’s office nothing could be more frightening than when Jeff Bezos forwards an e-mail with a customer complaint to which he’s only reacted with a “?”.

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