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Amazon summary

Natalie Berg & Miya Knights

How the World’s Most Relentless Retailer will Continue to Revolutionize Commerce

4.4 (172 ratings)
24 mins

Brief summary

Amazon by Natalie Berg & Miya Knights is a insightful analysis of one of the world's most powerful companies. It explores the history, strategy, and impact of Amazon on the retail industry and beyond, offering valuable lessons for businesses and consumers alike.

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    Amazon is the most successful retailer in the world because it’s much more than just a retailer. 

    The internet has a few simple rules, and the most recent addition to them might be this: if it exists, you can probably buy it on Amazon.

    Founded as an online bookstore in a garage in Seattle in 1997, Amazon now sells millions of products across an ever-growing range of categories. From fashion to electronics to sporting goods, and, most recently, even groceries – on Amazon, it’s all just a click away.

    Amazon functions both as a vendor, selling and handling products itself, and as a marketplace, allowing third-party vendors to sell over its platform. But it’s increasingly taking on other roles too. Amazon has quietly developed over 100 brands of its own, from fashion labels to coffee brands. It produces and sells its own electronic devices, most prominently the Kindle e-readers and the Echo voice assistant. And it offers its own payment services, credit card, cloud storage system, and much, much more.

    Why invest so much in diversifying its range when the basic principle – selling stuff online – already works?

    It’s all part of Amazon’s business strategy, which follows the principle of the flywheel. The basic logic behind it is simple: low prices and good service attract more customers. More customers lead to more sales. More sales attract more third-party sellers. More third-party sellers means more money for Amazon, who can reinvest it to further lower prices and improve service.

    If you feed any part of this virtuous cycle long enough, the flywheel will start to build momentum of its own and propel the company to higher and higher levels of success.

    To feed the flywheel, Amazon has shifted the boundaries of traditional retail through relentless innovation. For example, to attract more customers, it has continuously expanded its entertainment offerings: Amazon Music and Video allow Prime members to stream thousands of songs, movies, and TV shows. To attract more third-party sellers, it introduced services like Fulfillment By Amazon, or FBA, in which Amazon manages the storage and delivery of other businesses’ products.

    In many cases, feeding the flywheel through new products and services initially comes at a high cost. In fact, for the first eight years, Amazon operated at a loss, relying on the patience and goodwill of its investors. But today, the flywheel is finally spinning – and it will be near impossible to stop.

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    What is Amazon about?

    Amazon (2019) investigates the rise of the most disruptive online retailer of the twenty-first century, from humble online bookstore to global business empire. Drawing on industry data and insider knowledge, retail experts Natalie Berg and Miya Knights explain why Amazon dominates today’s e-commerce market, how it will continue to revolutionize retail, and what other businesses can do to keep up.

    Amazon Review

    Amazon (2019) by Natalie Berg and Miya Knights is a captivating exploration of the rise and impact of the e-commerce giant, Amazon. Here's why this book is worth reading:

    • With its in-depth analysis and research, it sheds light on how Amazon has disrupted traditional retail and transformed consumer behavior.
    • The book uncovers the secrets behind Amazon's success, revealing the strategies and tactics that have propelled the company to the top of the online retail world.
    • Through fascinating stories and interviews, Amazon paints a vivid picture of the company's founder, Jeff Bezos, and the philosophy that drives Amazon's relentless pursuit of growth and innovation.

    Best quote from Amazon

    Amazon is not your average retailer because its not actually a retailer.

    —Natalie Berg & Miya Knights
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    Who should read Amazon?

    • Aspiring business strategists and marketing experts
    • Anyone wondering how their business can thrive in an Amazon world
    • Online shoppers interested in the future of retail

    About the Author

    Natalie Berg is a British retail expert and consultant specializing in merchandising, pricing, and shopper-centricity. She is the former Global Research Director at Planet Retail and runs the consultancy NBK Retail. Her co-author Miya Knights is Head of Industry Insight at digital-marketing company Eagle Eye.


    © Natalie Berg & Miya Knights, 2019. This Summary of Amazon is published by arrangement with Kogan Page.

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    Amazon FAQs 

    What is the main message of Amazon?

    The main message of Amazon is the relentless pursuit of customer satisfaction and innovation.

    How long does it take to read Amazon?

    The reading time for Amazon varies depending on the reader's speed, but it typically takes several hours. However, the Blinkist summary can be read in just 15 minutes.

    Is Amazon a good book? Is it worth reading?

    Amazon is a must-read for those interested in understanding the rise and impact of the world's largest online retailer.

    Who is the author of Amazon?

    The authors of Amazon are Natalie Berg and Miya Knights.

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