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How Amazon Became the E-Commerce Giant

How does Amazon make money? It’s a question that many people ask, given the company’s massive size and reach. While Amazon has many different revenue streams, most of its profits come from three core businesses: e-commerce, cloud computing, and advertising. This article will examine these business segments and see how they contribute to Amazon’s bottom line.

Amazon’s three main revenues

Craig Ruttle/ Associated Press | Amazon now is one of the 5 biggest tech companies in the US and operates in 13 countries and ships worldwide

Amazon is famously known for its vast online store, but its impressive revenue source doesn’t end there. In addition to the online sales performed by Amazon, they also offer the opportunity for third-party sellers to use their platform as a marketplace and make money from it. On top of that, Amazon Web Services (AWS) provides cloud-computing services to companies, allowing them to cut costs while hosting their data in reliable ways. This trifecta of offerings has allowed Amazon to become one of the world’s leading companies, making it clear why sources of income are so important.

Online sales

As the largest online retailer in the world, it’s no surprise that Amazon largely relies upon online sales to maintain its status. It can also be predicted that books, electronics, and home goods will remain popular among Amazon customers as they seek various items for everyday use and hobbies. eCommerce technology has changed how we shop and expanded what was once an exclusively brick-and-mortar experience into much more. We can now choose from hundreds of thousands of items with just a few clicks, changing the retail landscape forever. Companies like Amazon ensure that even if you can’t physically visit a store, you can still find great products wherever you buy.

BBC/ Getty Images | Amazon is the first, and only, marketplace to protect customers in third-party product liability cases

Third-party sellers

It is becoming common for entrepreneurs and individual businesses to use Amazon as a platform to sell their products. This way, these third-party sellers can leverage the immense reach of Amazon’s customer base, which is particularly beneficial for smaller businesses that do not have an extensive marketing or advertising team. However, this convenience comes at a cost: Amazon takes a cut of each sale, ranging from 8% to 15%. Despite this fee, many businesses find that offering their products through Amazon produces a more significant ROI than through lesser-known marketplaces or selling directly to customers. In short, it looks like Amazon is emerging as the go-to source for businesses and consumers looking for efficiency and success in their shopping endeavors.


AWS is Amazon’s cloud computing service that has revolutionized businesses of all sizes. Offering an agile, cost-effective, and flexible solution has allowed many websites and apps to reach a wide audience with speed and scale. It is no surprise that AWS brings in around $5 billion per quarter – a testimony to its success in today’s market. With increased competition in the cloud computing market, Amazon looks set to remain a leader for years.

Reuters/ File | Amazon is working on drone delivery

Other sources of revenue

Finding additional sources of revenue can be a challenge for any business, but the two avenues most popular with consumers are advertising and subscription services. Leveraging marketing opportunities from strategic advertising campaigns designed to bring in more customers can be a powerful way to bring in more money. Still, subscription services have become increasingly popular over the last few years. Examples like Amazon Prime Video and Kindle Unlimited offer an opportunity for customers to engage with a brand on their terms – which makes them accessible to people all around the world, no matter what their financial situation may be. The potential for more customized services will surely lead to increased subscriptions and huge returns for companies who take advantage of it.

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