As one of the first e-commerce companies to open up shop on the Internet, Amazon.com has grown to become one of the largest retailers in the world. Since it first became a public company in 1997, revenues have grown substantially. In Q2 1997, the first quarter the retailer publicly reported revenue, Amazon saw $27.9 million in net sales. In Q2 2009, it earned $4.65 billion in net sales. Amazon also was one of the first companies to let consumers make electronic purchases online.
“We have an obsession with the customer and an obsession to lower prices to get customers talking to their friends about us,” said Craig Berman, VP of global communications at Amazon. “The best endorsement you can get is a recommendation from a friend.”
Amazon is credited with creating the e-commerce shopping experience by developing the browser page and shopping carts. In addition, it was one of the first to use personalization.
While customer reviews are all over the Web today, when Amazon first started using them in the late 1990s is was somewhat controversial. “We had publishers who wrote to us saying, ‘Your goal is to sell books, it shouldn’t be to discourage book buying,” said Berman.