Amazon turns 20 today with a thanks to its loyal customers by announcing a global shopping event that’s exclusively available to its Prime subscription members.
It’s hard to believe it’s been 20 years since Jeff Bezos and friends launched Amazon.com in his garage as a bookseller. Going live on July 6, 1995, just a year after incorporating his idea as Cadabra before changing the name, Bezos likely had no idea it would have such an imprint on the global marketplace, despite his ambition to be the world’s biggest e-tailer. The first book sold on the site, Fluid Concepts & Creative Analogies: Computer Models of the Fundamental Mechanisms of Thought, by Douglas Hofstadter, wasn’t exactly a bestseller, but that ability to meet consumer special interests was a harbinger of what was to come.
The site has grown exponentially since its days of being an online bookstore. Now, virtually everything under the sun can be found on Amazon, old baseball cards, blenders, riding mowers, streaming movies, 3D-printed items, handmade goods, Echo voice recognition services, Kickstarter-backed exclusives, groceries plus food from local shops and restaurants, professional services—if it can be sold, Jeff Bezos and Co. will find a way to offer it.
With each new business silo and category added, Amazon has kept on growing and flowing like the mighty river it was named for. It now has more than 165,000 workers across the globe and rung up almost $89 billion in revenue last year, according to the Seattle Times in its 20th anniversary profile today. Amazon’s share price has gone above $437, a 40 percent increase since the start of 2015. Not that it’s all good news for the company. Some recent numbers, such as last year’s $437 million third-quarter loss, and the $57 million loss in the first quarter of this year, likely leave Bezos a little sleepless in Seattle.
To celebrate its birthday, however, Amazon is having a massive sale one-day shopping event on July 15 just for its most loyal members: those who subscribe to Amazon Prime, a $99 annual subscription service offering faster delivery, and access to streaming content and local offerings such as groceries. As the Seattle Times notes, subscription fees alone from Prime bring in an annual $4 billion annually. Plus, as CNET reports, Prime members spend about $1,500 on the site each year while those who are not only spend about $625 annually.
To show its thanks, Amazon’s first ever Prime Day, as it’s calling the sales event, is promised to offer bigger-than-Black-Friday deals on thousands of items. As with Black Friday, shoppers will have to stay on their toes as the deals will be introduced throughout the day starting at midnight. In addition, members can win a $10,000 gift card by submitting photos to a #PrimeLiving contest to show how Prime saves them time and money—with the photos hosted on Amazon’s cloud services. At 20, clearly, Amazon is just hitting its own prime.
— Amazon (@amazon) July 6, 2015
— Aaron Simmons (@asimmonz) July 6, 2015