Amazon was founded in 1994, about 18 years after Apple, but the e-commerce giant has been able to sustain more growth momentum in recent years and seems poised to surpass Apple in market value as it continues to dominate in e-commerce. Amazon is poised to see 49 cents of every dollar spent on e-commerce this year, according to eMarketer.
But the story of Amazon’s growth into a trillion-dollar company isn’t just about remaining focused on its long-stated mission of putting the needs of retail customers first. As Amazon has gotten bigger, and more successful, the company has drawn its share of criticism—particularly in the way it treats workers at its warehouses: low pay and demanding schedules that leave workers fearing punishment if they take breaks.
And Jeff Bezos’ relentless focus on the customer has gone from a powerful way to build customer loyalty to a way of wending Amazon services deeper into our daily lives. Amazon’s cloud powers many popular apps, Amazon-produced movies are playing in theaters, Amazon Prime entices us to buy more from Amazon.com, and more and more traditional retailers are partnering with Amazon as the enemy they must forge an alliance with to survive.
Amazon’s valuation popped back down below the $1 trillion level Wednesday, with the stock declining 2.2% to $1,994.82, a stock price that valued Amazon at $973 billion. But the company’s unrelenting push to expand will surely push it back above $1 trillion, and beyond. Nothing seems to be standing in the way of the company’s future growth. The question is, will customers still shop at Amazon because of its consumer-friendly approach—or because there’s really nowhere else to go?