Is Amazon Conquering the World?

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I’m still impressed that Amazon’s stock shot up 16% on Friday. But when they’d announced their amazing results, Amazon also shared some other interesting information about the popularity of the Kindle. For example…

– Amazon’s quietly made the Kindle available in over 175 different countires around the world, and since those launches, it’s also become the best-selling item on Amazon’s web sites in England, Germany, France, Italy, and Spain

– Amazon also boasted that its Kindle app for the iPad “is the #5 free iPad app of all time” (and the #1 free ebooks app), adding that “millions” of iPad owners are already using it.

Whether we notice it or not, I think we’re in the middle of a revolution. Amazon is everywhere — in nearly every country, and on nearly every device. Everyone’s got books in their pocket — or more specifically, Amazon’s books, ebooks formatted specifically for the Kindle, and for Amazon’s Kindle apps. And soon, it won’t be just books. Amazon’s already selling everything from touchscreen apps to digital music, digital movies and digital TV shows — all through Amazon’s giant online store.

The big difference is that now you don’t have to be sitting at your computer in order to buy things from Amazon — and you’d be surprised at just how many different things Amazon is selling. Last Monday, Amazon announced a new web site which sells industrial parts and scientific supplies. There’s centrifuges, replacement tires, and even hydraulics, pneumatics, and even a special plumbing section with “hydraulics and pneumatics.” It’s all available at AmazonSupply.com, and it’s got me wondering if there’s anything that Amazon won’t sell. Or more importantly, if there’s anything that we customers wouldn’t be willing to buy from Amazon?

Will Amazon eventually dominate the supply chain for countless business? Last week, Amazon’s CEO Jeff Bezos bragged to investors that there’s now 130,000 new ebooks that are exclusive to the Kindle Store — “You won’t find then anywhere else” — and that 16% of Amazon’s 100 best-selling titles are available only in the Kindle store. And of course, he couldn’t get through the announcement without a plug for Amazon’s Prime shipping service. (“If you’re an Amazon Prime member, you don’t even need to buy these titles – you can borrow them for free – with no due dates – from our revolutionary Kindle Owners’ Lending Library.”) It’s all great if you’re already buying lots of products from Amazon. But what happens if you’re trying to compete with Amazon?

I don’t know if I should be worried about Amazon’s enormous marketing power — or if I should be celebrating. (After all, I do buy a lot of products from Amazon.) But either way, at least for the next three months, Amazon not expecting it to slow down. At the end of last week’s big announcement, Amazon predicted that their net sales will continue to grow this year, increasing between 20% and 34% over the next three months from where they were in last year. And the last thing Jeff Bezos said in Amazon’s statement was an enthusiastic commitment not only to finding new Kindle customers, but also to Amazon’s expanding selection of ebooks to keep them all happy!

“Kindle is the best-selling e-reader in the world by far, and I assure you we’ll keep working hard so that the Kindle Store remains yet another reason to buy a Kindle!”

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