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Amazon.com(Amazon.com, Seattle, WA, www.amazon.com) The largest online shopping site in the U.S. Founded by Jeff Bezos in 1994, within four years, Amazon had more than four million customers. Today, more than 100 million visitors access the site each month.
From a Bookstore to Nearly Everything
Amazon started out as an online bookstore, constantly making news with its product volume. In the late 1990s, after adding CDs, videos, DVDs and games, Amazon offered more than four million titles. It continued to add new lines of business including toys, consumer electronics, software, power tools, home improvement products, online auctions and cloud computing services, the latter a significant profit center for the company (see Amazon Web Services). By opening up its e-commerce platform to non-Amazon vendors in 2000, nearly every legal product that can be shipped is available on Amazon's site. See one-click ordering.
Amazon Prime Membership
In 2005, Amazon Prime was introduced as an annual subscription. Prime offers free two-day shipping and lower one-day rates on products Amazon stocks in its warehouses. Prime membership increasingly offers other benefits, including unlimited video and music streaming, photo storage and e-book lending (Prime Video, Amazon Music, Amazon Photos and Kindle eBooks). See AmazonFresh and Amazon Go.
Amazon's Own Products
In the late 2000s, the company began to offer Amazon-branded items, including e-book readers, tablets, smartphones, cables and other devices (see Kindle, Kindle Fire, Fire Phone, Amazon Echo and Amazon Dash).