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What Jeff Bezos Revealed in His Letter to Shareholders


Apr. 15 2019, Published 8:30 a.m. ET

Independent third-party retailers are selling more on Amazon

In a letter to shareholders, Amazon (AMZN) CEO Jeff Bezos said that the e-commerce giant is a “small player in global retail.” He explained that Amazon is an online retailer and that almost 90% of retail happens offline.

Bezos also noted that 58% of the physical gross merchandise sales on its platform in 2018 was sold by independent third-party sellers compared to only 3% in 1999. Bezos attributed this growth to Amazon’s providing those sellers with “the very best selling tools we could imagine and build.”

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Amazon has now sold over 100 million Alexa-powered devices

“Wandering,” Bezos said, led to one of the company’s best ever inventions: AWS (Amazon Web Services). Bezos said that no one had asked for AWS, but the world was “ready and hungry for an offering like AWS but didn’t know it.” The cloud-computing business generated over $25 billion in revenue last year.

Meanwhile, Bezos revealed that customers had purchased over 100 million Alexa-enabled devices. Amazon has improved Alexa’s ability to understand and answer questions by 20% in the last year, he said. The company has also added billions of facts to Alexa.


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