AM AZ O N ’ S BARRELING IN T O PH Y SICAL RE TAIL ,
FIN ANCI AL SER VICES , HEALTHCARE , AND
AI - LED CO MPUTING
Seattle-based Amazon is doubling down on
AI for AWS and the ecosystem around its AI
assistant, Alexa. It’s seeking to become the
central provider for AI-as-a-service. But it’s not
leaving retail behind either, running grocery,
book, and convenience stores across the US.
Amazon is the exception to nearly every rule in business.
Rising from humble beginnings as a Seattle-based internet
bookstore, Amazon has grown into a propulsive force across at
least 5 major industries: retail, logistics, consumer technology,
cloud computing, and most recently, media & entertainment.
Notably, Amazon’s $13.7B purchase of grocery chain Whole
Foods last year shook up the grocery industry, highlighting
Amazon’s increasingly deep push into brick-and-mortar retail.
Of course, the company has had its share of missteps — the
expensive Fire phone flop comes to mind — but Amazon is also
rightly known for strokes of strategic genius that have launched it
ahead of competitors in promising new industries.
This was the case with the launch of cloud business AWS in the
mid-2000s, as well as the more recent consumer hit Amazon
found with its Echo device and Alexa AI assistant.
Today’s Amazon is far more than just an “everything store;” it’s a
leader in consumer-facing AI and enterprise cloud services. And
its insatiable appetite for new markets means competitors must
always be on guard against its next moves.
As the United States’ biggest online retailer, the company
accounts for about 4% of all retail and about 44% of all e-com-
merce spending in the US. While the company has been publicly
traded for more than two decades, its market capitalization has
swelled in recent years.
Wall Street banks like Morgan Stanley expect Amazon to continue
growing at a rate that no company its size has ever done before,
estimating 16% average compound growth in sales through 2025.