Amazon doesn't just dominate as an e-commerce leader and cloud service provider. The retail and tech juggernaut infiltrates and dominates a host of other industries as well, with no signs of slowing its expansion.
The industry dominance extends over not just the economy, but also social change. Check out our coverage of Amazon the influencer, and how it drives change in business and society.
How Amazon's customer experience became the e-commerce standard
Amazon bundles quick delivery, free shipping, personalized recommendations and many other aspects of customer experience.
As such, Amazon's e-commerce approach is now the industry standard. Consumers expect all digital shopping experiences to match what Amazon provides, which sets a high bar for other online retailers to match. Amazon pressures these businesses to match features, such as guaranteed same-day delivery, data-driven decision-making technology and no-hassle returns.
The upshot for many businesses on Amazon is they lose brand identity. Self-service shopping on Amazon enables consumers to click from one product to the next without brand recognition.
Take a closer look at how Amazon shapes customer experience across e-commerce.
Amazon's supply chain model disrupts the entire industry
Like its influence in customer experience, Amazon has also flipped supply chain dynamics. Traditional supply chain models keep minimal, need-based inventory, with production planned far in advance. But with constant demand for free and fast deliveries, vendors must maintain larger inventories and build bigger warehouses to fulfill Amazon orders.
Learn more about the impact of Amazon on the supply chain industry.
Amazon's growth strategy could target these key markets
In addition to the industries it already dominates, Amazon eyes new markets as well.
Take the travel sector, for example. Amazon tried to enter the hotel-booking industry in 2015, but quickly cancelled the service. Some experts say Amazon may try to enter this market again. Early indicators include the Amazon Pay partnership with Cleartrip on domestic flights in India, with discount programs for hotels and transportation. Future plans might include a booking service or a metasearch engine similar to Google Travel.
Review expert predictions and moves that indicate where Amazon's growth could lead next, including how it could compete in healthcare, online payments and digital publishing.
Amazon's environmental impact delivers climate change concerns
Beyond retail and tech, Amazon is also at the center of a debate about the relationship between online shopping and climate change. Amazon is often criticized for producing excessive waste from packing, traffic-related emission from deliveries and for selling environmentally harmful products.
The free and fast shipping that consumers associate with Amazon uses practices that are unsustainable, environmental advocates say. In response, Amazon touts its sustainability efforts, such as its investment in electric delivery vehicles and manufacturing practices designed to reduce waste. But as the largest online retailer, Amazon continues to be the biggest target for critics who say it should take the lead on sustainability practices.
It's hard to measure Amazon's environmental impact, but since online shopping is here to stay, e-tail companies must establish more sustainable business practices.
Consider Amazon's environmental impact and the dark side of e-commerce when it comes to climate change.
How Amazon HR influences hiring trends
Employers must also react to the many ways that Amazon recruits and hires employees, particularly its remote and flexible workers.
The company reportedly had 750,000 full and part-time employees in the third quarter of 2019. In fact, FlexJobs, a site that connects professionals to remote work, said Amazon ranked sixth out of the 100 top companies with remote jobs in 2019.
Amazon hiked its minimum wage to $15 an hour in 2018 and encouraged other employers to do the same. These increases could influence the wages of other employees in comparable locations and industries.
Find out the Amazon effect on HR hiring trends, wages, training and more.