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Amazon Business Model: How Does Amazon Make Money

Amazon Business Model How Does Amazon Make Money

Curious as to why Amazon is such a success? Look no further! This article lays out the business model of this juggernaut and how it earns money.

Uncover the secrets of Amazon’s continual development and growth. You’ll soon see why it’s the most popular option for so many shoppers!

Introduction to Amazon Business Model

Amazon is a top marketplace around the globe. It began as a store for books and other products. Now it has grown to include cloud computing, AI, media content and more. How does Amazon make money?

Amazon’s business model is straightforward. It brings buyers and sellers from all over the world together. It provides services like product selection, price comparison and payment processing – earning a cut from each sale.

Many ecommerce companies use this model, but Amazon takes it further. It uses its infrastructure for services like inventory management, order processing and data analytics. It also offers marketing tools for businesses selling on the Amazon marketplace. This gives businesses more control and access to Amazon’s network.

Amazon’s huge access to customer data helps it develop products and services that meet customer needs better than competitors. This lets businesses target customers more accurately than traditional marketing.

Due to its business model and global reach, Amazon is one of the most successful companies today – and this looks set to continue.

Overview of Amazon’s Revenue Streams

Amazon’s biz model relies on various strategies & revenue streams. Since ’94, it’s leveraged its customer base, tech expertise, and market leadership in the e-commerce space to expand. Amazon’s growth is due to its role as an online marketplace & forays into various industries. Recently, Amazon began investing in physical stores & govt contracts.

At a high level, Amazon’s primary biz model consists of 3 key revenue streams: Marketplace sales; Media & Subscription sales; and Other products & services.

Marketplace Sales: Amazon serves as an e-commerce platform for buyers to purchase goods from sellers with convenience & assurance. This portion of the model has become increasingly important as more customers buy from 3rd-party sellers than from Amazon itself.

Media & Subscription Sales: This includes digital media like streaming video/music services & subscription services. These have become important sources of revenue for Amazon enabling them to drive customer loyalty with bundled offers & free shipping incentives linked to Prime Membership.

Other Products & Services: This includes items such as electronic devices, cloud computing, apparel, 3rd party services, etc., sold through channels not covered within Marketplace or Media & Subscription revenues, offering customers alternative purchasing opps outside traditional e-commerce.

Amazon Marketplace

Amazon Marketplace is a platform managed by Amazon. It helps third-party sellers to sell products on An algorithm is used to match buyers with the right seller.

When a buyer visits Amazon, they are presented with options from the Marketplace. They can choose between “prime eligible” or other shipping options, depending on their needs.

Amazon processes the order, handles payment processing and customer service. After this, Amazon collects funds from the buyer and sends them to the seller. Fees such as referral fees, commissions and VAT are taken out. These fees vary depending on categories and fulfillment options, but generally range between 8%–25%.

Amazon Prime

Amazon Prime is a membership program with exclusive benefits. Customers pay an annual fee of $99 or a monthly fee of $10.99.

They get free two-day shipping from Amazon on all orders, including food and general goods. They also get discounts at Whole Foods stores and access to digital extras like Prime Music and Prime Video.

There are exclusive offers in different product categories and access to Twitch Prime for gamers. Prime members get Kindle First to read new books each month, discounts off new release video games, one free eBook per month, 20% off nappies, unlimited photo storage, unlimited reading with Prime Reading, crime dramas through Audible Channels free trial, and unlimited Cloud storage for photos. All these features make up the Amazon Prime bundle!

Amazon Web Services

Amazon Web Services (AWS) is a comprehensive cloud computing platform. It offers infrastructure, platform, and packaged software services. AWS gives customers access to virtual “cloud” servers. This lets them create and manage websites, applications, and databases without technical issues.

AWS is important to Amazon’s business model. It generates income from customers who use its services. Amazon charges hourly fees based on the computing power used. It also offers extra features like storage, database support, and security options. Customers can choose long-term usage plans for discounts. This can save money in the long run.


Advertising is key for Amazon. Being the largest online retailer, it draws in many visitors every day who can be targeted with ads. Amazon has two main sources: its own network and a Partner Ad Network.

The former consists of display, sponsored products, and video ads. The latter includes Yahoo!, Bing and Twitter, allowing advertisers to target audiences with relevant product ads.

Advertisers can buy impressions or clicks on either or both networks via self-serve platforms or managed services packages.

Ad revenue has been increasing, as more businesses turn to online advertising to increase visibility and sales. Advertising income is a big part of Amazon’s total earnings, helping them keep prices competitive while growing globally.

Physical Stores

Amazon began as an online bookstore and now offers a wide range of physical products. From cell phone accessories to furniture, Amazon sells it all. They also own Whole Foods Market and many other physical stores. Here, they sell products from both themselves, and other manufacturers.

The company also has devices, like the Kindle, Fire TV Stick, and Echo. These let customers access Amazon services, products, and digital content. In addition to online sales, Amazon operates physical stores with their “Amazon Go” concept.

Customers can walk in, with no checkout. Advanced tech such as computer vision algorithms detect items taken off the shelf. This adds them directly to the customer’s virtual cart. No more waiting in lines or scanning items. Customers can shop at their own pace.

Plus, Amazon Go offers a delivery service for customers. They can get any eligible item within two hours of purchase, for an additional fee.

Summary and Conclusion

Amazon’s model revolves around four components: e-commerce, AWS, Prime subscription services, and ads. They leverage their expertise in e-commerce to drive sales and profitability. Adding AWS and new subscriptions, like Prime, has opened up new revenue streams. Ad services have created a big platform to advertise goods to millions of customers.

The model is working – Amazon creates value for customers through low prices, fast delivery, innovative products, and great customer service. They remain one of the top companies in the industry. For longevity, they diversified into cloud computing and streaming via Prime Video & Music.

Frequently Asked Questions


Q: How does Amazon make money?

A: Amazon’s primary source of revenue is its e-commerce business, which brings in money from the sales of products, services, and digital content. Amazon also makes money from advertising services and third-party sellers, as well as subscriptions for its Prime membership program.

Q: What are Amazon’s main sources of revenue?

A: Amazon’s main sources of revenue include the sales of products, services, and digital content; advertising services; third-party seller services; and subscriptions for its Prime membership program.

Q: How much money does Amazon make?

A: Amazon reported total net sales of $386.1 billion in 2019, with its e-commerce business accounting for the majority of its revenue.