5 Highlights from Amazon’s 2018 Letter to Shareholders

On Thursday, April 11, 2019, Jeff Bezos shared his annual letter to shareholders of Amazon. Each year, he shares a letter followed by the original 1997 Letter to Shareholders. This comparison makes it clear how far Amazon has come. To start for 2018, Jeff Bezos shares “remarkable” numbers of third-party seller growth. We’ll elaborate on what the letter had to say about 3P sellers and highlight other important details. Amazon's Letter to Shareholders

1. Third-Party Sellers Outperform First-Party Sellers

According to the letter, third-party sales have increased by 55% over the last 20 years. And, although first-party sales numbers are impressive, they’re exceeded by third-party sellers by $43 billion.

2. Amazon is Better for Third-Party Sellers than eBay

This year’s letter provided dollars made from 1999 to today. Now we compare how Amazon’s third-party sellers measure up to independent sales made on eBay. The difference crowns Amazon’s 3P sellers with the highest compounded annual growth over eBay by $65 billion.

There are many reasons why sellers prefer Amazon to another marketplace. Amazon’s customer-first mindset and a team of inventors have been a powerhouse combination to provide sellers with tools to compete and succeed.

3. Machine Learning is the Past, Present, and Future

Machine learning has become a term that companies either embrace or run from. It’s Amazon’s mission to help companies take advantage of it. Amazon plans to continuously enhance its existing SageMaker service that customers use to embrace machine learning.

4. There’s More to Come From Amazon Go

Admittedly so, Amazon Go was an undertaking. Amazon’s response from customers has made that hard work and investment in the future worth it. There are 10 stores now but as the customer-first team of inventors continues with this venture, we can expect to see many more.

5. Progressive Investment Isn’t Slowing Down

Amazon has made a variety of investments in areas we’ve already mentioned. One that it believes is very important is the investment they’ve made in its people. Minimum wages have raised and tuition reimbursement and professional development programs have rolled out. As a company, Amazon pays it forward to train students and veterans, too.

Amazon remains thankful for its customers, shareowners, and employees. This letter serves as a promise for a bright future for those who buy, sell, and work for or with Amazon. We look forward to the journey ahead that will lead us to next year’s annual letter.

 

Hannah West

Hannah West