Products & Services and the corresponding Market Interface
The business model of Amazon in its early years in 1998 consisted of a very different value proposition is you compare it with today's offerings by the company. To clarify the value proposition you have to view it in relation to the "value recipient" (inspired by Anders Sundelin. . Amazon in 1998 addressed consumers by selling products and retailers by offering a marketplace where they can sell their products as well (Kotha, 1998). Today this target-group is still up-to-date. Retailers today can use much more offerings to sell their products over the Amazon infrastructure. Thus Amazon still addresses retailers, but additionally the bigger ones, which develop their own shops and do not "only" sell products on the marketplace. By opening its infrastructure, Amazon ...view middle of the document...
* buying and selling end-consumers - Amazon addresses supermarket-shoppers and market-place visitors as we know them already from real life. In this case the customers are more or less well-known to Amazon, e.g. through surveys and new scientific findings by doing eye-tracing for websites. At the beginning in 1998 they addressed the book-readers, later the goal was to address every end-consumer. Since 2002 Amazon provides the marketplace-platform where everybody can sell his (new or used) stuff. This is crucial to the product and pricing-strategy as it enables Amazon to offer more products (by 3rd parties) and lower prices.
* buying and selling businesses - For business-users Amazon offers e.g. the advertisement of products on their webpages but also special corportate accounts for companies to buy and sell stuff. Additionally per Partner-Program website-providers can link to amazon and earn money if the user buys something at Amazon. For companies selling something over the web probably the most interesting value is the recently announced WebStore (already online inU.S.-http://www.amazonservices.com/content/webstore-by amazon.htm?id=hm1). Per WebStore Amazon provides a complete Online-Shop for companies including highly customizable frontends, infrastructure by amazon (like payment component) and fulfillment via Amazon.
developers - Since 2002 (source: german and english Wikipedia article, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amazon.com) Amazon offers a programmatic connection to their backend (like the product-database) per Web-Service technology (AWS). Thus the company is one of the pioneers in this area. Currenty various Web-Services can be used by developers like payment-services (flexible payment services - FPS), queue-messaging-services or storage and database-services. Additionally Amazon enables developers to create their own virutal machines (based on Xen technology) which run on Amazon-infrastructure and are charged based on runtime