Amazon.com Incorporated (AMZN) is one of the largest electronic commerce companies in the world. As of May 22, 2015, Amazon.com Incorporated has a market capitalization of close to $200 billion and has revenue, for the past trailing 12 months, of a monstrous $91.96 billion. Although most people know what Amazon.com is and have used it before for shopping, they may not know the background of the company and the plethora of other services it offers.

  1. In the early stages of Amazon, Jeff Bezos, his wife and Shel Kaphan, held their meetings inside their local Barnes and Noble. Before CEO and found Jeff Bezos landed on "Amazon" as the name of the e-commerce giant, he had other names in his bag, such as "Cadabra" (as in "Abracadabra") and "Relentless." However, his lawyer convinced him that "Cadabra" did not sound magical at all. Rather, "Cadabra" sounded too similar to "cadaver." Although "Relentless" did not make the cut to be the name of the company, Jeff Bezos liked the name enough to buy the domain name and now the website; relentless.com, redirects to the Amazon.com homepage.
  2. In Amazon's early stages as a public company, it launched an auction site to compete with its competitors in the e-commerce space. The day Amazon launched the auction site in 1991, its shares soared almost 8%.
  3. Before powerhouse search engine company Google had its "Street View" on its map application, Amazon launched a search engine in 2004, A9.com, which started a project called Block View. Block view was a visual yellow pages that allowed its users to see the street view of addresses and directions to their destinations.
  4. AmazonSmile allows its users to support charities of their choice when they shop at smile.amazon.com. The AmazonSmile Foundation donates 0.5% of the purchase price of products eligible for AmazonSmile purchases.
  5. Amazon uses its image recognition technology in form of an application, Flow, to make shopping easier for its users. With Amazon Flow, users do not have the need to memorize their shopping lists. Amazon Flow allows its users to take pictures using their phones, the application and their phones' cameras. Flow is a standalone application and when integrated with Amazon's application, users could find products on Amazon and purchase their products on Amazon without the need to type or scan the bar code.
  6. Amazon.com Incorporated has a patent on its one-click ordering technology. Apple Incorporated, the company with the largest market capitalization of $763.57 billion, licenses Amazon's buy now with one click.
  7. Amazon invites some of its users to become Amazon Vine reviewers. They are compensated in products from companies to review those products. However, the Amazon Vine reviewer club is only open to a small percentage of elite viewers.
  8. Amazon.com is developing a futuristic delivery system, Prime Air, which would let Amazon deliver packages to customers within 30 minutes using small drones. Amazon recently wrote a letter to the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) asking for an exemption to allow testing of the unmanned drones in the United States.
  9. If users subscribe to Amazon Prime memberships, they could share the benefits of their Amazon Prime accounts with five people. Shared Amazon Prime account users would share shipping benefits. However, they would not be able to access Amazon's instant video services.
  10. Amazon employs over 150,000 people across the globe. Google has 53,600 employees, Facebook has a mere 10,082 employees and Alibaba has 26,845 employees. The number of employees working at Amazon.com Incorporated dwarfs the number of employees working at Google Incorporated, Facebook Incorporated and Alibaba Group Holding Limited, combined.
  11. Amazon.com Incorporated installed over 15,000 robots in its U.S. warehouses to cut its operating costs and quickly deliver packages before the holiday season in 2014. Amazon adopted the robotics technology developed by Kiva Systems, which Amazon bought for $775 million in an acquisition 2012.

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