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Bezos’s final investor letter: Here’s what it covered

Thursday 15th  April 2021 was the day when Amazon’s CEO Jeff Bezos would release his final letter to investors, before stepping down from his position. As expected, he outlined the many successes the company has had over the past year, as well as looking back in the past through the business archives. It seems that every couple of days we’re reading exciting innovations and highlights coming to Amazon, and this letter was no different. 

There were many highlights and topics covered and we’ve picked out the main ones that stood out to us:

  • 60% of Amazon sales come from third party sellers
  • Prime subscriptions passed the 200 million mark
  • Amazon directly employs 1.3 million people
  • Customers have connected over 100 million smart home devices to Alexa

Third party sellers make up the majority of business on Amazon 

In recent years, third party sellers, mainly made up of small to medium size businesses, have made up the majority of businesses trading on Amazon’s platform. Looking deeper into those numbers you’ll see data that suggests it’s between 6 – 9 million third party sellers, with around 15% – 20% active.

Let’s be honest, Amazon’s marketplace could not have possibly grown in the manner it has done, without the marketplace model it employs. Many believe it has led Amazon to rethink its strategy for the Vendor (wholesale) side of business. 

Many small to medium size businesses have profited from using Amazon as a sales channel. Amazon said that Sellers earned between $25 billion and $39 billion in profits from selling on the platform. Third party data sources also suggest that 85% of Amazon sellers are profitable. These are numbers not to be ignored!

The value of Prime continues to attract the masses with over 200million members

We live in a time where having multiple subscriptions to different services is just part of everyday life. Whether it’s for pricing incentives or convenience, companies know they can hook us in to their eco-system by offering us something greater in return. 

Amazon has heavily pushed its Prime programme since its inception. Reaching over 200 million members continues to back up the idea that customers are willing to pay for convenience, price discounts and other perks. As Amazon continues to become more involved and connected with our lives, it won’t be long before they reach the 300 million milestone. 

Amazon is becoming the place where everyone wants to work

Well perhaps this statement isn’t true and it’s a sensitive subject at times for Amazon. You don’t have to scroll for long in the news archives to find negative press relating to Amazon and its employment practises. However, that being said and through my own experience of working there, it’s a place where many people earn a successful living and have a strong career. The fact that Amazon employs over 1.3 million people directly, shows that it can’t be that bad a place to work. 

Connected devices bring Alexa deeper into our lives

As the connected devices revolution continues with each Christmas, Birthday and any other special occasion for that matter, we as human beings, continue to outsource many aspects of our lives to devices and AI based programmes. Alexa and her devices (if you will) has been around for a number of years and takes many different forms. 

Amazon reports that over 100 million smart home devices are connected to Alexa.  What this potentially highlights is the fact that similar to paying for a subscription model like Prime, we are quite happy to allow intelligent AI tools take away the manual tasks that we, as humans, would rather not do……like turning on the lights in our house! 


Skye High Media is an Amazon ecommerce growth agency, specialising in Marketplace and D2C strategies. If you would like to find out more on launching your brand on Amazon, reach out to the Skye High Media team through our Contact Us page or alternatively email us at partnerships@skyehighmedia.com

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