Tag: e-commerce

It’s an e-tailer… No, an e-commerce platform… No, a software platform!

It's an e-tailer... No, an e-commerce platform... No, a software platform! Andrei Hagiu I recently attended a keynote speech given by Jeff Bezos, CEO and founder of Amazon at MIT. Up until I heard Bezos’ speech, I thought of Amazon as the world’s largest Internet retailer of books and other things—a giant, online marketplace that had managed to successfully evolve its business model from a WalMart-style pure retailer towards an eBay-style, e-commerce platform. If you recall, in 1999, Bezos launched a "marketplace" initiative to allow some of Amazon’s suppliers to operate their own storefronts on the Amazon.com website, under various contractual arrangements: zShops, Merchants@Amazon.com, Merchants.com. The basic idea was to reduce the amount of inventory and risks that Amazon t