Let’s face it: Amazon has been a commercial behemoth for a long time now. It’s so easy to buy something online and wait for it to arrive in a couple of days, but the corporate giant became even more essential in the days of quarantine.
Amazon has been there for us when smaller stores have had to close or when supplies at grocery and big-box stores have been low. So many people grab their staples from Amazon these days, and it’s more convenient than ever to order a book, movie, or album – even clothes and shoes.
We’ve all made our share of impromptu purchases too. Last night, a teacher friend of mine in our church small group said that she spent a lot of time on Amazon in her first days of teaching remotely, and the next thing she knew, she had her husband became the proud owners of a hydroponic garden.
As a result of the essential place that Amazon has taken in all of our lives, Jeff Bezos and company are raking in even bigger bucks than before:
Ecommerce giant Amazon recorded sales of $75.4 billion in the first quarter of 2020 as many consumers embrace online purchases due to COVID-19-induced lockdowns.
That translates into nearly $10,000 in sales every second…
Let that sink in for a little while. Ten grand per second.
That number represents a 29% increase in sales for the retail giant, and 33% jump in revenue for their AWS cloud computing services.
For his part, Bezos credits his company’s ability to adapt to changing times.
“From online shopping to AWS to Prime Video and Fire TV, the current crisis is demonstrating the adaptability and durability of Amazon’s business as never before, but it’s also the hardest time we’ve ever faced,” said Jeff Bezos, Amazon founder and CEO.
For all of our carping about Amazon being such a big company, squeezing smaller businesses out and making it more difficult for entrepreneurs to get a start, it’s a stellar example of the double-edged sword that is capitalism.
Amazon itself couldn’t survive if the capitalist system didn’t work, and the free commerce that our system of markets provides has allowed it to grow. On the other side of things, Amazon has grown like the kudzu that covers the South, choking out other plants.
It’s pretty easy to loathe or at least be cynical about Amazon, but we should also remember that it’s Exhibit A for the fact that the free market is effective.