Did you know that the e-commerce giant Amazon started in Jeff Bezos’ garage? Or that Amazon’s operation has become so massive that it’s warehouses have more square footage than 700 Madison Square Gardens? Here are some mind-blowing and lesser known facts about the world’s largest online retailer.
The company was close to being called "Cadabra"
Initially the company was called Sababga, from the magic word “abracadabra.” However, that idea was struck down because CEO Jeff Bezos’ lawyer misheard the word as “cadaver”. Then the word Amazon was chosen as the name after the Amazon River, the largest river in the world in terms of the volume of its flow.
Amazon.com was launched with the tagline “Earth’s biggest book store” and the new title was intended to reflect a huge selection of goods on the store. I addition, back then website listings were often alphabetical.
Yellow Arrow in Amazon's logo is more than a decorative swoosh
The Amazon logo was designed as visual message that it sells everything from A to Z — the arrow connects the two letters. This signifies that the company is willing to deliver everything to everyone, anywhere in the world. The arrow in the logo becomes a smile that customers would experience by shopping on the Amazon.com site.
Amazon.com began service as an online bookstore
“I picked books because there were more items in the book category than in any other category. There were 3 million in 1994 when I was pulling this idea together — 3 million different books active in print at any given time. The largest physical bookstores only had about 150,000 different titles. And so I could see how you could make a bookstore online with universal selection. So that’s why books, ” Jeff Bezos talked about why he decided to start selling books.
The first book Amazon.com ever sold was from Bezos’ garage in July 1995. The book was Fluid Concepts & Creative Analogies: Computer Models of the Fundamental Mechanisms of Thought.
Amazon is the most dog-friendly company
Amazon topped a recent list of the best dog friendly offices in America. The ranking cited company’s “on-campus dog park and plenty of free poop bags and treats”
Over 7,000 dogs are registered to come to work at the company’s headquarters campus. That’s up from 6,000 a year ago. The canine to employee ratio at the Seattle offices is 1:7, a number that’s even more impressive when you consider that 49,000 people work at Amazon’s headquarters.
Amazon's fulfilment centres could hold more water than 10,000 Olympic Pools
Amazon’s fulfilment centres have more square footage than 700 Madison Square Gardens and could hold more water than 10,000 Olympic Pools. No matter the season, Amazon fulfilment centres are well ventilated and kept at the same comfortable temperature you’d find at home. Skylights combine with artificial lighting to keep the environment bright, while conveyance systems shuttle items across the building and boxes from packing stations to awaiting lorries.
Amazon said it has more than 110 active fulfillment centers in the US and more than 185 centers globally.
Amazon's unique user brings in about $189
Amazon’s unique users are 5x more valuable than eBay’s. Amazon’s average unique user brings in about $189 while eBay’s brings in just $39. Last year, when Amazon’s site went down for 49 minutes the company missed sales of nearly $5.7 million.