For those who remember Amazon as a really cool online bookstore, the view from 2012 shows just how far the retailer — and the world — has come. What once seemed a promising fad is now an accepted way of life. Amazon’s revenues more than doubled in the past four years, from $14 million in 2007 to $34 million in 2010, and show little sign of slowing down.
In the past year, Amazon introduced no fewer than four potentially game-changing products: Amazon Cloud, AmazonLocal, Kindle Fire and the Price Check smartphone app.Amazon Web Services set the pace for the year in March with an aggressive rollout of cloud products that included Elastic Beanstalk, CloudFormation, Amazon Cloud Player and Amazon Cloud Drive. Users can store music and other digital content in the cloud and play cloud-hosted music tracks via players for the Web and on Android. Although AWS represents just a sliver of Amazon’s total business, UBS Investment Research analysts Brian Pitz and Brian Fitzgerald predict it could capture as much as $2.5 billion by 2014. In June of 2011, AmazonLocal launched, and the daily deals service with region-specific deals delivered by LivingSocial quickly became the sixth most-visited website in the U.S., according to comScore. It racked up 97.1 million unique U.S.-based visitors in July alone.