Amazon founder Jeff Bezos will step down as CEO of his company in the third quarter of 2021. His 27 years at the helm of what was once the online book trade are among the greatest success stories in economic history. But Bezos and Amazon also had a few flops during this time. TECHNOLOGY BUTTON looks back.
Amazon is known for testing new ideas before deciding whether to pursue them or crush them. Many ideas do not even enter the development phase, some become slow-moving and still others fail to keep up with the increasing demands over time. This approach led the small online retailer to a global corporation, brought successful products such as the Kindle and Echo and made Bezos the richest man in the world. But tests are never a guarantee of success. Amazon had to find out in new cases.
1. Amazon Fire Phone
The company’s first smartphone, the Fire Phone, was introduced in 2014, but was taken off the market in 2015. The sales time for the smartphone, for which there is simply no buyer, lasted only 13 months. The integrated photo software, which recognizes objects and offers them directly for purchase on Amazon, may simply have come too early to really be taken seriously as a feature. In addition, Amazon’s calculation that users should buy even more with their smartphones from the online giant was too obvious. On the hardware side, Amazon has since concentrated on Fire TV , the Fire HD tablet, Kindle and Amazon Echo .
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2. Amazon Destinations
Amazon stopped operating the Amazon Destinations service site back in 2015. A hotel booking portal that was launched just a few months earlier. Incidentally, Google will try its luck in 2021. The chances of success should be better.
3. Amazon Webstore
In July 2016, the Amazon Webstore, an e-commerce platform that competed with Shopify and Bigcommerce, closed. Amazon announced this step back in September 2015 and announced that it would use Shopify itself in the future. Their share price rose immediately by 20 percent.
4. Amazon Haute Couture
In 2012, Amazon closed Endless.com, a high-end fashion site. From then on, its content could be found at amazon.com/fashion. Amazon is still struggling in the fashion sector. In Germany, many people order their electronics from the shipping giant as a matter of course, but when it comes to fashion, they rely on specialists like H&M.
5. Amazon WebPay
In 2014, Amazon closed its peer-to-peer payment service called WebPay, which allowed users to send and receive money to one another. The service was similar to that of PayPal, but it didn’t even begin to achieve its popularity.
6. Amazon PayPhrase
In 2009, Amazon also launched a service called PayPhrase, but it was shipwrecked three years later. PayPhrase gave users the opportunity to “checkout quickly” for orders by simply entering a previously saved “phrase” and an associated PIN number as a substitute for an ID / password combination. This idea also proved to be a blow in the water for the users.
7. Amazon Askville
The Q&A portal “Askville” ended in 2013, barely seven years after it was opened to the public. The label “duds with a short lifespan” does not fit here, but the product still fell short of expectations, as it was not well received by users.
8. Amazon Auction
With Amazon Auction, the group was even represented among the online auction houses and at that time worked directly with Ebay. Although this service was also closed long ago, by then it laid the foundation for the in-house online marketplace for third-party providers called Amazon Marketplace, on which a large part of the entire business is based today. With Amazon Liquidation Auctions, Amazon launched a similar offer in the United States in 2018, where excess inventory is specifically put on sale.
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9. Amazon Elements Soft & Cozy Diapers
For a few months in 2015, Amazon had its own series of premium diapers in its range. Amazon announced to the still sorted out product line that they are currently “working on the design”, which means that the diapers could definitely celebrate a comeback again.