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salesforce commerce cloud Reports Big Growth, Big Losses

By Andy Wang
Apr 29, 1999 12:00 AM PT (Nasdaq: AMZN) announced mixed first-quarter results after the market closed on Wednesday, losing somewhat less than what Wall Street analysts had estimated. Amazon's losses reached US$36.4 million, or 23 cents per share in the quarter. Reports Big Growth, Big Losses

Also notable was's quick growth. Net sales for the first quarter were $293.6 million, an increase of 236 percent over the $87.4 million in sales for the first quarter of 1998, although some analysts had expected the figure to exceed $300 million. also announced that it had more than 8.4 million customer accounts at the end of March, an increase of more than 250 percent from the 2.3 million customer accounts a year ago. Repeat customers represented more than 66 percent of orders during the first quarter of 1999.

Focusing on Expansion

"We have begun and will continue to build out a significant distribution infrastructure," said Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO of "This will give customers greater availability, faster shipping times, and even better service. We will also continue to invest in systems, people, and product expansion, each of which helps us better serve customers. For the rest of 1999, we expect to invest more heavily than we have in the past."

That's a significant statement considering the massive expansion and investments the company has recently made.

Major Moves Into Other Categories

In March, launched an auction service in an attempt to grab a piece of eBay's (Nasdaq: EBAY) success. added to its auction presence this month by announcing a deal to acquire, which runs live online auctions. also branched out into other categories in the first quarter by making equity investments in the high-profile, which sells drugs and health and beauty products; and, which sells pet products and pet food.

Busy Week For

On Monday, expanded its bread-and-butter music and books presence by making a deal to purchase, an online marketplace for hard-to-find and used books, music and memorabilia. also shored up its technology with deals to buy, which is developing technology for person-to-person and e-commerce transactions; and Alexa Internet, which has created a Web navigation service that gives users information about sites they're viewing and offers suggestions for related sites to visit.

Then on Tuesday, launched a free electronic greeting-card service with hundreds of pictures, animated cards and messages to choose from. All these moves, of course, are designed to make a one-stop shop for online shopping and a destination site that holds users' attention for long periods of time, a so-called "sticky site."

Stock Impact

Shares of were down 12-3/8 to 193-1/2 on Wednesday leading up to the news, and the stock was really getting pounded in early trading today, falling 20-1/8 to 173-3/8..

This could be a buying opportunity for investors interested in While revenues were not as high as some expected and there is still concern about the company losing money on transactions,'s moves into other categories add strength to its leadership role in the e-commerce industry. Quite simply, is the "e-commerce company that all other e-commerce companies are chasing," and things look to stay that way for a while.

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salesforce commerce cloud
How do you feel about Black Friday/Cyber Monday this year?
I'm excited to find great deals and plan to do some serious shopping on BFCM.
I'll watch for BFCM sales, but I intend to drastically curb my spending this year.
BFCM has become a season -- I no longer feel driven to look for bargains on those specific days.
I plan to have most of my holiday shopping done *before* BFCM.
I detest the holiday sales hype and will avoid shopping on BFCM.
salesforce commerce cloud