贝索斯致股东信(1999)

qimoe 发布于 2 个月前

致我们的股东:

我们公司创业这四年半简直牛逼坏了,我们已经服务超过150个国家的1700万用户了。并且我们打造了一个全球领先的电子商务品牌和平台。

在未来的几年里我们期待能够在全世界复制我们的模式并从中获益。因为这几年来全球又诞生了数百万新网民,随着网上购物的体验逐渐优化,客户对我们的信任也会提升,从而驱动更大规模的复制。如果我们Amazon.com好好干,我们将是唯一一个能够为这些新用户提供最好服务的公司,这样我们的收益也将不言而喻了。

1999年回顾

1999年,我们矢志不渝的关注用户有了成效:

* 销售额从6.1亿美金增至16.4亿美金——164%的增长

* 我们新增了1.07千万用户,客户总量从620万增至1690万

* 复购率从98年四季度的64%增至99年同期的73%

* 全世界的客户都选择了Amazon.com来购买各种商品。仅仅两年前,我们全部收入都依靠美国的Amazon.com卖书。而如今,不提美国图书市场的强势增长了,光其他各种产品就占了销售额的一半。1999年的新服务品类包括Auctions(二手货),zShops,玩具,消费电子,家居用品(Home Improvement),软件,电子游戏,电子支付以及我们的无线服务:“哪哪都是亚马逊”(Amazon Anywhere,译者注:时间太过久远,我没查到太多关于这项服务的信息)

* 我们持续被誉为最好的平台,不光是图书,还有其他新晋的品类。拿玩具来说,亚马逊玩具得了各种奖项,并被MSNBC、Forrester Research等调查评为最好的线上玩具店,超过了很多老牌玩具店。

* 海外收入占比22%,共计3.58亿美金。在英德两国,我们新增了音乐,Auctions和zShops。事实上Amazon.uk.co,Amazon.de和Amazon.com分别占据了欧洲线上零售网站访问量的第一、第二和第三……

* 我们的全球仓储能力在一年内从大约30万平方公尺增至500万平方公尺

* 一定程度因为基础设施的扩张,我们的营业额在三个月就增长了90%,并且99%的节日订单都在节日准时送达。据我们了解,没有任何一家公司能够在超过10亿美金的体量下三个月增长90%

我为所有不懈努力的亚马逊员工们感到无比的自豪,在这样的高速扩张的同时,还交付了教科书级别的用户体验,为整个行业树立了标杆。如果我们的股东们愿意感谢世界各地的“亚马逊人”,可以直接给我发邮件。在我超赞的秘书们的帮助下,我会把它们编撰成册下发到员工。他们肯定喜欢(同时我也能看看是不是真有人会读这些信)。

在1999年,我们持续从一个具有内在资本效率的商业模式中获利,以至于我们完全没有必要开实体店。我们仓储中心的模式让我们能够达成20亿的年营收的同时,仅保留价值2.2亿的仓储和3.18亿的固定资产。在过去的五年,我们一共付出的运营成本只有6200万美金。

你拥有什么?

最近在斯坦福的一次活动,一个年轻的姑娘跑上台问了我一个很好的问题:“我有100股Amazon.com的股票,我到底拥有什么?”

我很惊讶之前没听过这个问题,至少没问得这么简单。你到底拥有什么?你拥有这个全球领先的电子商务平台的一部分。

Amazon.com平台包括品牌、客户、技术、仓储物流能力、电子商务的专业知识以及一个具有创新意识和用户至上意识的超级团队。我们带着1700万用户走入新千年,同时还有全球闻名的客户中心意识、最好的电子商务软件系统和专门打造的仓储中心和客服中心等基础设施。我们相信我们到达了一个引爆点,如今这个平台让我们能够比其他公司更快地拓展电子商务服务、提供更低的价格、更高的成功率以及更高的增长率和利润率。

我们的远见是成为全球最以客户为中心的公司,客户可以在我们的平台购买任何他们想要的东西。我们不在单打独斗,而是跟数以千计各种规模的商家都建立了合作。我们倾听客户,从他们的角度创新,为他们量身定制网页,同时努力持续获得他们的信任。我们应该都很清楚,这个平台提供了超乎想象的机遇。如果我们好好利用,客户和股东们都会感受到它的价值。风险和各种难题都存在,但我们还是在向这个方向努力。

2000年新年目标

在2000年,Amazon.com有6个主要目标:在用户数量和用户关系强度上实现同步提高;持续快速扩张我们的服务和品类;在公司各个方面都做到卓越运营;全球扩张;增加合作伙伴以及最重要的是在我们做的每一个领域都追求赢利。我接下来会逐一解释:

用户数量和用户关系强度的双提高——我们会持续专注投入在引进新用户上。尽管这五年我们已经积累了这么多用户,你们也许很难认同我接下来要说的话,但今天依然是电子商务的第一天,因为大量的客户在他们有生之年第一次在网上购物,他们还在分流的早期。我们必须努力提高用户数量、他们购买物品的数量、他们购物的频次以及他们购物的满意度。

服务和品类的扩张——我们努力创造一个客户能找到并探索任何他们感兴趣的产品的平台,并且让他们能够随时随地下单。我们每提供一个新产品和新服务,一个新的用户群就向我们展开,被满足需求的客户购物的频次也会相应增加。所以,通过扩张服务和品类,我们创造了一个有道德的商业闭环——客户越频繁的来我们这逛,他们就越省时间和精力,商家需要付出的营销成本也就越低。品牌老在人家眼前晃荡,还怕人家记不住你不成(In sight, in mind)?

并且在我们扩张的同时,每一个新栏目都有一个特定的团队来运营,使之成为全网同类中的最佳。所以每一个新栏目都能让客户看到我们的专注,他们也都将成为我们扩大仓储投资、提升客户服务、发展技术和品牌的杠杆。

卓越运营——对我们来说,卓越运营代表两件事情:持续交付用户体验的改进方案和在公司各个方面驱动生产力、利润率、效率和周转率的提升。

通常来说,做到其中一个另外的水平也就会相应提升。比如,更强的零售能力带来更快的送达时间,也将相应减少在每一单上的客服成本。而这又意味着更高的客户满意度和更好的品牌形象。于是又能进一步降低客户获取的难度和留存的成本。

我们整个公司都将在2000年重点关注卓越运营。做到用户体验和运营能力都全球领先,我们将可以更快的增长并不断提升服务的水平。

全球扩张——我们认为美国以外的人民还都生活在水深火热之中,我们必须要走向全球解放他们!鉴于我们已经在五年里跟150多个国家的客户有过交集,我们在全球市场的品牌已经十分强劲,也有了一定的用户基础。我们在英国和德国的分店才开了一年多就已经做到了他们业界的龙头。2000年您擎好,且看我们春风吹遍世界的大地!(译者调皮,领会大意即可)

增加合作项目——通过我们的平台,我们可以为我们的合作伙伴提供难以估量的价值。不瞒您说,我们的经验表明和Amazon.com合作可能是做生意最简单高效的途径。在很多方面,展开合作都是我们提供以客户为中心、价优物廉的服务的最好方式,我们必须强调一点,那就是我们的合作伙伴必须符合这一个最最重要的标准:#以客户为中,并像狗一样服务客户#。我们不会和任何不认同我们这一项核心价值的人合作。

我们喜欢合作,因为这既能让顾客开心,又能让合作伙伴开心,还能在财务上让股东们开心——你好我好大家好啊!

在我们做的每一个领域都追求赢利——我之前描绘出的这些目标都是为了一个终极目的——我们要成为最能持久稳定赚钱的公司。之所以强调这么多方面,还是为了驱动赢利。接下来的一年,为了进一步提高公司实质的利润并降低成本,我们会持续提升和供货商的合作关系、提升我们的生产力和效率、提升我们对资产的管理能力和我们在产品组合和定价上的专业能力。

鉴于我们在接下来一年会推出的新产品和服务都是基于既有的平台,我们的投资曲线不会过于陡峭,而且在每一个品类上都会逐渐看到回报。

一切都围绕长期价值展开(It’s All About Long Term)

在我们1997年的致股东信(也就是第一封)中,我们详细介绍了我们长期投入的方案。因为又有新的股东加入,所以我把那封信附在了文后(译者注:往前翻我的笔记)。我建议你读读“一切都围绕长期价值展开”那个部分,这让你能够深入了解自己投了一家什么公司。正如我们所说,我们不认为我们的哲学是正确的,但那就是我们的想法。

作为结尾,记住这句话:未来回过头看,我们现在的网购体验将会是最差劲的!诚然我们能吸引1700万客户已经相当可以,但是我们能做的更好。带宽的提升能让我们的网页速度更快,提供更丰富的内容。我们会针对“随时能上(always-on access)”做出大量改进(我认为这会大大提升在家的购物体验,就如同在公司一样)。我们还会关注非PC的移动终端的发展,为这些无线设备提供服务。我们很荣幸能够在这个万亿级别的大市场中做一只小鱼小虾。我们一定是被眷顾的。在一个技术逐渐成熟的互联网世界里我们有无尽的可能性。这种机会并不常见。

还是那句话,我们Amazon.com感谢我们的顾客的信任,感谢努力工作的员工,感谢股东的鼓励和支持。非常,非常,感谢!

Jeffrey P. Bezos

(Vinchent翻译)


英文原文

To our shareholders:

The first 4½ years of our journey have yielded some amazing results: we’ve now served over 17 million customers in over 150 countries and built the leading global e-commerce brand and platform.

In the coming years we expect to benefit from the continued adoption of online commerce around the world as millions of new consumers connect to the Internet for the first time. As the online shopping experience continues to improve, consumer trust and confidence will increase, driving further adoption. And, if we at Amazon.com do our job right, we can be uniquely positioned to serve these new customers best and benefit as a result.

A Recap of 1999

During 1999, our relentless focus on customers worked:

• Sales grew from $610 million in 1998 to $1.64 billion – a 169 percent increase. • We added 10.7 million new customers, increasing cumulative customer accounts from 6.2 million to 16.9 million.

• The percentage of orders placed by repeat customers grew from over 64 percent in the fourth quarter of 1998 to greater than 73 percent in the same period in 1999. • Customers around the world are now choosing Amazon.com for a wide array of products. Only two years ago, Amazon.com's U.S. Books business represented 100 percent of our sales. Today, despite strong growth in U.S. Books, other areas account for more than half our sales. Major 1999 initiatives included Auctions, zShops, Toys, Consumer Electronics, Home Improvement, Software, Video Games, Payments and our wireless initiative, Amazon Anywhere.

• We've continued to be recognized as best-of-breed not only in our more established areas such as books, but in our newer stores as well. Just to focus on one area, Amazon Toys has received multiple awards, including being rated the best online toy store in an MSNBC survey, a ranking as the No. 1 on-line toy store by Forrester Research, and the top e-Rating from Consumer Reports in the toys category, in each case beating out a number of longer-established players.

• Sales outside of the US accounted for 22 percent of our business, totaling $358 million. In the U.K. and Germany, we added Music, Auctions and zShops. In fact, Amazon.co.uk, Amazon.de, and Amazon.com are now the #1, #2, and #3 most popular online retail domains in Europe.

• We grew worldwide distribution capacity from roughly 300,000 square feet to over 5 million square feet in less than 12 months.

• In part because of this infrastructure, we were able to grow revenues 90 percent in just three months, while shipping well over 99 percent of our holiday orders in time for the holidays. As far as we can determine, no other company has ever grown 90 percent in three months on a sales base of over $1 billion.

I’m incredibly proud of everyone at Amazon.com for their tireless efforts to deliver what has become the standard-setting, Amazon.com-class customer experience while simultaneously handling such extraordinary growth rates. If any of you shareholders would like to thank this incredible worldwide team of Amazonians, please feel free to send an email to jeff@amazon.com. With help from my astounding office staff, I’ll compile them and send them to the company. I know it would be appreciated. (As a side benefit I’ll get to see if anyone reads these letters!)

In 1999, we continued to benefit from a business model that is inherently capital efficient. We don’t need to build physical stores or stock those stores with inventory, and our centralized distribution model has allowed us to build a business with over $2 billion in annualized sales but requiring just $220 million in inventory and $318 million in fixed assets. Over the last five years, we’ve cumulatively used just $62 million in operating cash.

What Do You Own?

At a recent event at the Stanford University campus, a young woman came to the microphone and asked me a great question: “I have 100 shares of Amazon.com. What do I own?”

I was surprised I hadn’t heard it before, at least not so simply put. What do you own? You own a piece of the leading e-commerce platform.

The Amazon.com platform is comprised of brand, customers, technology, distribution capability, deep e-commerce expertise, and a great team with a passion for innovation and a passion for serving customers well. We begin the year 2000 with 17 million customers, a world-wide reputation for customer focus, the best e-commerce software systems, and purpose-built distribution and customer service infrastructure. We believe we have reached a “tipping point,” where this platform allows us to launch new e commerce businesses faster, with a higher quality of customer experience, a lower incremental cost, a higher chance of success, and a faster path to scale and profitability than any other company.

Our vision is to use this platform to build Earth’s most customer-centric company, a place where customers can come to find and discover anything and everything they might want to buy online. We won’t do so alone, but together with what will be thousands of partners of all sizes. We’ll listen to customers, invent on their behalf, and personalize the store for each of them, all while working hard to continue to earn their trust. As is probably clear, this platform affords an unusually large scale opportunity, one that should

prove very valuable for both customers and shareholders if we can make the most of it. Despite the many risks and complexities, we are deeply committed to doing so.

Goals for 2000

In the year 2000, Amazon.com has six major goals: growth in both the number of our customers and the strength of the relationship we have with each of them; continued rapid expansion of the products and services we offer; driving operational excellence in all areas of the company; international expansion; expanding our partnership programs; and last, importantly, driving toward profitability in each and every business we are in. I’ll spend a moment on each goal.

Growing and strengthening customer relationships  We will continue to invest heavily in introductions to new customers. Though it’s sometimes hard to imagine with all that has happened in the last five years, this remains Day 1 for e-commerce, and these are the early days of category formation where many customers are forming relationships for the first time. We must work hard to grow the number of customers who shop with us, the number of products they purchase, the frequency with which they shop, and the level of satisfaction they have when they do so.

Product and service expansion  We are working to build a place where customers can find and discover anything they want to buy, anytime, anywhere. Each new product and service we offer makes us more relevant to a wider group of customers and can increase the frequency with which they visit our store. So, as we expand our offering, we create a virtuous cycle for the whole business. The more frequently customers visit our store, the less time, energy, and marketing investment is required to get them to come back again. In sight, in mind.

Further, as we expand, each new store has a dedicated team working to make it best-of breed in its category; thus each new store is also a new opportunity to demonstrate to customers our focus on them. Finally, each new product or service further leverages our investments in distribution, customer service, technology, and brand, and can yield increased leverage on our bottom line.

Operational excellence  To us, operational excellence implies two things: delivering continuous improvement in customer experience and driving productivity, margin, efficiency, and asset velocity across all our businesses.

Often, the best way to drive one of these is to deliver the other. For instance, more efficient distribution yields faster delivery times, which in turn lowers contacts per order and customer service costs. These, in turn, improve customer experience and build brand, which in turn decreases customer acquisition and retention costs.

Our whole company is highly focused on driving operational excellence in each area of our business in 2000. Being world class in both customer experience and operations will allow us to grow faster and deliver even higher service levels.

International expansion  We think that consumers outside the U.S. are even more under-served by retail than those within it, and, with our platform in place, Amazon.com is well positioned to be a leading global retailer. We already have significant brand, sales and customer presence around the world, as we’ve been shipping into over 150 countries for almost five years. I’m pleased to report that our stores in the UK and Germany are off to a strong start − they are already in the top 10 Web properties and the # 1 e-commerce site in each of their respective countries. Our customers and shareholders around the world can look forward to further geographic expansion from this base during the coming year.

Expanding our partnership program  Through our platform, we are able to bring tremendous value to our partners, such as drugstore.com. In fact, our experience so far suggests that Amazon.com may easily be the most efficient, effective means for our partners to build their businesses. In many areas, partnering is the best way for us to rapidly expand our store in a customer-focused, cost-effective manner. One point worth emphasizing: the quality of customer experience a partner delivers is the single most important criteria in our selection process − we simply won’t build a partnership with any company that does not share our passion for serving customers.

We love these kinds of partnerships because they please customers, please our partners, and are financially attractive, pleasing our shareholders − you and us.

Drive toward profitability in each business we are in  Each of the previous goals I’ve outlined contribute to our long-standing objective of building the best, most profitable, highest return on capital, long-term franchise. So in a way, driving profitability is the foundation underlying all of these goals. In the coming year, we expect to deliver substantial margin improvement and cost leverage as we drive continuous improvement in our partnerships with suppliers, in our own productivity and efficiency, in our management of fixed and working capital, and our expertise in managing product mix and price.

Each successive product and service we launch this year should build on our platform, so our investment curve can be less steep and the time to profitability for each business should, in general, continue to shorten.

It’s All About the Long Term

In our 1997 letter to shareholders (our first), we detailed our long-term investment approach. Because we continue to add many new shareholders, we’ve appended that letter immediately after this year’s. I invite you to please read the section entitled It’s All About the Long Term, as it is the best way I know to help make sure we’re the kind of company you want to be invested in. As we wrote there, we don’t claim it’s the right philosophy, we just claim it’s ours!

In closing, consider this most important point: the current online shopping experience is the worst it will ever be. It’s good enough today to attract 17 million customers, but it will get so much better. Increased bandwidth will result in faster page views and richer content. Further improvements will lead to “always-on access” (which I expect will be a strong boost to online shopping at home, as opposed to the office) and we’ll see significant growth in non-PC devices and wireless access. Moreover, it’s great to be participating in what is a multi-trillion dollar global market, in which we are so very, very tiny. We are doubly-blessed. We have a market-size unconstrained opportunity in an area where the underlying foundational technology we employ improves every day. That is not normal.

As always, we at Amazon.com remain grateful to our customers for their business and trust, to each other for our hard work, and to our shareholders for their support and encouragement. Many, many thanks.

Jeffrey P. Bezos

Founder and Chief Executive Officer

Amazon.com, Inc.