* 在2000年Q4约36%的美国用户曾在我们的“非图书音乐视频”专区（non-BMV stores）购物，比如电子、工具和厨具
虽然这些还不是既成事实，有很多还需要我们来向大家证明，但Amazon.com是一个独一无二的企业。我们有品牌，有和客户紧密的联系，有技术，有基础设施，有金融资本，有人力资源，最重要的是我们有决心来继续扩展我们在这个新兴市场的领军地位，并且建立一家能够跨越周期、经久不衰的伟大公司——一切的一切，如我们反复强调，都会是“用户优先”。（译者注：我想再摘录一遍原文 We have the brand, the customer relationships, the technology, the fulfillment infrastructure, the financial strength, the people, and the determination to extend our leadership in this infant industry and to build an important and lasting company. And we will do so by keeping the customer first.）
Jeffrey P. Bezos
To our shareholders:
Ouch. It’s been a brutal year for many in the capital markets and certainly for Amazon.com shareholders. As of this writing, our shares are down more than 80% from when I wrote you last year. Nevertheless, by almost any measure, Amazon.com the company is in a stronger position now than at any time in its past.
• We served 20 million customers in 2000, up from 14 million in 1999.
• Sales grew to $2.76 billion in 2000 from $1.64 billion in 1999.
• Pro forma operating loss shrank to 6% of sales in Q4 2000, from 26% of sales in Q4 1999.
• Pro forma operating loss in the U.S. shrank to 2% of sales in Q4 2000, from 24% of sales in Q4 1999.
• Average spend per customer in 2000 was $134, up 19%.
• Gross profit grew to $656 million in 2000, from $291 million in 1999, up 125%.
• Almost 36% of Q4 2000 U.S. customers purchased from one of our ‘‘non-BMV’’ stores such as electronics, tools, and kitchen.
• International sales grew to $381 million in 2000, from $168 million in 1999.
• We helped our partner Toysrus.com sell more than $125 million of toys and video games in Q4 2000.
• We ended 2000 with cash and marketable securities of $1.1 billion, up from $706 million at the end of 1999, thanks to our early 2000 euroconvert financing.
• And, most importantly, our heads-down focus on the customer was reflected in a score of 84 on the American Customer Satisfaction Index. We are told this is the highest score ever recorded for a service company in any industry.
So, if the company is better positioned today than it was a year ago, why is the stock price so much lower than it was a year ago? As the famed investor Benjamin Graham said, ‘‘In the short term, the stock market is a voting machine; in the long term, it’s a weighing machine.’’ Clearly there was a lot of voting going on in the boom year of ’99—and much less weighing. We’re a company that wants to be weighed, and over time, we will be—over the long term, all companies are. In the meantime, we have our heads down working to build a heavier and heavier company.
Many of you have heard me talk about the ‘‘bold bets’’ that we as a company have made and will continue to make—these bold bets have included everything from our investment in digital and wireless technologies, to our decision to invest in smaller e-commerce companies, including living.com and Pets.com, both of which shut down operations in 2000. We were significant shareholders in both and lost a significant amount of money on both.
We made these investments because we knew we wouldn’t ourselves be entering these particular categories any time soon, and we believed passionately in the ‘‘land rush’’ metaphor for the Internet. Indeed, that metaphor was an extraordinarily useful decision aid for several years starting in 1994, but we now believe its usefulness largely faded away over the last couple of years. In retrospect, we significantly underestimated how much time would be available to enter these categories and underestimated how difficult it would be for single-category e-commerce companies to achieve the scale necessary to succeed.
Online selling (relative to traditional retailing) is a scale business characterized by high fixed costs and relatively low variable costs. This makes it difficult to be a medium-sized e-commerce company. With a long
enough financing runway, Pets.com and living.com may have been able to acquire enough customers to achieve the needed scale. But when the capital markets closed the door on financing Internet companies, these companies simply had no choice but to close their doors. As painful as that was, the alternative—investing more of our own capital in these companies to keep them afloat—would have been an even bigger mistake.
Future: Real Estate Doesn’t Obey Moore’s Law.
Let’s move to the future. Why should you be optimistic about the future of e-commerce and the future of Amazon.com?
Industry growth and new customer adoption will be driven over the coming years by relentless improvements in the customer experience of online shopping. These improvements in customer experience will be driven by innovations made possible by dramatic increases in available bandwidth, disk space, and processing power, all of which are getting cheap fast.
Price performance of processing power is doubling about every 18 months (Moore’s Law), price performance of disk space is doubling about every 12 months, and price performance of bandwidth is doubling about every 9 months. Given that last doubling rate, Amazon.com will be able to use 60 times as much bandwidth per customer 5 years from now while holding our bandwidth cost per customer constant. Similarly, price performance improvements in disk space and processing power will allow us to, for example, do ever more and better real-time personalization of our Web site.
In the physical world, retailers will continue to use technology to reduce costs, but not to transform the customer experience. We too will use technology to reduce costs, but the bigger effect will be using technology to drive adoption and revenue. We still believe that some 15% of retail commerce may ultimately move online.
While there are no foregone conclusions, and we still have much to prove, Amazon.com today is a unique asset. We have the brand, the customer relationships, the technology, the fulfillment infrastructure, the financial strength, the people, and the determination to extend our leadership in this infant industry and to build an important and lasting company. And we will do so by keeping the customer first.
The year 2001 will be an important one in our development. Like 2000, this year will be a year of focus and execution. As a first step, we’ve set the goal of achieving a pro forma operating profit in the fourth quarter. While we have a tremendous amount of work to do and there can be no guarantees, we have a plan to get there, it’s our top priority, and every person in this company is committed to helping with that goal. I look forward to reporting to you our progress in the coming year.
As I usually do, I’ve appended our 1997 letter, our first letter to shareholders. It gets more interesting every year that goes by, in part because so little has changed. I especially draw your attention to the section entitled ‘‘It’s All About the Long Term.’’
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