5 businesses you didn't know were owned by Amazon & what it means for the online marketplace and its Sellers

September 11, 2019

We all know that, with the amount of revenue Amazon makes, Bezos has been able to make quite a number of acquisitions regarding other businesses such as his purchase of the Washington Post for $250 million in 2013. However, what about the actual company that brought him his fortune? What sort of businesses have Amazon been snapping up and how has it affected the marketplace? Here are 5 companies that Amazon has bought and merged into its services, and how it might affect your Amazon listings.


 AbeBooks.com (2008)– A site dedicated to tracking down rare, used or out of print books. It works with independent booksellers to ensure a large range of titles that otherwise would be hard to find. It is an alternative to Amazon’s main marketplace in that it has a reputation of being free of large corporations. AbeBooks promotes itself as a platform for independent booksellers. This site is Amazon’s attempt at a full-on second-hand book platform in an attempt to entice book lovers that boycott the large corporation. The subsidiary has 6 websites to serve different countries; North America, UK, Spain, Italy, Germany and France. AbeBooks is a definite marketplace that Sellers may want to consider selling on to avoid the much bigger corporate approach that is expected from selling on Amazon’s original marketplace. Sellers who have rare copies of specific texts might find that their target audience can be found on this marketplace rather than the general audience on Amazon.com.

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 IMDB.com (1998) – With 601.58M total visits in the past 6 months, the Internet Movie Database is a highly viewed website for all things movie and TV based. It is one of the top choices when looking for film/TV details which makes it a highly useful platform to direct consumers to a marketplace. Since Amazon bought it over, individual pages within the database now give the option for viewers to click to buy the specific DVD or Blu-ray from Amazon. The link will send buyers to the specified Amazon webpage which means if you are winning the buy-box for your product your sales may increase. Consumers can also click to buy specific films through Prime Video increasing Amazon’s sales further.

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 Goodreads.com (2013)– A social cataloguing site where users can search its database of books to generate reading lists and see reader reviews. What makes Goodreads so significant is that it allows Amazon to further improve their personalised algorithm by understanding consumer interests and applying them to similar products/books. Amazon’s personalisation engine algorithms is one of its biggest advantages over competitors, so improving it will consistently keep Amazon ahead of others and help you target your perfect audience. This is no more evident than on goodreads.com which is one of the the most successful book recommendation engines. Similar to IMDB, Goodreads users are now prompted to purchase the books from Amazon’s marketplace. Once again, the specific product page can be controlled by a seller increasing impressions and sales.

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 Audible.co.uk (2008) – One of the biggest audiobook subscription services available. Users can download and listen to audiobooks on the free app for a monthly or annual price. Since Amazon bought it, they have merged the company onto their platform. Audible requires members to sign up via their Amazon account. When searching for a book on Amazon, consumers have the option to purchase the Audible narration along with a Kindle e-book at a reduced price. Audiobooks tend to be distributed and sold by Amazon EU Sarl meaning Amazon Sellers could miss out on book sales. However, Sellers using KDP (Kindle Direct Publishing) to publish their books may find creating an audiobook via Audible might increase their sales.

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 Pillpack.com (2018) – The most recent acquisition on the list, Pillpack is a company that sorts and delivers medication to the customer’s door. This take-over caused whispers in the pharmaceutical world last year. If the foundation was put in place, Amazon might enter into the prescription delivery business which could mean a lift on prescription-only medication as a restricted product on their marketplace. Equally, Amazon might create an entirely new online platform with listings for consumers to pick and choose their prescriptions based on prices. 85% of Amazon Prime users have indicated an interest in an Amazon pharmaceutical service so it isn’t as far-fetched as it sounds. This service has begun to be marketed towards Prime members as of the beginning of this year, advertising monthly home delivery services and prescription refill management.

Ethan Kitching, Chief Commercial Officer

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