What will Jeff Bezos’ legacy be?

Amazon Founder and CEO Jeff Bezos.

Amazon Founder and CEO Jeff Bezos.

Business Leader got the views of Adam Caseley, from British eCommerce firm, Velocity Commerce, on the legacy of Amazon founder and CEO, Jeff Bezos – after he recently announced he would be stepping down from the role.

Jeff Bezos is certainly many things, but I will always see him as the world’s leading data pioneer. Lots of companies present themselves as data-driven and data-centric, as an evolved way of demonstrating that they are actually customer-centric and customer-driven. But our understanding of those concepts starts with Amazon and was initiated and perfected by Jeff Bezos. Stories of the early days of Amazon provide anecdotes like “Jeff Bezos understood that every mouse click, every twist and turn through the website was itself a commodity, and introduced it as a new way of thinking to most of Amazon’s then employees”.

From that starting point, the clarity of hindsight gives us a clear track to see how Amazon grew and evolved into the largest data company in the world today. Even the most recent introduction of voice assistants into our homes clearly contributes to this central purpose. For us as customers, voice assistants mean that there is another, easier, way to interact with Amazon for all of our shopping needs. For Amazon, voice assistants provide an additional tributary to the Amazonian-size river of data that is freely flowing into their processors at all times.

But the idea of simply collecting this data doesn’t take a person from relative obscurity to the CEO of one of the worlds largest companies. It’s what Jeff Bezos decided to do with it all that really matters and what will, for me at least, shape his legacy for evermore. Amazon now has so much data, that it maps buying and behaviour trends before they happen, it has become an oracle for human behaviour.

Brands and businesses should take a page from Bezos’ book, the potential value of Amazon to them is not to simply act as a new sales channel. It is instead the key to unlocking tonnes of insight rich data on who their customers are, how they behave and most importantly where they are going next. As an Amazon agency this is what Velocity Commerce helps brands to do, to harness the power of Amazon to help brands better understand, better connect and better serve their customers.