It was bound to happen, especially when Jeff Bezos became the world’s wealthiest person – Amazon is now the second most valuable company in the world.
This is a testament to Amazon’s commitment to expand beyond just e-commerce, by becoming a full-on tech company, a move which has seen them overtake two actual tech companies.
First they overtook Microsoft back in February, and now a month later, they have surpassed Google’s parent company Alphabet.
Apple is still holding pole position with a value of nearly US$900 billion, Amazon on the other hand sits second at US$765 billion.
We all know Amazon as one of the forerunners of e-commerce, a site where you can literally buy anything from groceries, to furniture, and even digital content.
Beyond simply just becoming another retail outlet, they actually built the tech that powers their business online and offline.
This in-house R&D is done through their more than 40 subsidiaries like Amazon Web Services (the cloud storage and computing platform), Amazon Robotics (manufactures of their mobile robotic fulfilment systems), and Lab126 (developers of the Kindle and Alexa) to name a few.
The premise of the place is simple – you use the Amazon Go app to gain entry into the store, take whatever you want from the shelves, and walk out where a receipt will be waiting for you in the app.
All this happens while cameras and sensors in and around the store track your every move from the time you enter to the time you exit.
In a way, this store is the culmination of all the tech that Amazon has developed and is a glimpse into a future where physical retail is alive and well, just made better with technology.
Google May Be Working On Their Own Retail Ambitions
Don’t count Google out of the race for second spot anytime soon, in fact they might just be secretly building something to counter Amazon at their own game.
Google as you know is the world’s largest search engine AND advertising platform – two things which in theory could make for a compelling combination for potential retail possibilities.
That dream though may still be some ways away as Google is growing their product ecosystem, especially in hardware.
Perhaps the most important factor that ties the Google product ecosystem together is Google Assistant – probably one of the better virtual personal assistant in the market today.
The thing that Google needs to work on more though is its payments platform. It has undergone a variety of changes throughout the years, from Google Wallet, to Android Pay, and now we have Google Pay.
More than just having an e-commerce platform, if Google can convince consumers to use their own payments platform then that will indeed be the homerun they need.
The Top 5 Will Be Interesting
All tech companies with plans to extend their reach across the globe. Perhaps the most interesting one on the list is Tencent.
After leapfrogging Facebook, Chinese company Tencent is on a steady trajectory to take on the rest of the big boys from Silicon Valley as they expand from their highly successful app WeChat into areas such as mobile payments and gaming.
Whatever the outcome, all five companies have the tech behind them that can change the way we shop, eat, play, and live.
We can only stand to benefit from this intense competition.
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