Amazon is an international reference point for the sale of products and services: from Amazon Echo to Amazon Prime, from Amazon Locker to Amazon Pay.
Amazon is one of the most popular e-commerce sites globally and has a widespread presence. Sorting centers and Amazon warehouses are present in the United States, Canada, and Mexico, but also in Europe and Asia: from France to Japan, from England to India, passing through China, Scotland, and Wales, the Netherlands, Spain, and Slovakia.
And then Amazon Italy boasts a site with millions of cards translated into the language and a capillary logistics network. The result is that Amazon products reach the regions and municipalities of our beautiful country in highly competitive times. Times can even be reduced to a few hours in the case of cities like Rome and Milan.
One important thing to specify is that Amazon doesn’t just sell products. On the contrary, services now play a predominant role. They are starting with Amazon Prime, the subscription that allows you to take advantage of free shipping, dedicated discounts, and much more. Up to the platforms dedicated to audiovisual content: Amazon Prime Video, on the one hand, and Amazon Music, on the other.
A Brief History Of Amazon
Amazon was officially registered in 1994 to start its activities the following year. In all likelihood, most users know the name of its founder Jeff Bezos: a tycoon of international fame and almost fixed presence in the recent rankings dedicated to the wealthiest people in the world.
But perhaps not everyone knows that Amazon was born as a bookstore in its early days and that its first business plans foresaw a total absence of profit for at least five years. An almost respected forecast, considering that the first asset was recorded in the last quarter of 2002.
It was a profit of “just” 5 million dollars, which, however, would explode shortly after that: from 35 million in profit in 2003 to 588 million in 2004. Meanwhile, Amazon continued to diversify its offering, getting closer and closer to the giant e-commerce site we know today.
At the same time, the now ex-CEO Jeff Bezos would have started to increase the galaxy of services related to his brand: Amazon Prime in 2005, Amazon Prime Video in 2006, and Amazon Music in 2007. And then Amazon Web Services: is a group company that deals with cloud computing services.
Amazon Web Services offers hundreds of products through its on-demand platform. It is a member of the ETSI (European Institute for Telecommunications Standards), and as of 2018, it accounts for more than half of Amazon’s total earnings.
How to register and how to buy on Amazon
The first thing to clarify when talking about Amazon is that you must necessarily have an account to make purchases within it. The platform does not allow unregistered users to buy any product.
An unregistered user can move freely between the categories and goods available. He can even add them to his cart, but when buying them, he will have to enter an email address or a mobile number to make the purchase.
If you do not yet have credentials, you can register with your name, surname, and a valid password. The procedure is deliberately quick and streamlined. After that, you can go back to shopping freely.
To proceed with the order of the selected products, it is necessary to go through the shopping cart. Finding it is straightforward: look for the icon representing a cart, generally located at the top right of the desktop screen (at the bottom of the mobile app).
From here, you must click on the Proceed to order button and enter all the data requested by Amazon. The info mainly concerns two areas: the first is that of the shipping address. The second is that of payment methods.
To buy on Amazon, you need to register, enter a shipping address and choose one of the payment methods available.
There are three payment methods available on Amazon. The first involves entering data relating to a personal credit or debit card. The second consists in adding a current account.
On the other hand, the third method requires the user to make the payment in cash directly at the nearest point of sale. In this case, the user has to pay 48 hours after closing the order.
The Amazon payment methods should not be confused with the Amazon Pay service, which will be discussed in more detail in the following paragraphs. The latter is, in fact, a payment system that is integrated into external sites and requires the activation of a specific account.
Returning to shipments, we will clarify that the same user can enter different delivery addresses based on where he prefers to receive the goods. Alternatively, you can indicate one of the suggested collection points and use Amazon Locker or Amazon Counter.
Amazon Locker and Amazon Counter have to do with the ability to collect products at affiliated points. The two services differ in terms of timing and opportunities available to the user. With Amazon Locker, the collection is available for three days, and the user can make a return. With Amazon Counter, there are fourteen days of supply, but it is impossible to make returns.
How To Make A Return On Amazon
The return procedure is the one that allows you to return an item purchased on Amazon. The options available to the user vary by product and vendor, but the process is always the same.
The first step to make a return on Amazon Italy is to log in with your account and enter the My orders section: the space that contains the history of all purchases made with the credentials in question.
Amazon allows you to filter orders based on preferences and specific time indications: from those placed in the last three months to those made in any year chosen by the user.
Once you have indicated the product on which you want to make the return, you need to look for the button that says Return items and follow the procedure. Amazon allows you to return an item within a maximum of 30 days from the delivery time.
To return a product within the above time frame, it is not necessary that the product in question is damaged or does not conform to the description. The user can choose one of the reasons proposed by the site in a special drop-down menu and proceed to the next step.
In the event of a return, the user can request a refund to their current account or their Amazon account.
At the same time, it is essential to specify that there are products that represent a real exception to the general rule. For this, it could be helpful to consult the page of the Amazon Italy site dedicated to the Right of withdrawal, which contains all the information and exceptions of the case.
The next step requires the user to select one of the available return methods. The latter depends on the seller’s policies and is always visible on its Amazon pages.
Depending on the product and the seller to whom the return is made, the user may receive a cash refund in their bank account. This refund is issued within 14 working days of receiving the return.
Alternatively, you can opt for a refund via a balance directly to your personal Amazon account. This type of reimbursement is, on average, faster than the current version.
Finally, some selected items allow you to take advantage of the so-called immediate refund. In this case, Amazon pays the amount spent to the user even before the returned product reaches the Return Center.
How Amazon Prime Works
Amazon Prime is an annual subscription (or, in some cases, monthly), which puts the user in a position to enjoy different benefits and services. One above all is free shipping, which also depends on the policy and choices of the individual seller.
The vast majority of products sold and shipped by Amazon have free shipping for Amazon Prime users. To be sure that the single product is shipped for free, you need to look for Prime Shipping on the purchase page.
Added to this are products with free delivery with minimum order (usually € 29) and fast shipping: delivery today, delivery in one day, and delivery on the weekend.
Another type of shipping guaranteed by Amazon Prime involves delivering certain products on the same day of their release. This possibility is available only if the product in question was purchased in pre-order mode.
Finally, the so-called Prime Now Shipping, which today mainly concerns daily shopping in shops and supermarkets. Prime Now is available in the Milan and Rome areas and allows the user to receive a product within two hours. This shipment has a specific cost depending on the delivery times indicated (one hour or two hours), but it becomes accessible for orders over 50 euros.
The benefits of Amazon Prime don’t end with shipments and deliveries. Many products become the protagonists of offers dedicated to subscription holders—starting with the Lightning Offer items made available to Amazon Prime users 30 minutes in advance.
And then the special occasions, which almost always generate dedicated discounts. From Amazon Black Friday and Cyber Monday up to Amazon Prime Day: an annual event with exclusive discounts on products from all the main product categories.
How Amazon Prime Video works
In the previous paragraphs, some commercial advantages associated with subscribing to an Amazon Prime subscription have been analyzed. Prime users enjoy dedicated discounts, free shipping of millions of products, and highly competitive delivery times.
Amazon Prime, however, also automatically unlocks a whole series of collateral services. One above all, Amazon Prime Video: an on-demand platform featuring films, TV series, children’s shows, and sporting events.
From a look and feel point of view, Amazon Prime Video isn’t all that different from Netflix or Disney Plus. It is, in fact, an extensive library in which the user can scroll between categories and products.
You can search based on a specific genre, such as comedy, drama, horror, or science fiction. Alternatively, you can scroll through the most popular titles of the moment, the award-winning titles, the Amazon Prime exclusives, and the Amazon Original productions.
Amazon Prime Video also allows you to watch certain events live. For example, the matches of the UEFA Champions League, but also a selection of national and international concerts and live events.
The vast majority of the content in the Amazon Prime Video libraries is free for all Amazon Prime subscribers. At the same time, the platform allows you to buy or rent extra content, with costs that vary from product to product.
How Amazon Music Prime And Amazon Music Unlimited Work
A subscription to Amazon Prime in Italy allows you to use Amazon Music services. A way to listen to songs, albums, and podcasts without commercial breaks, which is a valid alternative to Spotify.
The services are also designed to integrate with various physical devices in the Amazon galaxy, such as Alexa and Echo. Amazon Alexa is an artificial intelligence assistant that users can activate with their voice.
It is possible to communicate with Alexa for general information (“Alexa, what’s the weather in Rome today”?), But also to send commands and requests to other software or hardware. This last possibility calls into question the Amazon above Echo: a series of speakers designed precisely to “give voice” to Alexa.
Amazon Echo is just perfect for playing content available in Amazon Music libraries. The user must ask Alexa to play the song he has in mind, remembering to specify the reference platform. In other words, don’t just ask: “Alexa, play music.” You have to go into detail and ask: “Alexa, play music from Amazon Music Prime.”
In conclusion, it is essential to specify that Amazon Music Prime is only one of the Amazon plans dedicated to listening to audio content. The basic plan is called Amazon Music Free: it guarantees free listening to thousands of stations and playlists but requires the presence of advertisements.
The second plan available is called Amazon Music Prime and does not include any additional cost compared to the Amazon Prime subscription. It allows you to listen to 2 million songs in SD quality and access customized stations and streams.
Finally, the Amazon Music Unlimited plan is a monthly subscription with a free trial period of 30 days. With Amazon Music Unlimited, the number of songs available rises to 90 million, and the quality reaches Ultra HD. All without advertising and without giving up playlists, stations, and personalized streaming.
Amazon Business Solutions
So far, the story of Amazon products and services has taken into account only the user’s point of view: the buyer. However, Amazon also offers many opportunities in the business field.
The first is the ability to put your products on sale. Amazon is a particularly coveted store by sellers: it is one of the most visited e-commerce sites in the world and has about 300 million active customers.
Furthermore, Amazon leaves the seller great freedom of choice in terms of shipping and handling of returns, storage, and removals. These and other areas can be managed independently and entrusted directly to Jeff Bezos’s Logistics.
Amazon Italy promises its sellers almost 50,000 euros of potential benefits, divided between discounts and promotions. Added to this are further opportunities linked to the choice of prices, advertising, and expanding one’s brand.
In conclusion, there is also space for Amazon Pay: a payment service potentially beneficial for both customers and sellers. A way to enjoy the convenience of Amazon in other online shopping situations.
Amazon Pay is available to all holders of an Amazon Italy account. To identify it, navigate between the online store and e-commerce. To use it, you need to look for products with an Amazon Pay button under the classic add-to-cart button.
By clicking on the Amazon Pay button, the user can pay using the credentials of their Amazon account. This means going directly to the payment method entered during registration or purchase—a passage described in more detail in the previous paragraphs.
Amazon Pay is a guarantee in terms of simplicity and speed of payment, but also words of security. The products with the Amazon Pay button are covered by the Amazon proprietary Guarantee, From A to Z.