cyber make sure point and click
worth order (3) record-breaking
parade ship (2) merchandise
rare scanner competitiveness
aisle sprinkle square foot
mile complaint strategically
belt chain mail conveyor belt
stuff fulfillment place and order
sort of available according to
cloth intelligence warehouse
glimpse air traffic it occurs to me
pluck bar-code air traffic controller
maze winding pressure cooker (2)
for sure demand Noah’s Ark
tough interrupt push to the limit
retail Medieval experiment
supply binoculars magnifying glass
on hand inventory seasonal employee
explode track (2) gets a cut
desire algorithm customize
chance guarantee recommend






So what did you do at work today?

Chances are good that on this cyber-Monday, there was some point, click and buy going on. A record-breaking $1.5 billion worth of merchandise is expected to have been ordered online today.

And no one ships more orders than Amazon.

It’s a company know for its competitiveness—and its secrecy.

ABC’s Neal Karlinsky was allowed inside to see the Amazon magic.

.     .     .     .     .     .     .     .

This is what the inner-world of Amazon looks like on cyber-Monday: capitalism on parade.

Nightline was invited in for a rare glimpse of one of its 80 huge “fulfillment centers”, strategically sprinkled around the globe, to find out what happens when you point, click and buy, a process that follows miles of conveyor belt inside a massive building like this.

Journalist: “Look down the aisle here. That’s a lot of stuff.

But first an experiment.

.     .     .     .     .     .     .     .

Journalist: “This is a hot video game. I’m going to order it.”

We placed and order. Just Dance Four. If all goes according to plan, we’ll follow it from the shelf to my doorstep.

Journalist: “Let’s go see if it shows up in here.”

This 1.2 million square foot Amazon warehouse is the unseen shopping mall that never closes.

Journalist: “It occurs to me, it’s kind of funny: it’s sort of like Noah’s Ark. You sort of have one of everything here. Soccer ball, Hello Kitty. We’ve got a backpack, we’ve got a table cloth.”
Josh Titeroff, Amazon Manager: “Carry as much as we can.”

Josh Titeroff, former military intelligence officer, is the center’s general manager, meaning he’s a little bit like an air traffic controller for online shopping.

Journalist: “You know, I tried to do a search to see if I can find something that you wouldn’t have. And I searched for a pink tuxedo. And you guys have a pink tuxedo available.”
Josh: “Well I guess you’re not the only one that wants that.”

We watch as my order pops up on a scanner, gets plucked from a shelf by hand and then dropped into a bar-coded yellow bin.

Josh, Amazon Manager: “This is the one you bought.”
Journalist: “I mean this is really mine?”
Josh, Amazon Manager: “That will arrive at your house in a couple of days.”

The Amazon people let us draw a smiley face on our bin so we can follow it on a wild ride through a winding maze.

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Amazon recently added an army of extra workers in these fulfillment centers just to handle the holidays: all those electronics . . . tied-eye fashion kits…and heated pet bowls that absolutely must get out the door.

And fast.

Journalist: “Is it a pressure cooker working in here?”
Craig Berman, Vice President, Amazon Global Communications: “It gets very busy at this time, and folks work hard for sure.

But we bring in help: we’ve got 50,000 seasonal employees to help meet that demand.”

.     .     .     .     .     .     .     .

Amazon has faced serious complaints that workers are pushed to the limit in tough conditions.

Josh, Amazon Manager: “Safety is number one with us. These are well paying jobs: we pay 30% more than traditional retail.”

Journalist: “Sorry to interrupt. What have you got going on here?”
Amazon Employee: “Oh, shipping things out to people.
Journalist: “Somebody’s getting a happy Hannah Montana camera.”

You quickly learn walking the aisles down here that Amazon is bar-code heaven. Everything has a code: a code to find it, to ship it, to track it.

.     .     .     .     .     .     .     .

But how can they have everything from Medieval chain mail to clock oil and binocular magnifying glasses—on hand—at all times.

Only part of the answer is huge inventory.

The other part comes from small business owners like Dan O’Donald, whose tiny jewelry supply store, which sells that clock oil, has exploded by selling through Amazon, meaning their stuff shows up on Amazon’s website.

And Amazon gets a cut of the action.

Dan O’Donald, Retailer: “Right now we have 150,000 skews that we offer on Amazon.”
Journalist: “A 150,000 items?”
Dan, Retailer: “Yes.”
Journalist: “Just from you?”
Dan, Retailer: “Just from us.”

.     .     .     .     .     .     .     .

The company doesn’t only sell just about everything: it uses sophisticated programs to track your online habits; a fully customized shopping experience to not only match prices, but increasingly, match your desires.

Josh, Amazon Manager: “We have teams of super-smart people who build algorithms to create personalized recommendations for our customers.”

Journalist: “I don’t even know what this is.”

.     .     .     .     .     .     .     .

But despite the huge inventory and third party sellers, Amazon still can’t guarantee the lowest prices.

So consumers are urged to shop around.

.     .     .     .     .     .     .     .

Meanwhile, our happy yellow bin shows up right on cue.

It’s traveled about a mile since we saw it last and now it’s nearing the end and as it’s pulled off and boxed, we add a message inside just to make sure it shows up really is the same item.

Journalist: “Alright, I’ll see this at home.”

48 hours later, a box was sitting on my doorstep.

Journalist: “Let’s crack it open . . . and . . . there’s our game—and it’s our message. ‘Happy Holidays from ABC News’.”

They may call it cyber-Monday, but at Amazon, it never ends.

I’m Neal Karlinsky for Nightline in Pheonix.

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Amazon. Only techies and geeks shop online; online shopping is a niche market. Is this right or wrong? Give statistics.

eBay. Are all Amazon merchandise stored in one, big central location? Where are items sold on Amazon stored?

Craigslist. Amazon only sells books, CDs, DVDs. True or false? Give examples of what Amazon sells.

Google, Duckduckgo. Did the journalist conduct an experiment? Describe the experiment.

Facebook, Instagram. Are Amazon employees lazy or do they work very hard? Does the workforce remain constant throughout the year, or does it vary? Is it seasonal? Why is it seasonal?

YouTube. Does Amazon use pen and paper to record and keep track of everything? How does Amazon record, keep track and inventory of all items?

Wikipedia. Are products sold on Amazon always cheaper than in brick-and-mortar stores?

Yahoo. Amazon sells only their items on their websites. Is this correct or incorrect?

Linkedin. Does the Amazon website display items totally at random? know what people are interested in?
Netflix. Do you or your friends shop online? Have you or you colleagues shopped online?

Quora. Which do you prefer, traditional shops, online shopping or does it depend?

TikTok. Are there things that you could sell through Amazon, e-Bay or other platforms?

Snapchat. Do traditional shops like Amazon, hate Amazon or are they indifferent? Why do they like or hate Amazon?

Twittr. What will happen in the years to come? What will happen in the future?

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