CEO and founder of Amazon, Jeff Bezos

CEO and founder of Amazon, Jeff Bezos

CEO and founder of Amazon, Jeff Bezos

Rise of online retail

December 27, 2017

SPRINGFIELD In 2017, Jeff Bezos has become the richest person in the world with a net worth around $99.6 billion, surpassing Bill Gates who held this title for a majority of the past decade.

If you don’t know who Bezos is, he is the founder and current CEO of, which leads all online sales of products in the world. The reason for Bezos massive amount of wealth is thanks to us, the average American consumer. Our drive for fast-service delivery, instant checkout on apps and the constant need for the newest and most innovative tech on the market has fueled Amazon’s growth in the past decade.

“It’s just so convenient for me to go online and create something that I know my friends will like,” said UIS student Mariah Rodriguez, who ordered a lot of personalized gifts online. “It’s easier than searching from store to store and I’m able to order whenever I need it.”

In recent years, holiday shopping has shifted its focus from going out and buying your gifts in person to one-click shopping. The age of brick-and-mortar stores is starting to crumble at the hands of online retailers. Stores such as Target and Walmart are trying to keep your business by moving some of their sales to online exclusive only. This in all signs is good for consumers who have easier access to products than 20 years ago and more affordable prices.

Best Buy has led the way to give consumers who love Apple products the best deals and prices on electronics.

One employee of Best Buy, Nicholas Thomas, explained how online shopping was the norm for retail sales: “Why go shopping when you can just get the products delivered to your door?”

To give people a good understanding of how important online sales are to Best Buy, Thomas said, “We had over 200 orders every hour for store pickup on Black Friday.” He added, “It’s easier to get sales and deals online without the stress of human interaction anymore.”

The younger generation seeks a more simple and easier way to buy what they need and want without the hassle of driving into town and seeking out the best prices. Our generation is fueled by the drive to seek the best deal, and with so many options to find a smartphone or TV we have to dig down and go online to compare different deals that are offered.

The convenience factor is a large part of what drives Amazon’s overall sales. If at 2 a.m. you decide you want a new watch but can’t go out and buy one because every shop is closed, you can easily pull up the Amazon app and buy it with one click.

For students who don’t have a car on campus, Amazon is their best friend when it comes to convenience. “Not having a car, I use Amazon to buy everything. If I need something I buy it online and have it sent to me in no time. It’s super convenient and I love it!” said Eric Schmitt, a student at Carthage College.

Online retail isn’t just affecting how we buy gifts though as many students across the country are starting to use online book rental services that are cheap and hassle-free.

Paul Giganti started using online book rental services this semester in order to save on buying textbooks. Last semester, the Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville student said he spent an average of $78 per textbook. Once the semester ended, selling the books was a challenge.

“My goal at the beginning of the semester was to reduce my costs on my overall college expenses,” Giganti said. “Renting my books through has helped me find rates that I wouldn’t at college textbook shops or other places.”

In this day and age, students have started leaning towards a more online friendly future. We seek an easier way to shop and services like Amazon are pushing for this path. Will Amazon someday rule the economic market of the world in the future? Only time will tell, but with Bezos now close to $100 billion and his company racing to be the first trillion-dollar company it seems that future is closer than it seems.


Zach Aiello can be reached at [email protected].

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