'The Everything Store': 5 behind-the-scenes stories about Amazon

Business journalist Brad Stone takes a look at the founding of Amazon and how it operates in his new book 'The Everything Store'.

3. Winning over customers

Amazon became well-known for a promotion it created the summer that J.K. Rowling's fourth "Harry Potter" book, "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire," was released. To attempt to increase loyalty from customers, the company gave a 40 percent discount on the book and promised express delivery so those who bought it would see it arrive on their doorsteps on July 8, the book's office release date. The express delivery would cost the same as regular delivery. Overall, the company was losing a few dollars for each of the orders, but Bezos told Stone that he believed "that either-or mentality, that if you are doing something good for customers it must be bad for shareholders, is very amateurish."

Lyn Blake, who was an executive overseeing books at Amazon at the time, admits she was nervous about the promotion beforehand but that she heard many positive stories about the effort afterward. "[We] heard all these stories from people who were meeting their deliverymen at their front doors," she said. "And we got these testimonials back from drivers. It was the best day of their lives."

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