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Breaking Down How Amazon Makes Money

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‘Tis the season for shopping.

For many of us, that means buying things online – and if you are like most internet denizens, you’ll be picking up at least one item this holiday season through the the world’s largest e-commerce giant, Amazon.

The company’s sales numbers are growing at a staggering pace. Last year, Amazon had $136 billion in sales, and the company is projected to finish at the $177 billion mark this year.

What are the exact sources of Amazon’s revenue, and how does it all break down?

How Amazon Makes Money

Today’s infographic comes to us from Sellbrite, and it dives into the company’s success, and how Amazon makes money:

Breaking Down How Amazon Makes Money

To the chagrin of many investors, Amazon has traditionally spent a lot to make a little.

In 2016, for example, the company brought in $136 billion in net sales, but it spent $131.8 billion on operating expenses. That gave the company an operating income of $4.2 billion.

However, that high-growth strategy seems to be paying off.

During the same period, e-commerce revenue jumped 25%, AWS revenue increased 55%, and net income skyrocketed 302%. The growth has continued through 2017 and it’s why Jeff Bezos is now the richest person in the world.

A Closer Look

Here’s how Amazon makes money, according to the company’s last annual report for 2016:

Revenue StreamNet Sales (2016)% of Total Revenue
Retail products$91.4B67.2%
Retail 3rd party sellers$23.0B16.9%
Amazon Web Services (AWS)$12.2B9.0%
Subscriptions (Amazon Prime, etc.)$6.4B4.7%
Other (ads, co-branded credit cards)$3.0B2.2%
Total Revenue$136.0B100.0%

Which areas of Amazon’s business are growing the fastest – and where is the company investing in the future?

Here are just a few directions in which the Jeff Bezos Empire is expanding:

Ads
In 2017, the size of Amazon’s advertising business (forecasted at $1.65 billion) has already surpassed those belonging to Twitter ($1.21 billion) and Snapchat ($642 million). Of course, Amazon is still a longshot from impacting the Google and Facebook ad oligopoly, but the two leaders would be wise to take the emerging threat seriously.

Why would Amazon ads work well? The company has a vast database of user info to allow for effective targeting, as well as high margins.

Prime Video
In 2017, Amazon is spending $4.5 billion on creating original content. It has fewer dollars allocated to content than Netflix, but it’s still more than double what HBO spends each year. By the way, Amazon Prime Video is now live in an impressive 200 countries.

International
With 65% of U.S. households having access to Amazon Prime subscriptions, a focus on international sales is the biggest lever that Amazon can pull for future growth. The company is eyeing obvious countries, but less obvious ones as well. In India for example, Amazon’s marketplace is the fastest-growing in the country.

B2B
Amazon is also leveraging its strong logistics platform to provide goods for small businesses, rather than just consumers.

Shipping and Logistics
Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) is already a booming business that allows small businesses to tap into the scale of Amazon. Investing in shipping also betters the customer experience – a key objective for Amazon. However, it’s still possible that the company could take shipping and logistics a step further: domination in the $200 billion parcel shipping market would be a strategic and attainable prize.

With many other ways for the e-commerce giant to grow, it’ll be interesting to breakdown how Amazon makes money in 2018.

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Animation: The 20 Largest State Economies by GDP in the Last 50 Years

This animation shows how the largest state economies by GDP have changed over the last five decades of time, and what such a ranking looks like today.

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Animation: The 20 Largest State Economies by GDP

When it comes to understanding the size and scope of the $18 trillion U.S. economy, it’s sometimes easier to consider that it’s the sum of many parts.

Many states already have economies that are comparable to some of the world’s largest countries, giving you a sense of what they might be combined.

And while every state plays a role in the bigger picture, some states such as New York and California have an outsized impact on fueling the country’s overall economic engine.

The State of State Economies

Today’s animation comes to us from SavingSpot, and it covers the size of state economies by GDP going back all the way to 1963.

The video uses inflation-adjusted data from the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, showing how the ranking of top state economies has changed over time as different states have taken advantage of economic booms.

Let’s dive into the data to see how things have changed.

Going Back in Time

The earliest data in the animation comes from 1963, when New York led the pack with a $70.6 billion economy in inflation-adjusted terms.

State Economies by GDP, Inflation-Adjusted Chained $USD (1963)

RankState EconomyGDP, Billions of USD (1963)Share of U.S. Economy
🇺🇸 United States (Total)$607.0100.0%
#1New York$70.611.6%
#2California$67.811.2%
#3Illinois$39.56.5%
#4Pennsylvania$34.55.7%
#5Ohio$33.35.5%
#6Michigan$30.55.0%
#7Texas$29.34.8%
#8New Jersey$23.43.9%
#9Massachusetts$17.42.9%
#10Indiana$15.62.6%
#11Florida$14.72.4%
#12Missouri$13.62.2%
#13Wisconsin$12.72.1%
#14North Carolina$12.62.1%
#15Virginia$11.71.9%
#16Washington$11.21.8%
#17Minnesota$10.71.8%
#18Georgia$10.31.7%
#19Maryland$10.31.7%
#20Connecticut$9.91.6%
#21Louisiana$9.71.6%
#22Tennessee$9.11.5%
#23Kentucky$8.41.4%
#24Iowa$7.91.3%
#25Alabama$7.31.2%
#26Oklahoma$6.21.0%
#27Kansas$6.11.0%
#28Colorado$5.91.0%
#29Oregon$5.70.9%
#30District of Columbia$5.10.8%
#31South Carolina$5.10.8%
#32West Virginia$4.60.8%
#33Arizona$4.50.7%
#34Mississippi$4.40.7%
#35Nebraska$4.30.7%
#36Arkansas$3.80.6%
#37New Mexico$3.00.5%
#38Utah$3.00.5%
#39Rhode Island$2.70.4%
#40Maine$2.40.4%
#41Hawaii$2.40.4%
#42Montana$2.00.3%
#43Delaware$1.90.3%
#44Idaho$1.80.3%
#45Nevada$1.80.3%
#46New Hampshire$1.70.3%
#47North Dakota$1.60.3%
#48South Dakota$1.60.3%
#49Wyoming$1.40.2%
#50Alaska$1.10.2%
#51Vermont$1.00.2%

California ($67.8 billion), Illinois ($39.5 billion), Pennsylvania ($34.5 billion) and Ohio ($33.3 billion) round out the top five, and together they added up to 40.5% of the national GDP.

The Largest State Economies by GDP Today

Looking at the most recent data from 2017, you can see the ranking changes significantly:

State Economies by GDP, Inflation-Adjusted Chained $USD (2017)

RankState EconomyGDP, Billions of USD (2017)Share of U.S. Economy
🇺🇸 United States (Total)$18,051100%
#1California$2,57614.3%
#2Texas$1,6169.0%
#3New York$1,4147.8%
#4Florida$8834.9%
#5Illinois$7454.1%
#6Pennsylvania$7013.9%
#7Ohio$5913.3%
#8New Jersey$5473.0%
#9Georgia$5112.8%
#10Michigan$4592.5%
#11North Carolina$4842.7%
#12Virginia$4642.6%
#13Massachusetts$4902.7%
#14Washington$4812.7%
#15Maryland$3632.0%
#16Indiana$3211.8%
#17Arizona$2971.6%
#18Minnesota$3221.8%
#19Tennessee$3151.7%
#20Wisconsin$2921.6%
#21Colorado$3231.8%
#22Missouri$2761.5%
#23Connecticut$2391.3%
#24Louisiana$2271.3%
#25Alabama$1931.1%
#26South Carolina$1991.1%
#27Kentucky$1851.0%
#28Oregon$2081.2%
#29Oklahoma$1911.1%
#30Iowa$1690.9%
#31Nevada$1430.8%
#32Kansas$1480.8%
#33Utah$1500.8%
#34Arkansas$1140.6%
#35District of Columbia$1220.7%
#36Mississippi$1000.6%
#37Nebraska$1110.6%
#38New Mexico$910.5%
#39Hawaii$790.4%
#40West Virginia$710.4%
#41New Hampshire$740.4%
#42Delaware$640.4%
#43Idaho$670.4%
#44Maine$560.3%
#45Rhode Island$530.3%
#46Alaska$520.3%
#47Montana$440.2%
#48Wyoming$390.2%
#49South Dakota$450.3%
#50North Dakota$510.3%
#51Vermont$300.2%

California is the largest economy today – it has a state GDP of $2.6 trillion, which is comparable to the United Kingdom.

Meanwhile, Florida and Georgia are two states that did not crack the top 10 back in the 1960s, while Texas jumped up to become the second largest state economy. It’s actually not a coincidence that all of these states are in the southern half of the country, as air conditioning has played a surprisingly pivotal role in shaping modern America.

In fact, the share of the nation’s population living in the Sunbelt rose from 28% in 1950 to 40% in 2000, and this increase in population has coincided with economic growth in many of the states that used to be a sweaty mess.

A Final Look

Here is a final animated version of the top 10 largest states by GDP, also provided by SavingSpot:

Animation: The 20 Largest State Economies by GDP in the Last 50 Years

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Where the World’s Banks Make the Most Money

Last year, the global banking industry cashed in an impressive $1.36 trillion in profits. Here’s where they made their money, and how it breaks down.

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Where the World’s Banks Make the Most Money

Profits in banking have been steadily on the rise since the financial crisis.

Just last year, the global banking industry cashed in an impressive $1.36 trillion in after-tax profits ⁠— the highest total in the sector seen in the last 20 years.

What are the drivers behind revenue and profits in the financial services sector, and where do the biggest opportunities exist in the future?

Following the Money

Today’s infographic comes to us from McKinsey & Company, and it leverages proprietary insights from their Panorama database.

Using data stemming from more than 60 countries, we’ve broken down historical banking profits by region, while also visualizing key ratios that help demonstrate why specific countries are more profitable for the industry.

Finally, we’ve also looked at the particular geographic regions that may present the biggest opportunities in the future, and why they are relevant today.

Banking Profits, by Region

Before we look at what’s driving banking profits, let’s start with a breakdown of annual after-tax profits by region over time.

Banking Profit by Year and Region ($B)

 2009201020112012201320142015201620172018
Global ($B)$388$530$635$703$859$963$1,070$1,065$1,144$1,356
United States$19$118$176$263$268$263$291$275$270$403
China$95$135$174$225$255$278$278$270$301$333
Western Europe$78$34$21-$70$28$95$154$159$186$198
Rest of World$196$243$265$285$309$327$348$361$387$421

In 2018, the United States accounted for $403 billion of after-tax profits in the banking sector ⁠— however, China sits in a very close second place, raking in $333 billion.

What’s Under the Hood?

While there’s no doubt that financial services can be profitable in almost any corner of the globe, what is less obvious is where this profit actually comes from.

The truth is that banking can vary greatly depending on location ⁠— and what drives value for banks in one country may be completely different from what drives value in another.

Let’s look at data and ratios from four very different places to get a sense of how financial services markets can vary.

CountryRARC/GDPLoans Penetration/GDPMargins (RBRC/Total Loans)Risk Cost Margin
Global Average5.1%124%5.0%0.8%
United States5.4%121%5.0%0.4%
China6.6%147%6.0%1.4%
Singapore13.0%316%4.6%0.4%
Finland3.4%133%2.8%0.2%

1. RARC / GDP (Revenues After Risk Costs / GDP)
This ratio shows compares a country’s banking revenues to overall economic production, giving a sense of how important banking is to the economy. Using this, you can see that banking is far more important to Singapore’s economy than others in the table.

2. Loans Penetration / GDP
Loans penetration can be further broken up into retail loans and wholesale loans. The difference can be immediately seen when looking at data on China and the United States:

CountryRetail LoansWholesale LoansLoan Penetration (Total)
United States73%48%121%
China34%113%147%

In America, banks make loans primarily to the retail sector. In China, there’s a higher penetration on a wholesale basis — usually loans being made to corporations or other such entities.

3. Margins (Revenues Before Risk Costs / Total Loans)
Margins made on lending is one way for bankers to gauge the potential of a market, and as you can see above, margins in the United States and China are both at (or above) the global average. Meanwhile, for comparison, Finland has margins that are closer to half of the global average.

4. Risk Cost Margin (Risk Cost / Total Loans)
Not surprisingly, China still holds higher risk cost margins than the global average. On the flipside, established markets like Singapore, Finland, and the U.S. all have risk margins below the global average.

Future Opportunities in Banking

While this data is useful at breaking down existing markets, it can also help to give us a sense of future opportunities as well.

Here are some of the geographic markets that have the potential to grow into key financial services markets in the future:

  1. Sub-Saharan Africa
    Despite having 16x the population of South Africa, the rest of Sub-Saharan Africa still generates fewer banking profits. With lower loan penetration rates and RARC/GDP ratios, there is significant potential to be found throughout the continent.
  2. India and Indonesia
    Compared to similar economies in Asia, both India and Indonesia present an interesting banking opportunity because of their high margins and low loan penetration rates.
  3. China
    While China has a high overall loan penetration rate, the retail loan category still holds much potential given the country’s population and growing middle class.

A Changing Landscape in Banking

As banks shift focus to face new market challenges, the next chapter of banking may be even more interesting than the last.

Add in the high stakes around digital transformation, aging populations, and new service opportunities, and the distance between winners and losers could lengthen even more.

Where will the money in banking be in the future?

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