Amazon is a force of nature.

The company is leading in cloud, crushing in retail, owning established electronics and computing competition in home automation and digital assistants, and reinventing how we buy and get products -- especially with its recent acquisition of Whole Foods.

How does Amazon keep winning?

One reason is that the company has no fewer than 763 million mobile users across its entire mobile ecosystem.

That's 4.4 times more than all of its retail competitors combined:

Over the past year, I studied 90 billion installs and 4.5 billion ratings on more than 13,000 mobile apps by Fortune 1000 companies, comparing them to each enterprise's financial results and stock market valuation. Over the course of the study, Amazon's stock ballooned by $102 billion -- almost 6 times more than the entire retail industry combined. (Full disclosure: I did this work for TUNE, a mobile platform.)

The result has been clear: massive growth that outpaces all of its competitors.

How is this possible?

Last year at AdWeek New York, Seth Godin said something that caught my ear. He was talking about the fastest-growing companies in the world, companies like Red Bull, AirBnB, Facebook, Starbucks, Spanx, and Chobani.

"All the billion-dollar brands of the last decade have a personal one-to-one connection with their customers," he said.

That's precisely what mobile enables.

And that's precisely why my year-long study found that mobile leaders grow 15 percent faster than mobile laggards, and mobile bulls -- the best of the best -- are twice as likely to be financial bulls. Mobile bears -- companies that don't invest in mobile at all -- only have a 20 percent shot at becoming super-successful.

Take Caterpillar, for example.

You might quite legitimately think that a company that builds bulldozers and backhoes really doesn't need to be successful in mobile, but you'd be wrong. Caterpillar's machines are getting smart, and the key to service, parts, and speedy repairs of your 190,000-pound D-10 dozer is a little mobile app on a tiny, 5-ounce device in the palm of your hand.

That's a game-changer.

And that's one massive reason why Amazon has won.

With about 500 million Kindle users alone, hundreds of millions of users of its super-successful main shopping app, and dozens of other successful apps, Amazon is riding along in hundreds of millions of customers' pockets and purses.

Amazon's mobile apps are a direct, one-to-one connection at scale with its customers that enable personalization, communication, engagement, and deep understanding of needs. That means Amazon can understand the customer journey, consumer wants, and people's purchase behavior both historical and in the future perhaps better than anyone else.

Add to that innovation in shopping and delivery for basics like groceries and household supplies, with Whole Foods' retail footprint, and Amazon seems set up for continuing and increasing success.

That said, there's definitely room to grow.

The U.S. Census Bureau says that ecommerce is only 8.5% of total retail sales. And, Amazon's shiny new toy, Whole Foods, is only 1.2% of grocery sales, according to CNBC, while Wal-Mart has almost 15%.

Published on: Jun 23, 2017