Those looking to succeed as investors could do worse than following the example of legendary Berkshire Hathaway CEO Warren Buffett. One could argue that the so-called "Oracle of Omaha" is among the most successful investors ever. If you have doubts, consider this: Since he took the reins of the company in 1965, the stock has delivered gains of more than 20% annually and in total has soared a mind-boggling 3,641,613%. 

Given the macroeconomic climate that pervaded most of 2022, it isn't surprising that investors are looking to the future, using Buffett's dizzying array of stocks as a place to start. One stock that stands out as a particularly compelling opportunity right now is Amazon (AMZN -0.26%). The bear market has mauled the shares, which are down 50% from their high. However, Amazon has a strong history of growth, is a top performer in several industries, and has an enviable track record of success.

An Amazon Prime driver in the driver's seat, consulting with a manager.

Image source: Amazon.

The 800-pound gorilla in the room

First and foremost, Amazon has become synonymous with e-commerce. The company is by far the world's largest digital retailer, and while estimates vary, Amazon was responsible for roughly 57% of all online purchases in the U.S. in 2021, according to payments researcher PYMNTS. From humble beginnings as an online bookstore, Amazon has evolved, expanding beyond mere sales into logistics, fulfillment, warehousing, and delivery. Not bad for a company that hasn't yet celebrated its 30th birthday.

Yet for all its progress, Amazon has more worlds to conquer. North America still accounts for roughly 73% of the company's retail sales. Amazon doesn't talk much about its international expansion, but excluding the impact of foreign currency exchange rates, its international segment grew revenue by 12% year over year, while its operating income surged 147%. 

Building a worldwide empire takes time, and Amazon isn't finished yet.

Head in the clouds

Another space that Amazon absolutely dominates is cloud computing, an area it pioneered. For the first nine months of 2022, Amazon Web Services (AWS) -- the company's cloud computing segment -- grew revenue by 32% year over year, while operating income climbed 33%.

That's not all. Amazon controls roughly 32% of the market, more than Microsoft Azure and Alphabet's Google Cloud combined, which control 22% and 9%, respectively, according to Canalys. 

The digital transformation is attracting more businesses than ever to the cloud, and AWS is still growing. The company continues to announce new regions and expand in others, while also developing new capabilities for users.

And there's so much more

Amazon is a company that has fingers in so many pies, it's easy to forget the breadth of its reach.

The company has quickly ascended the ranks to become the third-largest digital advertiser in the U.S., behind just Google and Meta Platforms

There's also streaming video, which comes as a perk for Amazon's 200 million Prime subscribers. In fact, Prime video boasts more viewers than Netflix, making it the top subscription video service in the U.S., according to market research firm Parks Associates. Amazon also buttressed this position with its $8.5 billion acquisition of MGM Studios earlier this year, providing a wealth of new programming for its viewers. 

Then there's the "Just Walk Out" technology powering Amazon Go stores without cashiers. Customers with the Amazon app scan their smartphone to enter the store, pick up what they need, and simply leave. A host of sensors and cameras keep a running digital register tape and charge the user's account once they leave the store. Many market watchers expect that this technology will eventually pervade Amazon-owned Whole Foods stores. At the same time, other companies are quietly taking the technology for a test drive, which Amazon plans to sell or license to all comers. 

Amazon hasn't been shy about its aspirations in the healthcare field. The company has offered various health-related services to its employees for some time, but with its acquisitions of online pharmacy PillPack in 2018 and primary care provider One Medical this year, the company is fueling speculation it has plans to become a force in the healthcare space. 

Don't forget Amazon is also the proud owner of Ring video surveillance doorbells and iRobot robotic vacuums. This gives the company an increasing array of gadgets in its ecosystem, but also more ways to stockpile data about its customers.

We don't know where Amazon's next big growth area will come from, but with all these irons in the fire, chances are the company could one day dominate yet another industry.

A stunning sale

For all its potential, Amazon stock has fallen out of favor with some investors now that its e-commerce growth has (temporarily) slowed to a crawl. Its pandemic-induced growth spurt and the current economic climate have combined to make things look far worse than they really are. As a result, the stock is dirt cheap, selling for just 2 times sales. This is also its cheapest price-to-sales ratio since 2014.  

However, given the company's long history of growth and innovation, and the multitude of opportunities at hand, I'd buy Amazon before 2023 without any hesitation.