Acom

Source: Amazon.com.

In partnership with Glassdoor, our investment analysts are taking a closer look at some of the most popular companies in Glassdoor's career community. 

Amazon.com (NASDAQ:AMZN) is one of the most well-known companies among both consumers and investors. Amazon, which started out as an online bookseller, has grown pretty substantially to become a very successful and surprisingly multifaceted technology company.

However, even beyond its reputation as both a technology company and a leading online retailer, Amazon.com's CEO Jeff Bezos has referred to the company as "customer obsessed." Does Amazon's seemingly unique focus on the "customer first" help to make it one of America's best companies?

Long-term investors have done exceptionally well
Amazon.com's stock has been a stellar performer during just about any reasonable time frame that one wants to look at. Although the stock is actually underperforming both the Nasdaq and the S&P 500 during the last year, and year to date, Amazon.com's shares have handily outperformed both of those indices during the last five years, 10 years, and since Amazon.com's IPO.

While Amazon.com is widely criticized for not generating much in the way of net income -- the company has generated $181 million in net income during the most recent trailing 12-month period -- it has been a revenue-growth machine. Amazon.com's sales have soared during the last five years, jumping from just less than $25 billion in 2009 to nearly $75 billion by the end of 2013.

Amazon's strategy, as many probably know, is one of very aggressive reinvestment. For example, Amazon reported growth in its spending on "technology and content" from $1.345 billion in 2012 to $1.862 billion by the end of 2013. Now, not all of those initiatives are going to pay off  -- fellow Fool Evan Niu has the scoop on how poorly the company's Fire Phone is doing. However, as long as Amazon keeps growing its revenue, it's likely to continue to invest heavily in its future.

At any rate, it's hard to argue with the results: Amazon.com has delivered in spades for its shareholders.

What do the employees say?
According to Glassdoor, employee sentiment seems pretty mixed. At a high level, 61% of the 3,485 individuals who submitted reviews would recommend the company to a friend, and about 80% out of 2,415 respondents approve of CEO Jeff Bezos.

Taking a closer look at the ratings, here's how they break down:

Overall (Amazon.com)

Culture and Values

Work/Life Balance

Senior management

Comp & Benefits

Opportunities

3.3

3.2

2.6

2.9

3.5

3.4

Source: Glassdoor.

From the numbers here, it looks as though the work/life balance is difficult. One common complaint seen on the Glassdoor page is that, "Upper management can be a little ridiculous when it comes to project deadlines."

Some positive comments that stuck out include the following:

  • "Great place to learn and to pick up new skills quickly" (appeared in 48 reviews)
  • "They have a very fast paced environment with some cool tools with opportunities to make a difference" (appeared in 155 reviews)

After reading a number of reviews, it seems that one commenter's bottom line sums up the general consensus well: "Can be amazing for some people, horrible for others."

What about customers?
In a report from Forrester Research (via BGR), Amazon.com apparently came in first when it came to "consumer electronics brand satisfaction."

According to BGR, the Forrester study asked respondents the following three questions:

  1. How enjoyable were they to do businesses with?
  2. How easy were they to do business with?
  3. How effective were they at meeting your needs?

The report states that Amazon scored a "91," which indicates a score of "excellent." To provide some perspective, Sony reportedly scored an 83, Samsung and Microsoft each scored an 82, and Apple achieved an 81.

Further, Amazon isn't shy in boasting about its No. 1 ranking in customer satisfaction in what is known as the ForeSee Experience Index. The survey reportedly consists of the results of asking 67,600 customers to "rate their satisfaction with the top 100 retailers."

It seems that Amazon is living up to one of its key leadership principles: "Leaders start with the customer and work backwards. They work vigorously to earn and keep customer trust."

How about the broader world?
Amazon.com has a page detailing its "innovations for our planet." Two items that stand out have to do with the environment.

The first is that the company claims to have developed a "software program that determines the 'right-sized' box for any given item to be shipped to a customer, based on that item's dimensions and weight." Amazon claims that this has reduced the number of packages that show up in an incorrectly sized box, which, the company alleges, reduces packaging waste and transportation costs.

Next, Amazon highlights that its headquarters are "made up of sustainable, energy-efficient buildings," which have been awarded the "LEED Gold certification" by the U.S. Green Building Council. On top of that, Amazon claims that its fulfillment centers "have sustainable and eco-friendly interiors and exteriors."

Foolish bottom line
Amazon.com looks like a company that knows how to deliver value to its investors and to its customers, and it's interesting to see that Amazon also takes steps to be "green." The one sore spot seems to be employee satisfaction; but even then, it seems that Amazon.com is the kind of company that could be a fantastic fit for some, and a not-so-good fit for others.

Ashraf Eassa has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends Amazon.com and Apple. The Motley Fool owns shares of Amazon.com and Apple. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.