Amazon is the biggest online marketplace in the U.S. In 2016, the company broke its own records on different fronts. The company’s sales in North America increased by more than 25 percent as compared to the 15.5 percent increase in overall e-commerce sales in the country. Amazon is clearly dominating online sales growth in the U.S.

After assuming the leading position in the U.S. marketplace, what will Amazon do next? Here are some possible scenarios.

  • Brick and mortar stores – Amazon is expected to be a dominant force in physical store retails, outpacing famous brands like Macy’s and Walmart. The company has already opened several brick-and-mortar bookstores. Amazon then underscored this trajectory with the acquisition of Whole Foods for $13.7 billion. In the near future, Amazon is expected to have a presence in most major retail areas.
  • Emphasis on logistics – You may already know that Amazon is developing drones for product delivery. However, did you know that they’re also investing in “traditional” delivery methods like trucking? The trucking industry in the U.S. faces a tough problem – a shortage of drivers. Currently, the U.S. is short tens of thousands of truck drivers, and that figure is estimated to reach nearly 200,000 in less than ten years. Amazon is trying to solve the problem by developing self-driving trucks. They are also working to increase warehouse efficiency by utilizing robots to reduce the need for manpower. Amazon made two important acquisitions along these lines. It purchased Otto, a San Francisco-based self-driving truck startup, and the robotics outfit Kiva.
  • Artificial intelligence – Amazon has a big lead over Apple and Google in the field of virtual assistants with the company’s Echo and Alexa. The company is now moving their AI resources into non-Amazon devices. One example is the company’s recent partnership with GE that integrates Alexa with smart lamps.
  • Moves to protect Amazon brands – Amazon aims to continue to protect brands on the Amazon marketplace. The company is going to great lengths to curtail the proliferation of counterfeit goods online. It has implemented stringent measures to penalize unethical sellers.

Amazon has shown a relentless commitment to maintaining its place as the uncontested leader of online retail. Nobody can accurately predict what the future holds, but all signs point to an even brighter future for Amazon in the coming years.