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This SWOT analysis looks at Amazon, one of the world's leading online retailers that offers books, movies, music, clothing, groceries, sporting goods and housewares to many countries around the world. The online retailer is looking for ways to remain at the forefront of an ever-expanding and changing online retail format driven by changing consumer needs, new regulatory environments, and interest in introducing its retail model in new countries to sustain its growth and revenue objectives. As the competition among online retailers begins to increase and other external factors impact Amazon, this SWOT analysis examines what Amazon does well and what it could do better in addressing the opportunities and threats that it faces.
- The second quarter revenue of avenue was $38 million/£29 million, which is up 25 per cent from the previous year (Dastin and Sadam, 2017).
- Amazon is the world's largest online retailer, indicating that it has captured the largest percentage of market share than all competitors in the same market (Dastin and Sadam, 2017).
- A number of Amazon services have been expanded to new markets in the past year, including the expansion of on-demand Amazon TV subscription channels to the UK, the two-hour delivery Prime-Now service to Singapore and the Amazon Fresh delivery service of groceries to Germany (Boland, 2017).
- The cloud computing division of Amazon, the Amazon Web Services, continues to grow, with the net income from the three months to the 30th of June growing to $914 million as opposed to $718 million the previous year (Boland, 2017).
- Amazon continues to coordinate its research and development activities with the research of the world's leading universities. One example of this can be seen in the company's collaboration with Edinburgh University, which is "top-rated for computer science, delivering world-leading and internationally excellent research", and continues to aid Amazon in its cloud computing services (Law, 2017).
- In 2017 Amazon profits were reported to have fallen sharply due to heavy spending and extensive overseas investment as part of Amazon's bid to become the global go-to shop for all products, be it food or technology (BBC, 2017b).
- Amazon shares have recently been reported as sinking, as profits fell 75 per cent due to the aforementioned heavy spending on overseas investments (Boland, 2017).
- Google and Apple are significant competitors to Amazon in terms of its technological offerings, and with both having significant customer bases, mean that Amazon are not capturing the potential market share they could. One example of this can be seen in the fact that customers traditionally associate the Apple iCloud function with cloud computing, as opposed to Amazon's cloud services, along with the growing threat to Amazon from Microsoft (Deagon, 2017).
- After making an aggressive expansion into South East Asia through their Prime-Now delivery service, a region with a market of 600 million people potentially, and which could be worth around $70 billion, meaning that Amazon now has the opportunity to increase sales and market share in one of the most highly populated regions of the world (BBC, 2017a).
- New trade deals between the U.K. and the U.S. present the opportunity for Amazon to further expand its British based businesses with the same service offerings presented in the United States.
- Despite expanding into South East Asia, Amazon faces considerable competition in a region so close to the innovative hub of China. Competitors such as Alibaba already have the first mover advantage in the region, and possess extensive local knowledge as an organisation based in Asia (2017a).
- While Amazon increasingly continue to expand globally, the often do so in regions which have yet to develop the extensive infrastructure of developed countries to aid Amazon's logistical activities (BBC, 2017a). This could result in the competitive advantage that Amazon hopes to gain through their two-hour delivery services never being achieved.
SWOT Analysis Resources
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- BBC. (2017a) 'Amazon Prime makes first foray into South East Asia.' [Online] [Accessed on 30 July 2017] http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-40736830
- BBC. (2017b) 'Amazon profits fall sharply as it invests overseas.' [Online] [Accessed on 30 July 2017] http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-40748097
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