amazon-swot-analysis

Amazon SWOT Analysis In A Nutshell

Amazon is among the most diversified business model in the tech industry. The company is well-positioned to dominate e-commerce further. And while its online stores have tight profit margins, Amazon still unlocks cash for growth, while consolidating its dominance in the cloud and grabbing new opportunities like voice.

Amazon strengths

amazon-business-model
Amazon has a diversified business model. In 2021 Amazon posted over $469 billion in revenues and over $33 billion in net profits. Online stores contributed to over 47% of Amazon revenues, Third-party Seller Services,  Amazon AWS, Subscription Services, Advertising revenues and Physical Stores.
  • Strong brand: Amazon is the most valuable brand on earth. Launched as a bookstore, it eventually became the “everything store,” and from there, it dominated several other industries. Amazon today is exceptionally well-positioned to keep expanding its online stores’ capabilities.
  • Diversified business model: Amazon is among the tech giants who have the most diversified business model. Spanning from e-commerce to cloud, advertising, and more.
  • Massive growth potential: While Amazon passed the trillion-dollar in market capitalization, it is also positioned on several markets that might become trillion-dollar industries.
  • Direct distribution/flywheels: Amazon enjoys massive flywheel effects thanks to its built-in growth mechanisms, which made it the company we know today.
amazon-flywheel
The Amazon Flywheel or Amazon Virtuous Cycle is a strategy that leverages on customer experience to drive traffic to the platform and third-party sellers. That improves the selections of goods, and Amazon further improves its cost structure so it can decrease prices which spins the flywheel.
amazon-subsidiaries
Amazon is a consumer e-commerce platform with a diversified business model spanning across e-commerce, cloud, advertising, streaming, and more. Over the years Amazon acquired several companies. Among its 12 subsidiaries, Amazon has AbeBooks.com, Audible, CamiXology, Fabric.com, IMDb, PillPack, Shopbop, Souq.com, Twitch, Whole Foods Market, Woot! and Zappos.

Amazon weaknesses

is-amazon-profitable
Amazon was profitable in 2021. The company generated over $33 billion in net income, primarily driven by the Amazon AWS business, which contributed to over 55% of its operating margins and other profitable parts like Amazon Prime and Ads. The Amazon e-commerce platform runs at tight operating margins since it’s built for scale.
  • Online e-commerce has tighter margins: the online e-commerce side of Amazon has tighter profitability compared to other parts of the business. However, the same e-commerce is the platform around which the company has been developed. Thus, it needs to be judged based on cash flows.

Amazon threats

google-vs-amazon
Google and Amazon are fighting for dominance between e-commerce and advertising. Where Google has a monopoly in the search market. Amazon might gain a monopoly in product searches. In 2020, Google opened its Google Shopping for free to contrast Amazon dominance on e-commerce and prevent Amazon from taking more space in the digital advertising industry, the core business fo Google.
  • Global competition and tech wars: As tech giants try to consolidate and keep the dominance in their industries, they also move in adjacent markets, thus overlapping part of their value proposition to consumers. This triggers expensive tech wars that might end up causing losses for Amazon as well.
  • Regulation: Amazon has become a massive company made of many moving parts. This raises the question of whether it makes sense to break it up to prevent the company from abusing its dominant position in several industries (e-commerce, cloud voice).
amazon-competitors
Amazon is a consumer e-commerce platform with a diversified business model spanning across e-commerce, cloud, advertising, streaming, and more. Over the years, Amazon acquired several companies. As it operates across several industries, Amazon has a wide range of competitors across each of those industries. For instance, Amazon E-commerce competes with Shopify, Wix, Google, Etsy, eBay, BigCommerce.

Amazon opportunities

amazon-case-study
Amazon runs a platform business model as a core model with several business units within. Some units, like Prime and the Advertising business, are highly tied to the e-commerce platform. For instance, Prime helps Amazon reward repeat customers, thus enhancing its platform business. Other units, like AWS, helped improve Amazon’s tech infrastructure.
  • Global expansion: While Amazon has been growing at a crazy speed, its space for global expansion is still wide.
  • New industries consolidation and definition: As Amazon expands, it also develops new markets. For instance, Amazon is a key player in the cloud industry. And it’s a dominant player in the voice industry, among the most interesting in the coming years.
google-cloud-business-model
In 2021, Alphabet’s (Google) Cloud Business was an over $19 billion unit within Alphabet’s Google overall business model; to gain a bit of context; Microsoft intelligent cloud netted $60 billion and Amazon AWS netted over $62 billion in the same year.

Key takeaways

  • Amazon is among the most valuable companies on earth built during the web era.
  • Amazon has a diversified business model made of many moving parts. Its core is the consumer e-commerce platform, on top of which Amazon has built several new parts of the business model over the years.
  • Other parts comprise its subscription-based service, Amazon Prime, its Cloud platform, AWS, and its product Advertising machine.
  • While Amazon is among the most valuable brands, it also formed a monopoly in the digital e-commerce space, increasing the chances of potential regulation and breaking up of some of its parts.

Connected to Amazon Business Model

Amazon Business Model

amazon-business-model
Amazon has a diversified business model. In 2021 Amazon posted over $469 billion in revenues and over $33 billion in net profits. Online stores contributed to over 47% of Amazon revenues, Third-party Seller Services,  Amazon AWS, Subscription Services, Advertising revenues, and Physical Stores.

Amazon Mission Statement

amazon-vision-statement-mission-statement (1)
Amazon’s mission statement is to “serve consumers through online and physical stores and focus on selection, price, and convenience.” Amazon’s vision statement is “to be Earth’s most customer-centric company, where customers can find and discover anything they might want to buy online, and endeavors to offer its customers the lowest possible prices.” 

Customer Obsession

customer-obsession
In the Amazon Shareholders’ Letter for 2018, Jeff Bezos analyzed the Amazon business model, and it also focused on a few key lessons that Amazon as a company has learned over the years. These lessons are fundamental for any entrepreneur, of small or large organization to understand the pitfalls to avoid to run a successful company!

Amazon Revenues

amazon-revenue-model
Amazon has a business model with many moving parts. With the e-commerce platform which generated over $222 billion in 2021, followed by third-party stores services which generated over $103 billion, Amazon AWS, which generated over $62 billion, Amazon advertising which generated over $31 billion and Amazon Prime which also generated over $31 billion, and physical stores which generated over $17 billion.

Amazon Cash Conversion

cash-conversion-cycle-amazon

Working Backwards

working-backwards
The Amazon Working Backwards Method is a product development methodology that advocates building a product based on customer needs. The Amazon Working Backwards Method gained traction after notable Amazon employee Ian McAllister shared the company’s product development approach on Quora. McAllister noted that the method seeks “to work backwards from the customer, rather than starting with an idea for a product and trying to bolt customers onto it.”

Amazon Flywheel

amazon-flywheel
The Amazon Flywheel or Amazon Virtuous Cycle is a strategy that leverages on customer experience to drive traffic to the platform and third-party sellers. That improves the selections of goods, and Amazon further improves its cost structure so it can decrease prices which spins the flywheel.

Jeff Bezos Day One

jeff-bezos-day-1
In the letter to shareholders in 2016, Jeff Bezos addressed a topic he had been thinking quite profoundly in the last decades as he led Amazon: Day 1. As Jeff Bezos put it “Day 2 is stasis. Followed by irrelevance. Followed by excruciating, painful decline. Followed by death. And that is why it is always Day 1.”

Read more:

SWOT Analysis Case Studies

McDonald’s SWOT Analysis

mcdonalds-swot-analysis

Nike SWOT Analysis

nike-swot-analysis

Samsung SWOT Analysis

microsoft-swot-analysis
Samsung was founded in South Korea in 1938 by Lee Byung-Chul. Originally a trading company, it took Samsung 22 years to become the fully-fledged electronics company that most people recognize today. Indeed, the company is a leader in technological innovation through telecommunications, electronics, and home appliances.

Costco SWOT Analysis

costco-swot-analysis
Costco is a large American multinational corporation with a focus on low-cost, membership-only retail warehouse clubs. Costco is the 4th largest retail operator in the world, operating 785 warehouses in 10 different countries. Indeed, it has enjoyed rapid success growing from zero to $3 billion in sales within six years.

Walmart SWOT Analysis

walmart-swot-analysis
From humble beginnings just over 50 years ago, Walmart has grown to become the world’s largest retail company. A single small discount store in Arkansas has now expanded to over 11,000 stores in 28 countries. Some reports suggest that the company now makes $1.8 million of profit every hour.

Uber SWOT Analysis

uber-swot-analysis
Headquartered in San Francisco, California, Uber started as a peer-to-peer ridesharing platform. In more recent times, the company has moved into food delivery, rental cars, and bike-sharing. In one form or another, Uber now has a presence in over 900 cities worldwide.

Disney SWOT Analysis

disney-swot-analysis
It would be hard to argue the case for a more recognizable entertainment brand than Disney. Disney is of course synonymous with Walt Disney, but it was Walt and his brother Roy who started the company in 1923 in Burbank, California. Disney content is now broadcast on over 100 channels in 34 different languages across the globe.

Coca-Cola SWOT Analysis

coca-cola-swot-analysis
Coca-Cola is the market leader of the soft drink industry. It is also the most widely recognized brand, with a Business Insider study revealing that a staggering 94% of the world population recognizes the red and white logo. However, Coca-Cola faces significant challenges with increasingly health-conscious consumers and less access to water resources.

Ford SWOT Analysis

ford-swot-analysis
Founded in 1903 by Henry Ford and is the fifth-largest family-owned company in the world. Ford is a globally recognized brand in the automotive industry for a couple of reasons. First, Henry Ford is well-known as the inventor of the production line and thus the modern automobile industry. Today, Ford has also maintained relevance as the seventh-largest car manufacturer worldwide, selling a range of passenger cars, trucks, and vans.

Tesco SWOT Analysis

tesco-swot-analysis
Tesco was founded in 1919 by Jack Cohen, as a small group of market stalls. After rapid expansion in the following years, the company became the largest retailer in the UK and is now the second-largest in the world. To put their dominance into perspective, consider that Tesco serves around 66 shoppers per second across 7000 retails stores, delivering approximately $180,000 worth of sales every minute.

Nestlé SWOT Analysis

nestle-swot-analysis
Nestlé is a large multinational food and beverage manufacturer with more than 2000 brands spread across 197 countries. Some of Nestlé’s well-known brands include Nescafe, Kit-Kat, Purina, Aero, Butterfinger, Maggi, and Haagen-Dazs. Originally a producer of infant food in 1867, it is now considered to be the world’s largest food manufacturer.

Amazon SWOT Analysis

amazon-swot-analysis
Amazon is among the most diversified business model in the tech industry. The company is well-positioned to dominate e-commerce further. And while its online stores have tight profit margins, Amazon still unlocks cash for growth, while consolidating its dominance in the cloud and grabbing new opportunities like voice.

Facebook SWOT Analysis

facebook-swot-analysis
Facebook, with its products, with its strong appeal, and consumer brand has a solid business model, threatened in the last years by privacy concerns, which open up the way to potential regulation to break up the company. If that will not happen, Facebook will have the chance to expand to define other markets like VR.

Starbucks SWOT Analysis

swot-analysis-of-starbucks
Starbucks is a global consumer brand with direct distribution, recognized brands, and products that make it a viable business. Its reliance on the Americas as a primary operating segment makes it a weakness. At the same time, Starbucks faces risks related to coffee beans price volatility. Yet the company still has global expansion opportunities.

Tesla SWOT Analysis

tesla-swot-analysis
Among the most recognized car manufacturers, Tesla is valued more than the combined market capitalization of GM and Ford. While the company’s direct distribution is a strength, its lack of financial viability is a weakness. Competition is a future threat. However, if Tesla defines a new market for car manufacturing its potential growth will be massive.

Netflix SWOT Analysis

netflix-swot-analysis
Netflix is among the most popular streaming platforms, with a subscription-based business model. The brand, platform, and content are strengths. The volatility of content licensing and production are weaknesses. The streaming market is a potential blue ocean. Inability to attract and retain premium members, and its fixed long-term costs are threats to its business model.

Apple SWOT Analysis

apple-swot-analysis
Apple can leverage a strong consumer brand and set of successful products as a strength. Yet the company is still too reliant on the iPhone as a primary revenue stream. Though Apple is working to open up new markets as an opportunity, it has to make sure to sustain its stores’ sales.

Google SWOT Analysis

google-swot-analysis
Google’s strength is its strong consumer brand. The company is grabbing new opportunities by opening up industries like voice search and consolidating in industries like the cloud. As a weakness, its revenues primarily come from advertising. A primary threat is the quick change of search and potential intervention by regulators.

Read Next: SWOT Analysis, Personal SWOT Analysis.

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