Amazon.com is obsessed with fervour to serve consumer and shareholder alike. Since its inception over fifteen years ago, Amazon.com has steadily grown from a burgeoning “dot-com” corporation into a multinational monster, a king in the domain of internet retail. It targets two goals: the satisfaction of a customer and efficient corporate growth. Its marketing strategies are near-legendary, and budding business should take a page – or several chapters – from Amazon.com’s proven marketing manual. Amazon.com History
Jeff Bezos, Amazon.com founder and CEO, dreamed about books. In 1994, he created Amazon.com, Inc., which he labelled as “Earth’s Biggest Bookstore.” The ecommerce company went online in 1995 and soon expanded into other media, including DVDs, VHS, CDs, MP3s, and eventually a wide range of other products, including toys, electronics, furniture and apparel. As such, the tagline soon changed to “Earth’s Largest Selection.” But books were only the beginning of Bezo’s up-and-coming enterprise.
Amazon.com went public in 1997. In the first shareholder letter, Bezos penned the fundamental foundation for Amazon.com’s success: “Start with customers and work backwards … Listen to customers, but don’t just listen to customers – also invent on their behalf … Obsess over customers.” This policy was backed by a startling business philosophy – Bezos planned on operating at a loss for 4-5 years. It was not until 2001 that Amazon.com posted a net profit at a minuscule one-cent per share. Yet, despite its bizarre business strategy, Amazon.com claimed over 1.4 million customers after only two years of being online.
Now, 45 million satisfied customers shop at Amazon.com for everything from books (most popular) to fashion apparel to fine jewellery to Christmas toys. It has one of the most recognized brand names in the world and garners an estimated 50% of its sales from overseas consumers. Surviving the dot-com bust of the late 1990s and early 2000s, Amazon weathered the e-storms and now thrives in the retail marketplace, challenging vending giants like Wal-Mart and Target. Focused on technological innovation and entered on customer fulfilment, Amazon.com proceeds into the next decade with a profit firmly in one hand, and the capacity to blow it out of the water in the other hand.
Amazon.com’s Business Philosophy
Despite its massive growth, Amazon.com remains unremittingly focused on the consumer. Out of 452 company goals in 2009, 360 directly affected customer experience. Amazon.com’s self-proclaimed mission statement is: “We seek to be Earth’s most customer-centric company for three primary customer sets: consumer customers, seller customers and developer customers.”
Amazon’s vision is to be Earth’s most customer centric company; to build a place where people can come to find and discover anything they might want to buy online.
The company’s six core values: customer obsession, ownership, bias for action, frugality, high hiring bar, and innovation.
The company motto: ‘Work Hard, Have Fun, and Make History’.
Amazon currently operates in two markets: the business-to-business (offering Internet retailing services) and consumer markets (retailing consumer goods). Identify the characteristics of the two types of buyers and markets.
Amazon is an online bookstore that trades books from numerous originators including Wrox, O’Reilly, Premier Press, and so on. In this case, the publishers have the option of either developing their own site or exhibiting their books on the Amazon site (www.amazon.com), or both. The publishers usually prefer to display their books on www.amazon.com at it gives them a larger audience. Currently, to do this, the publishers want to deal with Amazon, involving seller and buyer, is the B2B model. Amazon derives about 40% of its sales from affiliate...
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