External and Internal Factors

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Abstract
The objective of this case study is to outline and provide a brief overview of Amazon.com's (Amazon) mission, strategic direction, core competencies, relied technologies and their future impact of new technologies, and how management and use of consumer data will impact future business. In addition, we have analyzed Amazon's strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats in a SWOT analysis. Based on this analysis, and research, we have recommend a course of action as to how Amazon should respond to their weaknesses and threats and how best to leverage strengths to take advantage of available opportunities. Amazon's Mission and Strategic Direction

Amazon.com, Inc. is an internet retailer headquartered in Seattle, Washington founded by CEO Jeff Bezos. Their mission and strategy is quite simply "to offer Earth's Biggest Selection and to be Earth's most customer-centric company, where customers can find and discover anything they may want to buy online and [we] endeavor to offer our customers the lowest possible price."1 And, if they can't help they will point the customer to a site that can. The company accomplishes this by operating six global internet sites: www.amazon.com, www.amazon.ca, www.amazon.de, www.amazon.jp, www.amazon.co.fr and www.amazon.co.uk. Through their zShops, auctions, affiliate program, Merchants@ and Amazon Marketplace programs, Amazon, and their sellers and partners, offer new and used collectibles and products in categories such as apparel and accessories, DVDs, electronics, computers, books, music, videos, cell phones, tools and hardware, the list is almost endless. In order to maintain quality, the company packages and ships all of its merchandise. They also continue to negotiate volume deals with suppliers to meet their goal of lowering prices. Additionally, Amazon has formed partnerships and alliances with publishers, other on-line retailers, technology providers, either handling their web site operations or linking brick-and-mortar entities to its virtual storefront. As part of their diversification strategy, Amazon recently acquired Internet Movie Database www.imdb.com (IMDb), which is an authoritative source of information on movie and entertainment. This acquisition is one of many Amazon is making expand its product and service offerings. The company is also preparing to sell internet domain names and already has received the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) approval. In order to improve customer service the company is investing in operational facilities, like its multi-lingual customer service support center in the Netherlands, to meet its rapid growth, increase selection and meet future operational needs while building efficiencies. This strategy will help Amazon increase its low profit margin, decrease its operational cost, increase customer response and order processing services and pass that savings on to the customer. Amazon's Core Competencies

Amazon's core competencies are in its ability to effectively use and develop technology to drive site traffic and enhance the customer experience. Their distinctive use of website real estate coupled with their ability to leverage their brand and effectively use that leverage to deliver low prices and high quality products, makes them a leader in online retailing. Their partner brands and their ability to adapt and recognize deficiencies enable them to effectively cut out the middle man, or at the very least, partner with them.

Relied Technologies and Their Impact on Future Business
Amazon strives to provide customers with the best possible online shopping experience by leveraging their powerful and innovative technologies. Part of the company's competitiveness lies in their proprietary technology, which is licensed to companies like Target to run their e-commerce site. Its patented portal technology allows the customer to customize their on-line experience with personalized home page,...
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