Amazon is among the most successful electronic trading businesses in the United States. Being founded more than twenty years ago, the company has managed to create the largest online marketplace in the world, which indicates the presence of a well-developed marketing strategy. Considering that studying the experience of market giants can be practically relevant, the essay generalizes on the elements of Amazon’s strategy and financial expenditures.
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Mission and Vision
Mission and vision statements are among the key elements of business strategies. As for Amazon’s mission, it refers to the opportunity to offer a wide range of affordable products to its customers to provide the convenience of shopping experience (Gregory, 2017). In its vision statement, the company emphasizes the client-centric approach and the widest selection of products (Gregory, 2017). As it is clear from the statements, they are aligned with the company’s goals and present its key priorities such as moderate prices, a wide array of products, and a positive customer experience. Even though the company supports a customer-oriented approach to business, the statements do not refer to specific ethical responsibilities.
Political and legal factors may impact the success of Amazon in many cases. Nowadays, it has significant difficulties in entering the market of South-eastern Asia due to the level of competition, transportation issues, and the need to optimize payment process to meet the needs of clients (Teo, 2017). Apart from that, the company’s financial success is highly impacted by social concerns because the scandals related to the working conditions that Amazon’s warehouse workers are offered can destroy its reputation (McRae, 2016). Thus, environmental forces impacting the performance of Amazon are numerous since it collaborates with customers from different countries and has to provide a lot of jobs.
Customer Service Management/Call Center
Amazon has a well-defined when it comes to dealing with customers’ problems. On its international website, the company offers help related to refunds, the use of gift cards, Amazon Prime benefits, and other issues. The company has 24/7 call centers and customer support chats, which makes it easier to get through with clients in different time zone. A few months ago, I contacted its customer support specialists to inform them about delivery issues, and the quality of communication was very good.
Amazon provides the key information on financial operations and marketing expenses in its annual financial reports to support the principle of transparency in business. For instance, in its most recent report, the company claims that its promotion expenditures have increased due to the growth of salary expenses and greater costs of online marketing (Amazon, 2017). In 2017, its total advertising and promotional costs were 6.3$ billion, whereas in 2016 the company spent 5$ billion on personal selling (Amazon, 2017, p. 54). These figures are likely to speak in favor of the company’s further growth.
Regarding the positioning statement of Amazon, it has been changed a few times to reflect changes related to its product selection and client preferences. Seventeen years ago, an emphasis was placed on the company’s opportunity “to provide instant access to over 1.1 million books” (Klein, 2016, para. 4). Nowadays, Amazon’s positioning statement presents it as “the most customer-centric company” where “virtually anything” can be found (Klein, 2016, para. 8). By updating the statement, Amazon presents its new goals in the field of e-commerce.
The company being analyzed does not provide the characteristics of its target customers in a mission statement since the range of products it offers is extremely diverse. Earlier, the services were targeted at students, school and university teachers, or researchers since Amazon described itself as a book seller. Today, this e-commerce giant provides all types of products, which makes its services targeted at all internet users.
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The Marketing Mix
The strategy used by Amazon can be described with the help of the 4Ps model. As for the first element, the product, Amazon ranks second to none when it comes to the number of products and services offered. Nowadays, the number of product categories that can be found on Amazon exceeds thirty, which is an important source of competitive advantage (Amazon, 2017). The second P, the price, is actively used to attract consumers – Amazon claims to monitor its business rivals’ prices to increase customer retention. To increase profits, the company uses discriminatory pricing, and the price of identical products may vary depending on the country. Concerning such element as the place, the company contacts its customers using websites and a chain of bookstores in the United States. Regarding Amazon’s approach to promotion, it is pivotal to note that the company actively uses digital advertising, social media ads, and various promotional actions (sales, promo codes, etc.) to stimulate purchases.
As it has been stated, Amazon highlights that it is “the most customer-centric” company. Nowadays, its branding statement is “work hard, have fun, make history”, which is a famous quote from the CEO of Amazon (Siliconreview Team, 2018, para. 1). The company’s logo presents the word “Amazon” with an orange arrow connecting the first and the fourth letters. In such a unique way, the company demonstrates that everything from A to Z can be found on their website.
To sum it up, Amazon presents an extremely successful company due to its approach to customer service the range of products available. However, it is recommended to introduce new practices helping to prove its respect for employee rights. In particular, it would be necessary to create better working conditions to avoid further scandals and consumer boycotts. Another recommendation relates to the need to make payment options more flexible to enter new markets successfully.
Amazon. (2017). 2017 annual report. Web.
Gregory, L. (2017). Amazon.com Inc.’s vision statement & mission statement (an analysis) [Blog post]. Web.
Klein, L. (2016). The anatomy of a great positioning statement [Blog post]. Web.
McRae, H. (2016). How the scandal of Amazon workers forced to sleep in tents could hit its business. Independent. Web.
Siliconreview Team. (2018). “Work hard, have fun, make history”, says Jeff Bezos. The Silicon Review. Web.
Teo, T. (2017). Amazon delay shows challenges of e-commerce in S-E Asia. The Straits Times. Web.