The essay is a critical examination of Amazon.com and how it has evolved over time. Issues tackled in the essay include a discussion of whether the company is deviating from its core competency as a leader in online retailer, areas where the company is competing with Google and Microsoft Company and if the competition is a wise strategy. Additionally, uses of Amazon.com database is brought to light, data management issues and the link between information and knowledge are also addressed. Lastly a description of how the company uses business and e-commerce for both B2B and B2C are clearly brought to light.
Amazon.com is the largest online retailer in the United States. It was founded back in 1994 by Jeff Bezos and begun its operations in 1995. It started by selling books but later ventured in selling electronics, foods, furniture, DVDs, CDs, computer software, video games, clothing toys among others (Pearlson & Saunders, 2005).
A thorough analysis of the company reveals that it still sticks to its plans of being a leader in online retail business. There is no doubt that Amazon.com has strived to take advantage of technology in ensuring that the needs and demands of customers are adequately met. The company has made it possible to ensure customers’ convenience and accessibility to goods and services. One needs not to visit a store to be able to buy a product. Additionally, the marketing strategy adopted by the company makes it stronger in developing competency that keeps it focused in being a leader in online business. For instance, it has partnered with Borders that offers website operations; this has played a bigger role in directing customers to Border stores that are near to them and offer the products desired by customers. On top of this, the company provides customers with high quality products and services. More importantly, the company collects and records data regarding their customers buying behavior; with this it is in a better position to craft ways to meet their demands and aspirations.
According to Engleman, 2010 one notable area that Amazon.com is competing with Google and Microsoft is the development in 2003 of its own search engine dubbed A9.com. Interestingly, although not well known for cloud computing, Amazon.com is working on ensuring that it offers the federal government cloud computing services. Additionally, a new payment system dubbed Amazon Flexible Payments Services which will allow extensive API making it possible for developers to process payment on their own websites. This competes with Google Checkout as well as PayPal. In my view, I believe the strategy to compete with these two giant organization is well placed. This is guided by the fact that Microsoft and Google provide customers with a twostep process of searching and eventually redirect customers to another site where they can buy the products they desire. The major challenge is Google since it has developed a closer relationship with their retailers (Rainer & Turban, 2008).
The company has a mechanism in place that collects data from their customers. With such information regarding their demographic characteristic, it is easy for the company to know the preference of their customers. This is vital in coming up with effective marketing strategies. The company can also track the sales made in whatever period regarding a given product and hence it can come up with a rational strategy on how best to improve inventory management as well as better plans to make the products reach the customers. Similarly, the information regarding the available products, prices types of payment, placement of orders to mention but a few can be used by especially new customers to easily access vital information regarding the company and what it offers (Engleman, 2010).
The similar version of the products is one data management issue facing Amazon.com. This can be exemplified by the kinds of reviews by customers for that reason some customers often confuse the interface for reviews of the seller and reviews of the product, leading to a miscellany of content. More importantly, there is the issue of security. In situations where customers have willingly provided some vital peronal information to the company, the worry of such information being hackled is a serious security threat to individuals. For instance, “AOL recently published a list of more than 650,000 user queries that revealed names, addresses and Social Security numbers, and the company this week apologized…” (Harris, 2006. Par. 9). It has been shown that the data collected by the company has widened its knowledge regarding their customers. Similarly, the customers have the ability to get all necessary information regarding the services and products being offered by the company.
It is important to note that e-business and e-commerce are distinct. The former has been used by the company in procurements, ordering, processing payments, enhance links with suppliers as well as controlling production processes (Pearlson & Saunders, 2005). Additionally, e-business has been used to promote and market goods and services offered, support selling via the internet, processing orders placed by customers. Amazon.com uses e-commerce to create B2B relationships with other organization. There are two major models used which include sell-side and buy-side. With sell-side model the company attempts to sells via e-commerce with the aim of cutting down selling as well as promotion expenditures. On the other hand, the buy side model allows the company to purchase the things it requires online from other companies (Rainer & Turban, 2008).
From the review of Amazo.com and its business strategy, it is evident that it has engaged in competition with other giant online service and products providers such as Google and Microsoft. The database is of essence to both the company and the customers. However, there is security concerns regarding the management of data collected. Lastly, e-business and e-commerce has been used to enhance both B2B and B2C relationships.
Engleman, E. (2010). Amazon’s Federal cloud. Web.
Harris, C. (2006). Amazon database would put shoppers’ intimate details on the line. Web.
Pearlson, K. & Saunders, C. (2005). Managing and using information systems: A strategic approach. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons.
Rainer, R. & Turban, E. (2008). Introduction to information systems. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons.