Amazon Profile

Amazon.com, Inc carries the title of the world’s largest online retailer. It is an American based multinational company that deals in electronic commerce. It has its headquarters in Seattle, Washington, in the United States of America. The company was founded by Jeff Bezos in 1994 and incorporated the same year as Cadabra. The company’s website first went online in 1995. Amazon is named after one of the largest rivers in the world, the Amazon River.” Its common stock is traded on the Nasdaq Global Select Market under the symbol AMZN.” (Amazon.com, “Annual report 2012”) It operates worldwide and deals in two main industries; the internet and online retailing. Amazon has different retail websites for United States, United Kingdom, Canada, France, Italy, Germany, Spain, Italy, Brazil, China and Japan. These retail sites have international al shipping to other countries globally for some of its products. The company is still seeking to expand its websites to Sweden, Poland and Netherlands. The company aims to be the most customer-centric company. (Amazon.com, “Annual report 2012”)

Key products

Amazon has different types of products. Some are just for re-sell; others are services while it manufactures some. Being an online based company, Amazon features a wide array of products that retail online. These products include Amazon.com, A2Z developments, A2Z Development, A9.com, Alexa Internet, Amazon.com, Amazon Kindle, Amazon Studios, Amazon Web Services, Audible.com, LoveFilm, The Book Depository dpreview.com, Zappos.com, Endless.com, IMDb, Woot, Junglee.com, myhabit.com, askville and goodreads.com.

Initially, Amazon started as a mere online bookstore. Afterwards it diversified and started selling CDs, DVSs, video games, MP3 downloads, software, electronics, Apparel, toys, food, furniture and jewellery. Apart from selling these products, Amazon also produces consumer electronics like the Kindle fire tablet computer and Amazon kindle e-book reader. It is also one of the main cloud computing service providers in the internet. Additionally Amazon provides services like co-branded credit card agreements and advertising. (Amazon.com, “Annual report”)

Primary customers

Amazon has divided its main customers into four distinct sets; sellers, enterprises, consumers and content creators. For consumers, the company serves them through its various websites worldwide. It offers consumers a huge selection of products. Under this category, it deals with pricing, selection and convenience.  Customers access the websites directly through mobile apps and computers. It also sells the manufactured kindle devices directly to customers. The second primary consumers are seller. Under this category, Amazon enables the sellers to sell their products on its websites and also facilitates these transactions. It gains fixed fees from these transactions as agreed. The third category is the enterprises. Amazon serves developers and enterprises through their Amazon Web Services (AWS). The last primary customers are content creators. These are book publishers, filmmakers, musicians, app developers and the likes. It allows them to publish their contents with kindle direct publishing for publishers, and offers programs that allow musicians, app developers and filmmakers to publish and sell their content.

Competition

Foremski points out that the main competitors of Amazon are giants like Apple, HBO’s popular Netflix and cloud computing vendors like Rack space. (Foremski, “The secret to Amazon’s competitive advantage over Apple, others”) Shatzkin also adds Google to this list. (Shatzkin, “Competing with Amazon is not an easy thing”)

In its annual report, 2012, Amazon acknowledges competition from:

1) physical-world retailers, publishers, vendors, distributors, manufacturers, and producers of its products; (2) other online mobile e-commerce sites and e-commerce; (3) comparison shopping websites, media companies, web search engines and web portals; (4) companies that provide e-commerce services; (5) companies that provide computing services, information storage, products and other web services; and(6) companies that design, manufacture, market, or sell consumer electronics, telecommunication, and media devices. (Amazon.com, “Annual report 2012”)  

Competitive advantage

Foremski notes that Amazon has a competitive advantage over its competitors because its shareholders “won't dump its stock, even when profits are weak and there's the prospect of a large loss.”  (Foremski, “The secret to Amazon’s competitive advantage over Apple, others”) He also notes that Amazon can take risks with new products without incurring significant damages unlike its competitors who have grave consequences to consider. The wide collection of services and products also gives the company a competitive advantage over its competitors. Also the worldwide recognition is a determining factor that plays to their advantage. It is well known as one of the largest online retails.

Stock and Revenue

Amazon. Inc closed 2012 with a total annual revenue of $61.1 billion while the total annual losses amounted to $0.09 per share. Last year the company’s stock grew a whopping 45% and increased further with 4% at the start of this year. However the stock is taking dip currently as it is sloping down continuously. On 26th April 2013, it went down by 7.24%. Despite this, investors are still investing in the company’s shares. In the first quarter of 2013, Amazon has recorded $16 billion net income and $0.18 earnings per share.  This is 22% higher than last year. (Yeung, “Amazon beats Wall Street estimates with $0.18 EPS, sales at $ 16.07 b in Q1 2013, a 22% growth YoY”)

Generally Amazon’s performance is healthy and the online retail giants seem to be enjoying a huge chunk of the market and healthy profits despite a few hitches like its share’s price drop. The company is aiming to venture in set top boxes business to compete with the likes of Microsoft’s Xbox Roku and Boxee. This expansion will definitely add to its revenue if it ventures wisely.

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