Amazon. com is the pioneering bookstore on the Internet that first opened in July 1995 by Jeff Bezos. The firm offers online shopping services and partnership opportunities such as online search for books, music and video items. The products that they sell Include an array of audio, video and book titles. Amazon has one of the widest selections and employs international shipping to virtually every corner of the globe in just a few days. Amazon’s focus is having the biggest selection of free-electronic greeting cards, online auction and millions of books, CDs, videos, DVDs, toys and lectronics.
They have expanded to different areas of the world, such as Amazon. co. uk and Amazon. de, to service consumers outside of the united States. They aim to be a Cost leader in which their firm has lower costs than the competitors. They have employed different Amazon branches in different parts of the world to lower costs. This allows Amazon to ship their products at a lower price from each point of shipment to the consumer. In recent years, Amazon. com has expanded from being just an online bookstore to an all around online shopping experience. They have coined the tag line “Earth’s biggest selection”.
Amazon has diversified into different websites. These are the Internet Movie Database (mwa. imdb. com), LiveBld. com, amazon. llvebid. com, drugstore. com (an online retail and Information about health and wellness), gear. com (online sporting goods companyl homegrocer. com (online grocery shopping and delivery), pets. com (largest pet supply online shopping site), ashford. com (online luxury and premium shopping) and eZiba. com (online retailer of handcrafted products). Five Forces Model for Industry Analysis New Entrants The online bookstore industry that Amazon. om has pioneered in was, at first, very ard to penetrate. There were different barriers such as distributing capabilities and the variety of the selection offered that are supposed to be hurdled. Amazon successfully solved the tricky parameters as being the first one to get into the whole idea of online retail. With being the first, they had the luxury to set what were the norms for the industry. Factors that may lower these barrier tactics would be a wider selection and the ablllty to go to an actual bookstore to exchange or return books or other products.
This network of “actual” retail spaces makes it easier for the onsumer to return or exchange the products they were not satisfied with. These handicaps of Amazon were the basis for the emergence of book retail giants Barnes and Noble and Borders In the online shopping Industry. Industry Competitors The major competitors of Amazon are Barnes and Noble and Borders. Barnes and Noble is a retail giant offering books and CDs both in their outlets all over the country. It opened their online industry in 1997 and has become the fourth largest e- commerce sites today.
Focused largely on the sale of books, music, software, magazines. rints, posters, and related products, the company has capitalized on the recognized brand value of the Barnes & Noble name to become the second largest, Amazon is the brand name and the availability of actual retail outlets in which consumers could go in to exchange or return products easily. They also have an established book selection based in their retail operations. Borders is another multi- media retail store found in major cities around the country.
Started out as a small bookshop in the college town of Ann Arbor, Michigan, it has since expanded into one of the finest bookstores. In 1992, Borders was bought by the Kmart group which further flourished the company into a Multi Media Giant with a wide selection of Audio, Video and Books found throughout the United States. The Online Bookstore industry have become a fierce business which involves discounts, varied selections and fast delivery in which all three companies are challenging each other. Buyers The consumers of this industry can be found in every corner of the population.
These are mostly people who have had some form of higher education and have access to the Internet and computers. The segment of online shoppers has increased dramatically in recent years due to the convenience of shopping in the comforts of the home and the accessibility of the Internet. These developments have made it easier for consumers to log on and buy on the Internet. Consumers also tend to compare prices among the retail leaders such that buyers are able to buy products with very big discounts compared to ones bought in “actual” retail outlets.
The bargaining power of the consumer is based on the competitive strategies of each active firm in the industry. Thus, consumers can challenge one firm for charging ore than the other one such that the firm will beat the price of the competing firm. Suppliers Amazon’s suppliers range from the publishing and media houses to electronics’ manufacturers. Amazon buys all their books, videos and audio CDs from the multi media houses and publishing giants such as Time Warner, Doubleday etc. Amazon also has alliances with other bookstores to cover orders that they cannot serve.
Substitutes The substitutes for Amazon and other online bookstores are the “actual” book retailers and music stores such as Barnes and Nobles, Virgin Megastore, Tower Records, Sam Goody and other small mom-and-pop outlets. With the rise of online retail, there will be little impact from these substitutes. One impact would be some consumers who would like to hold or listen to their purchases prior to buying and those who are into the whole “shopping experience”. Barnes and Nobles have jumped into online retail and have succeeded into diversifying into the new e- commerce industry.
Industrial Organization Model Degree of Competition Due to the shift of focus for Amazon, it has become the “Earth’s biggest anything store”. Its competitors have expanded from Just online book retailers Barnes and Nobles and Borders to top audio retailers CDNOW. com and online auction house EBAY. com. Amazon has an overall lead of 40% market share against the other online retail firms. Their international business has more than doubled over the past 2 years and this growth increased Amazon’s share in the online business market.
Life Cycle Amazon, in it’s first years, had negative income but the rise of e-commerce sites and growth period was during 1994 to 1995 when they were the first of its kind in the world. They incurred very high costs in terms of distributions to customers. Still with negative income, Amazon went public in 1997 and had one of the biggest IPOs of the time. With investors banking on future positive cash flow for this company, Amazon’s market value soared. Many people caught on with the idea of online shopping, thus, Amazon’s success.
Amazon’s success as an online retailer prompted bricks-and-mortar rivals Barnes and Noble and Borders to Join in. Competition decreased Amazon’s profitability so in the past couple of years, Amazon has expanded to more than books, audio and video to electronics and other retail concepts. Social Relevance Amazon’s products are marketed for every consumer possible. Books, audio, video and electronics are appreciated by majority of the population especially those who have access to the Internet. Amazon is active in pursuing literacy programs for young children by collaborating with the makers of the Dr. Seuss books.
They have actively participated in the Dr. Seuss shops, story telling sessions and Dr. Seuss days. Degree of Globalization Amazon’s strength internationally lies within its networks in major ports and cities around the Globe. Amazon first started out in Seattle but as soon as they have stablished a niche market, they have opened shop all over the nation and in cities such as London, Berlin, The Hague, Paris, Tokyo, Singapore and many more. These branches overseas improves their delivery service to a wide consumer base. Extent of Government Control There has not been many government regulations regarding online retailing.
A group of CEOs whose firms that are engaged in such practices have formed an organization called Global Business Dialogue. This GBD group supports the development of a seamless global system that delivers the broadest array of goods and services to the argest number of consumers at the most competitive prices. This work effort will: offer recommendations to the WTO, including making the moratorium on online tariffs permanent; and collaborate with governments to target and eliminate discriminations against, or other non-tariff barriers to global trade in, electronic commerce.
This working group will also provide an avenue for the GBDs to consider and promote the growth of the electronic marketplace in an environment unencumbered by detrimental taxation. Degree of Vertical Integration Amazon’s primary value chain includes purchasing/sourcing, marketing, distribution nd after-sales services, which includes returns and exchanges from unsatisfied customers. Their main focus is in the purchasing/sourcing and in the distribution of the products to the consumers.
Their investments are therefore, geared towards warehouses in key points of high consumer demand areas and an efficient delivery and distributing system to service all its consumers. Thus, Amazon controls most of its distributing system that spans across borders. Inter Organization of Network Economics Amazon in its efforts to sustain its market leadership in the online retailing industry as tied up with various online organizations. Netscape Navigator and Amazon will offer members of Netscape Netcenter a co-branded storefront where Earth’s Biggest In addition, Amazon. om has multi-year exclusive and premier bookseller relationships with 5 of the top 6 sites on the World Wide Web: AOL. com, Yahoo! , Netscape, Geocities, and Excite. These partnerships widen Amazon’s presence in the World Wide Web. Sensitivity to Business Cycles The Online retailing business has a very quick cyclical growth. Amazon being one of the firsts to venture in this type of commerce are all ready in what seems to be in heir decline stage where market share is declining. Therefore, Amazon is expanding to different industries within online retailing.
Amazon and other online retailing firms are very sensitive to business cycles due to the speed of technology involved in the services they offer. Dynamics of New Knowledge Generation Online retailing relies on the work of an excellent distribution system. Amazon has invested their money into expanding their network of distribution centers around the globe. They also have investments in creating better technology for tracking orders nd giving efficient delivery systems for their customers. Amazon. om has remained on top of the online retailing business despite the entrance of giants such as Barnes and Nobles and Borders. Their success is attributed to two factors; timing and continuing to invest heavily into the inventory and distribution systems. Amazon, by being the first of its kind, has a big lead over the nearest competitors due to their experience and its reputation as the first movers. Their thrust remains on improving efficient delivery systems across borders and to build name recognition as the number one retailing firm in the Internet.