An Artist's rendition of Rover on Mars

Believe it or not, even Forbes has opined that Amazon is the leader in technology today !!!! Not Apple or Google, it is Amazon which has captured everyone’s attention when it comes to revolutionary ideas and concepts. So why does Amazon always succeed, what is it’s vision and objectives and how does Amazon continue to stay at the top? What are it’s corporate strategies that make it any different than the other world leaders out there?

Many strategists and tech pundits have kept a vigilant watch on Amazon and how it reacts to any pressing issues. Unlike others, Amazon is believed to be having a patient approach to any unexpected reactions and downpours in the market. It waits for the storm to pass before even reacting to a situation. Amazon doesnt believe in immediate damage control and is willing to suffer a temporary PR damage before raising itself to the criticisms and problems. As far as Corporate Strategy goes, there are other major players like Google, Apple, Microsoft or Facebook, but they are just mediocre players, and Amazon is the GrandMaster.

Adapting the Amazon Way

When it comes to technological revolutions and inventions, Amazon takes a step back and lets others lead the way. We do not know Amazon to be a major wizard when it comes to new innovations, it did not come to power with inventing new products or services. It is what it is today for it’s strategic depth and systematic approach. Nobody knows Amazon for having invented something new, but yet Amazon always wins!!!

I would like to quote a well known tech analyst who says “With Amazon though, you get the sense that you are watching a chess game unfold, in which Amazon is thinking multiple moves ahead, along several fronts. The opponents seem to fumble, rant and rave like so many headless chickens, while Amazon continues to systematically dismantle them.”

Amazon has a well established strategic approach to it’s business and has a larger game plan than most of the others. Many others come up with a new product based on sudden impulsive thoughts and many compromises to it’s business and thus has to reach to any negative PR with immediate counter measures. With Amazon, even though there is any negative publicity, it doesnt need to reach due to it’s larger objective and well set goals.

Let us see some strategic moves Amazon has made with the books industry over the last decade:

  1. One-click shopping
  2. Free shipping over $25
  3. Being first to market with a meaningful and usable, but predatory, offering for self-publishers (Amazon Advantage) at a time (late 90s) when getting traditional distribution as a small or self-publisher was nearly impossible
  4. Creating a used-book marketplace that made used books go from 4% of the market to something like 30% in just a few years (I don’t know the current figure, this is from several years ago)
  5. Fighting a supply-chain battle with on-demand printers, using its 24-hour shipping model as a weapon to bring print volumes to Book Surge, its in-house operation
  6. Undercutting Lulu, the pioneering self-publishing operation catering to authors, with its Createspace offering, which offers authors better margins
  7. Booting up the Amazon Affiliate program (which, from unverified sources, accounts for about 40% of sales)
  8. Making it brain-dead simple to publish on the Kindle
  9. Creating a royalty option structure for Kindle publishers (70% between $2.99 and $9.99, 35% above $9.99) that leaves you with an offer you cannot refuse for the under-$9.99 price range
  10. Once the traditional supply chain had been sufficiently weakened that traditional publishers were no longer very useful, ramping up direct relationships with authors
  11. Starting with an eBook experience that was as close as possible to traditional books, but pushing the envelope as fast as readers could handle, towards more flexible digital formats (blogs on the Kindle, Kindle “singles,” and with the recently announced capabilities of the Kindle format, high-quality graphics)
  12. Decisively promoting a pawn (ebooks) to Queen with its book-lending model and recent offer-you-cannot-refuse for publishers who go Kindle-exclusive for at least the first 90 days (in the next year, we will likely see a shift towards an ebook-first or ebook-only strategy for many small publishers; so far, ebooks have been considered a “plus” market).
  13. All the while, keeping the core shopping experience familiar, but pulling out all stops to increase conversions and same-visit sales with mechanisms ranging from book previews/searches to related-reading recommendations, and bundling recommendations

Amazon Cloud Services on Mars

An Artist's rendition of Rover on Mars
An Artist’s rendition of Rover on Mars

Not content with the “Earths’ Biggest Selection” reputation, Amazon went a step further to reach Mars with it’s cloud services!!!! NASA is believed to have been using Amazon’s Web Services to collect and store images and data collected from it’s most recent Rover sent to Mars by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

Cloud computing is giving them an opportunity to expand the computational horsepower more efficiently with cost effective measures. Using the Amazon Web Services, JPL was able to release the photos, videos and developments of the Rover Mission to the public more efficiently, rather than having to build the service in-house. The mission will continue to use the services to provide data and automate the images of the planet for scientific study for potential hazards and other areas of interest.

Amazong Web Services (AWS) started providing it’s cloud services back in 2006 and there are many major players like Netflix, Pinterest and Yelp who are utilizing them for their specific needs.

Over To You

How much does Amazon mean to you as a blogger or as a company? Do you use any of it’s services or even become an affiliate to promote it’s products and services? Have you realized any potential improvements in your revenue by adopting this? Do share your thoughts with us in the comments below. Thanks for reading.

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