Successes and Failures of Amazon's Growth Strategies: Causes and Consequences
On 30 May 2017, Amazon shares traded at a record high - above $1,000 - surpassing the share price of Google parent Alphabet. Started as an online bookstore 22 years earlier, Amazon has achieved uninterrupted growth by becoming the largest internet bookstore, the largest online marketplace, a media company, and the most successful IT service provider. Amazon recently expanded into the bricks-and-mortar retail business, launching Amazon Books across the US and beta-testing Amazon Go in Seattle. As of May 2017, Amazon was ranked the world's most innovative company and the fourth largest company by market capitalization. The case explores Amazon's path to growth and its successes and failures along the way. Successful strategic moves include Amazon Marketplace, Prime, Amazon Web Services, and Kindle. Failures included Auctions, A9 Search Engine, Endless, and the Fire Phone. Identifying commonalities and differences among them, the case shows the causes and consequences of Amazon's at-once stellar performance and severe setbacks. It applies Blue Ocean Strategy concepts to analyze its market-creating logic for future growth. The case comes with teaching note, a one-page summary and lectures slides. Teaching materials can be downloaded from https://www.blueoceanstrategy.com/teaching-materials/amazon/ The case is also available in Chinese and Korean.