The paper 'Amazon. com Online Marketing Success" is a great example of a marketing case study. When Amazon. com was launched in 1995 by 29-year old Jeff Bezos, there was little indication of the kind of influence it would have on marketing philosophy as a whole. By 2000, it is indicated that Amazon. com was a phenomenal success, so much that other book marketers such as Border and Barnes & Noble had to set up their respective online businesses (Laseter, Houston, Wright and Park, 2000). The effect of Amazon. com’ s success commanded interest not only from the book market but from other diverse market segments such as fast-moving consumer goods as indicated by Walmart’ s online marketing strategy.
Notably, and over the years, it has been revealed that not all companies that set up online markets succeed. As such, it would appear that there are approaches or processes that those companies that succeed in the online marketplace pursue, which those that fail do not do. This research project uses Amazon. com as one of the successful online marketers to unearth factors that contribute to such success. The article is divided into several sections, which include the introduction, problem definition, background of the research topic (from where the research questions are developed) and a literature review section which indicates relevant theories and frames the research based on existing knowledge.
Additionally, the methodology section details the approaches used in research, while the method of analysing data is also described in the data analysis section. Other sections include implications and contributions of the research findings, the limitations of the study and a recommendation for future research. The research ends by concluding that successful online marketing, just like offline marketing requires proper strategy, which includes understanding the needs and preferences of potential customers, making the products accessible through proper placement, making good offers through appropriate pricing. Online marketing is defined as an effort by companies and businesses to “ market products and services and build customer relationships over the Internet” (Kotler & Armstrong, 2008, p.
563). Online marketing has multiple challenges, which include cutthroat competition, low conversion rates, difficulties in attaining customer loyalty, and relatively high costs in the acquisition of customers (LeGresley, 2004).
Yet, while some businesses find it hard to thrive on the online market platform, others like Amazon. com have proved that success is indeed attainable. The foregoing observation can be interpreted to mean that there are success factors that Amazon. com has identified and has capitalized on over the years. This research project seeks to reveal such success factors since it would appear that not all online marketers know them. Development of a research question / Background to the problem Amazon. com, has since 1995 developed from an obscure upstart online company, to become one of the prominent names on the online market (LeGresley, 2004).
Having started with the book market as its target, Amazon. com has over the years moved to sell just about everything including groceries, apparel, electronics, housewares, videos, and music among other things. The website declares that it has “ the earth’ s biggest selection” (Amazon. com, 2013, n. pg. ). In slightly less than two decades, Amazon. com has arguably perfected the art of online marketing. Additionally, and as indicated by Kotler and Armstrong (2008, p. 318) it has “ rewritten the rules of marketing” .
From the very start, Amazon. com did not follow the slow-but-sure business approach, rather, it is indicated that one year into the business in 1996, the company registered US$15 million annual sales. In 2008, the company’ s annual sales had risen to US$19 billion. Additionally, the company has an estimated 72 million active customers, who are estimated to spend $184 annually at Amazon’ s online marketplace (Kotler & Armstrong, 2008). The critical success factors used by Amazon. com have been investigated and analyzed by different authors. Yet, it would appear that some online marketers still cannot master the same factors and replicate the same success story in their respective online stores.
Based on the foregoing observation, this research seeks to answer the following questions regarding Amazon. com’ s success:
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