Profitable pivots: 2020’s COVID-19 curveball rattled even the biggest retail leaders.
In this SWOT analysis check-in, we see how Amazon has responded to market pressures, including changes that directly address specific weaknesses and threats.
Additional overarching patterns I see are:
- Building brand trust (beyond anti-counterfeit measures), ranging from humanizing the brand for a softer corporate image to Jeff Bezos’ candid statements about private label practices
- Filling market gaps, such as partnering with Toys R Us for e-commerce to ensure children receive their toys in time for Christmas
- Transformative leadership on long-term retail issues like sustainability and tech-driven delivery (drones, automated vehicles)
- Celebrating employees, including commercials that profile and praise diverse workers, and user-generated social media posts showing collegiality among Amazon workers. These efforts counter criticism of opacity in workplace conditions
- Enviable industry influence: Prime Day spooked rivals into offering deep discounts to protect or grow their market share in core categories. Amazon earned global PR and consumers also won big — IF they shopped around for deals. By reeling in competitors and consumers to a new Q4 sales event, Amazon pulled the holiday season forward by 6 weeks, easing the strain off the supply chain. Not too shabby.
This snapshot follows a more thorough Q2 Amazon SWOT analysis: Is Amazon Pandemic-Proof?
How else has Amazon adapted to 2020’s unanticipated retail reality?