Amazon SWOT Analysis (Q4)

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?

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