Is Amazon becoming a High-Technology Company?

The answer to this question lies in the type of business Amazon is. Amazon is an online retailer meaning that its customers have to make a decision whether to buy a product by viewing it online. There is no sales person to assist the customer and the customers have to wait to actually get their hands on to their purchase. Amazon has to provide a technologically advanced, interactive platform to compete with retailers having physical presence in form of store fronts at different locations.

According to Forbes (“Forbes Welcome,” 2013), since its establishment, Amazon has acquired 1,263 patents. Surprisingly than overwhelmingly majority of these patents have been assigned to the engineering and technology departments of Amazon. Amazon has developed new encrypting technologies and artificially intelligent recommendation algorithms that ensure the security of the data related to their customers as well as use this data anonymously to recommend products in accordance to what the customers are browsing now and their past search history. Based on the technology management approach to expand and enhance their services, Amazon can be concluded as a High-Technology Company, however, it is quite different than traditional high-tech businesses.

Does it make sense for Amazon to sell Kindle below its cost?

We have to look at the fact what purpose the Kindle serves for both the customers and Amazon. To the customers it provides an opportunity to download an online book that they have purchased. For Amazon it provides an opportunity to sell more versions and copies of instantly downloadable books. Thus lowering price on Kindles below the market, will facilitate people to go for soft books which will not only help Amazon to compensate for the lower prices on Kindles but will also raise their revenues beyond past limits. Amazon sells 65% books in the e-book market in America alone (“Forbes”, 2014). Amazon therefore increases their already bigger share of the e-book market by lowering the price on Kindles. Enabling a customer to buy a Kindle at a lower price can ensure the customer’s interest in buying e-books in the longer run.

Should Amazon collect state sales tax in every state?

In my opinion Amazon should not collect sales tax in every state. Amazon is already paying sales tax in 26 US states where it has a physical presence in the form of warehouses.  This sales tax is collected from their customers which give Amazon a competitive disadvantage in comparison to eBay and other online stores (“When Online Sellers Should Collect Sales Tax,” 2015). Collecting tax from customers means increased price of the products sold which in itself is a negative indicator of the sales market. Amazon should try and protect the interests of its customers by providing them with cheaper products compared to other online retailers. This does not however mean that Amazon should involve in any illegal activity that is against the overall interest of the collective society.

Should Amazon invest in same day delivery?

Amazon should certainly invest in same day delivery. As an online purchaser, it has always been a concern for me to know how soon can a product be dispatched and delivered. It does not mean that I always need it the same day or the next, but it adds to my psychological satisfaction to know that I can trust an online retailer for the same day dispatch and if possibly same day delivery. It has also been a topic of online discussion on the industry insider Retailwire (“RetailWire Discussion: Amazon rolls out free same-day delivery,” 2015) where it has been suggested that the free online delivery service by amazon could make an enormous impact on its sales and give Amazon a competitive advantage in terms of the number of products sold online and the resulting revenue.

Should Amazon expand its streaming content?

Amazon should certainly expand its streaming content. Online streaming could well serve as an alternative to actually downloading content saving time and disk space in the future. The customers that are interested in viewing an online video (entertainment, educational etc.) or listening to an audio that is offered by Amazon can have an instant access to the actual content of the videos and audios with the help of online streaming technology. The audio or video files provided by Amazon with online streaming are temporarily stored on the devices like tablets, laptops and smartphones. This means that the actual disk space is not occupied unless the customer wants to permanently store data.  Internet is getting faster day by day. The audio and video content that took us hours to download is available online with a single click.

Can Amazon compete with Samsung, Sony & Apple?

Amazon is an online retailer while Samsung, Sony and Apple are the technology giants producing smart devices like tablets, smart phones, laptops etc. I would like to compare the chances of Amazon’s competition with the three technology giants in terms of increasing customer base and the resulting annual revenue. I think if Amazon strive to adopt to new technologies in reaching out to its customers via online interactive platforms, quality products, supportive and customer focused services and improved gadgets like Kindle, they are well in business and can compete with Samsung, Sony and Apple all over the world. Amazon also needs to focus on extending their services to places where its services are not yet available due to technical, financial (customers making online transaction for their purchases on Amazon) or logistic(delivery services to customers addresses is not available in many countries yet) issues.    

References

Forbes Welcome. (2013.). Retrieved from http://www.forbes.com/sites/georgeanders/2013/11/14/amazons-1263-patents-reveal-retailings-high-tech-future/

Forbes Welcome. (2014.). Retrieved from http://www.forbes.com/sites/jeffbercovici/2014/02/10/amazon-vs-book-publishers-by-the-numbers/

RetailWire Discussion: Amazon rolls out free same-day delivery. (2015). Retrieved from http://www.retailwire.com/discussion/18312/amazon-rolls-out-free-same-day-delivery

When Online Sellers Should Collect Sales Tax. (2015). Retrieved from http://blog.taxjar.com/internet-sales-tax-nexus/